A ballot initiative is in the works in Michigan that would amend the state Constitution to legalize marijuana. An email from M. Simon alerted me to what I should have seen yesterday afternoon but missed because I was busy: local reporter Ryan Stanton’s excellent piece on the subject.

Whether it will make it onto the ballot, who knows? I hope they put together a broad, bipartisan coalition, and I’m glad to see Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is involved:

Charmie Gholson, communications director for the campaign, said actual collection of signatures won’t begin until the campaign officially kicks off in mid-January.

“We’re not launching a media campaign until the 12th,” said Gholson, co-owner and editor of the Midwest Cultivator and a former staff member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “All we’re doing is organizing volunteers. We’re getting volunteers to sign up and say that they’d be willing to help the campaign.”

The group also is recruiting volunteers through a website. The group plans to collect the signatures from January through early July.

The web site puts the argument quite succinctly:

Marijuana prohibition in Michigan has:

  • Made it easier for minors to obtain marijuana
  • Wasted limited law enforcement and municipal resources
  • Created massive profits for drug cartels and terrorists
  • Decreased the health and public safety of Michigan families
  • Removed the rights of parents to raise and discipline our children according to our own family values, rather than the values of the failed drug war
  • Eroded the public’s relationship with law enforcement
  • Denied relief to the suffering of seriously ill, injured, and dying citizens

The repeal of marijuana prohibition in Michigan will:

  • Reduce criminal gang activity
  • Reduce access to marijuana by minors
  • Create jobs by allowing for a new hemp industry in the State of Michigan
  • Reduce the fiscal and overpopulation burdens on the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Restore right relations with law enforcement
  • Allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime

We must end this disastrous public policy.

No argument there. I’ll sign it, and I might help in other ways if I have time. Annarbor.com’s online poll shows support for legalization running 86% to 14% so far (out of 1100 or so polled).

It would be nice to see someone of importance in the Republican Party take a pro-legalization position. Maybe even a candidate aside from the usual Ron Paul. Is there anyone?

And what about states rights?

You know, like, “how’s that Tenth Amendment federalism stuff workin out for ya?” Personally, I like the Big Tenth approach, and I’d love holding the self-proclaimed constitutionalists’ feet to the fire.

Tenth or consequences!