By Steve Elliott
Michigan state Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) on Wednesday said he supports legalizing and taxing marijuana, and using the proceeds for state road repairs and other funding issues.
Dillon said legalization will not only benefit the state by bringing in more funds, but will also give law enforcement more time to concentrate their efforts on violence and property crime, reports Fox 17 News.
In states like Colorado, where cannabis is already legalized, violent crime has fallen 6.9 percent, according to Dillon. He also pointed to several cities across Michigan, including his hometown of Grand Rapids, which have recently voted to decriminalize pot.
"We know that attitudes are quickly changing," Dillon wrote in a May 19 guest editorial on MLive.com. "Recent surveys show that more than half of Michigan residents are in favor of legalizing, regulating and taxing the adult use of marijuana."
While legalization won't be a panacea for all of Michigan's challenges, "However, taking marijuana off the black market will generate much needed revenue, allow us to redeploy law enforcement resources to focus on violent and property crime, and ease the tax burden on the middle class," Dillon wrote.
"Our current marijuana laws are broken," Dillon wrote. "It is time to fix them."