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Marijuana opponents await campaign to legalize recreational pot

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene

Marijuana legalization advocates will rally at the state capitol Monday, as they plan to try and get a legalization question on the state's 2018 ballot.   

The Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Association opposed the medical marijuana ballot question in 2008. And the group's president, Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene, says they haven't changed their position on the issue. 

“There are consequences that flow from these decisions," Reene says.  "And that’s why each of these things need to be analyzed very carefully."

But personally, Reene sees problems with legalizing marijuana.  He says the eight states (plus DC) that have already legalized recreational pot, are seeing more problems with public safety. 

“Educating and obtaining these facts…and again looking at what’s happened elsewhere, could be very illuminative and illustrative of something you want to avoid,” says Reene.

The Michigan-based group MI-Legalize tried and failed to get legalization on last year's ballot.  Now they're working with the national Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to draft new petition language for 2018. 

But just to get on the ballot, they'll have to collect more than a quarter million valid signatures. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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