Michigan: Most Voters Favor Eliminating Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Offenses


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NORML | September 26, 2013

Lansing,  MI: Nearly 80 percent of Michigan voters favor eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana offenses, according to survey data released by Epic-MRA Polling and commissioned by the Michigan state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Forty-seven percent of respondents  said that they backed legalizing marijuana “by taxing it and regulating it like  alcohol.” An additional 16 percent of  respondents endorsed “replac[ing] criminal penalties for marijuana offenses  with a fine” only. Another four percent  of respondents supported an outright “repeal” of all state criminal penalties  for cannabis offenses.

Only 26 percent of those polled said  they supported continuing the present system of state criminal penalties for  marijuana offenses. Under state law, the  possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes is classified as a criminal  misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Six hundred likely voters  participated in the survey, which has a margin of error of ±4 percent.

Lansing voters will vote this fall on a municipal initiative repealing criminal  and civil penalties involving the  possession of cannabis by adults on  private property. Last year, voters in four Michigan cities – Detroit, Flint,  Grand Rapids, and Ypsilanti – all voted overwhelmingly in favor of municipal measures to depenalize  marijuana offenses.

Full text of the Epic-MRA poll is available  online here: http://www.epicmra.com/press/Stwd_Survey_Sept2013_Media_Freq.pdf.

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