Pro-marijuana groups reach signature threshold; need money to pay petition firm
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) —
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) has a $30,000 problem.
The pro-pot group has the signatures to get recreational marijuana on the ballot in 2018, but the firm that collected the signatures isn't handing them over until the group pays a $30,000 bill
CRMLA hired a Brighton petition firm to collect signatures so you can vote on legalizing marijuana, but the firm who collected those signatures isn't handing them over until the group pays a $30,000 bill.
CRMLA spokesperson Josh Hovey said, “You'd expect payment before providing a product. You don't go to the grocery store and tell them, ‘I will pay you later for your groceries.’ This isn't an unheard of situation. It's totally fair."
But time is running out and the deadline to submit the signatures is next week. So if they don't hash out the details on how to get the money in time, they are in trouble.
Hovey said, “Hopefully that doesn't happen.”
CRMLA has spent $1 million to legalize pot and MI Legalize jointly supports CRMLA efforts, so they've been bank rolling the group.
MI Legalize attorney Jeff Hank said, “We've raised $391,000 this year to spend towards the RMLA directly or towards other efforts to secure petitions."
MI Legalize isn't mad the money has dried up.
Hank said, “I've been through this enough to know you spend this money fast."
MI Legalize tried legalizing marijuana in 2016, but the state denied marijuana getting on the ballot.
He says this time is different. "In 2016 the state was not prepared for this. We challenged election law. They just weren't prepared to deal with it. This time around, they know we are coming again and I think they are more likely to just count them."
The CRMLA said they've collected 360,000 signatures to get marijuana on the ballot in 2018 and hope they can raise the $30,000 by the end of the week so they can submit the signatures to the state in time.