MiLegalize Organizer has high hopes for Ballot Campaign

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Ken Wachsberger

Ann Arbor, MI, October 25, 2015—Speaking at the monthly meeting of Women Grow at Bloom City Club in Ann Arbor on Thursday October 1, Nick Zettell, assistant campaign manager with the MiLegalize campaign, gave a recap of three important Michigan bills that face upcoming votes and then updated the audience on the campaign to get MiLegalize’s marijuana proposal on the 2016 ballot.

The Michigan House bills—4209, 4210, and 4827—together form a three-pronged attack on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act prepared by the caregiver community. The bills create a system that inserts the government between providers and patients in matters affecting growth, production, and sale of medical marijuana. While these bills would legalize provisioning centers and concentrates and edible forms of cannabis, the proposed system would place onerous, expensive, and restrictive licensing and tracking requirements on growers, processors, and dispensaries. As Zettell stated, “The legislature butchered the bills prepared by the caregiver community.”

Of the three ballot proposals that were at the starting line to determine the future of cannabis in Michigan, two appear to have already dropped out:

  • The Michigan Cannabis Coalition bill would have legalized cannabis but then let the legislature determine who controls what, set the tax rate, and control other aspects of the cannabis infrastructure that should be allowed to form organically. They have dropped their petition for now … but they may resurface at a later date.
  • The Michigan Responsibility Council bill was organized by ten Republicans who want to divide the Michigan cannabis industry into ten fiefdoms that they will control. It replicates the proposal that is likely to pass in Ohio. For now, it appears that they are no longer focusing on the 2016 election but instead are lobbying to have their interests incorporated into the current House Bills being voted on by the Senate soon. Zettell warned, “We’re keeping our eyes on them.”

The MiLegalize ballot proposal is the only one of the three that will remove all criminal penalties for distribution, cultivation, and possession of marijuana with the exception of sale to unauthorized minors. No other proposal will liberate marijuana to fulfill its medical and economic potential.

This is good news, Zettell says, but a lot of work remains to be done to get the proposal on the ballot. According to Zettell, supporters and activists have already gathered over 100,000 verified signatures so far. They have until December 20 to gather 253,000 valid signatures. So, MiLegalize is trying to gather 500,000 signatures in anticipation of a large number of signatures likely being thrown out, which is typical with ballot campaigns.

Meanwhile, fundraising continues. An angel donor who previously gave $150,000 in matching funds just agreed to another $100,000 if the campaign can match it by the end of October. He told the audience about upcoming fundraising events in on October 28 in Detroit and the next day in Grand Rapids.

To learn more about MiLegalize, find out about upcoming fundraisers, and become a part of this historical ballot campaign, contact their website at

Women Grow, founded in 2014 in Denver, Colorado, is a for-profit entity that serves as a catalyst for women to influence and succeed in the cannabis industry as the end of marijuana prohibition occurs on a national scale. Women Grow monthly Signature Networking events connect aspiring and current professionals in the cannabis industry. For more information about the Ann Arbor Chapter, contact Dori Edwards, Ann Arbor Chapter co-chair at

Bloom City Club, sponsor of the monthly Women Grow meetings, is a cannabis education and provisioning center. It is an organization of successful professional business women dedicated to providing the highest-quality medical cannabis, outstanding customer service, and the most valuable information to its registered medical patients. For more information, contact Colleen Tracy, General Manager,, (734) 585 0621,

Next month’s speaker will be Robin Schneider who is the Legislative Liaison for the National Patients’ Rights Association (NPRA). She is an expert and insider on the current legislation being passed through the MI House and Senate. Find out how these new laws, if passed, will affect you! It’s sure to be a fascinating and informative presentation with a great opportunity for Q&A.

The NPRA advocates at a local, state, and national level to protect medical marijuana patient and provider rights. Robin served in the Michigan House of Representatives Medical Marihuana Task Force and has spent the last five years advocating for safe access to all forms of medical cannabis, including pediatric use. Robin is the mother of four children and has helped parents of sick children to craft and introduce medical marijuana legislation across the nation. She was recently named one of the nation’s most influential women of weed by Skunk magazine. For more information on the NPRA visit

Ken Wachsberger is an author, editor, political organizer, and member of the National Writers Union.

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