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Opponents see "David vs. Goliath" battle with legalizing marijuana in Michigan

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Prominent Detroit ministers and local NAACP leaders admit they are in a David vs. Goliath fight to defeat a marijuana legalization ballot question November 6th.

But it’s a fight they say they can win.

Michigan would become the tenth state in the nation, and first in the Midwest, to legalize marijuana for recreational use if voters approve Proposal 1 next month.

Supporters point to the prospect of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars of business investment and hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue as reasons why pot should be legal in Michigan. 

But opponents have a message of their own.

“Don’t legalize; let’s decriminalize,” is a line from a new online commercial being rolled out by opponents of Proposal 1.

The opponents say commercializing cannabis will not help urban communities, but instead make problems with addiction andcrimeonly worse.

To get their message out, spokeswoman Monica Anthony says they’ve been knocking on doors and advertising on billboards, with robocalls soon to start.

She admits they’re fighting a big opponent.

“I keep going back to: we’re in a David and Goliath situation,” says Anthony, “But we want to have that slingshot and be very victorious.”

Recent polls have shown a majority of likely Michigan voters are planning to vote for legalizing recreational marijuana.

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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