Pot for potholes? Rep. Dillon wants to legalize, tax marijuana to pay for roads

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- State Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids,  joined FOX 17 in studio on Wednesday to discuss legalizing and taxing marijuana to use for state road repairs and other funding issues impacting the state.

Dillon supports legalizing and taxing the drug. He said it will not only benefit the state by bringing in increased funding , but will also provide law enforcement more time to concentrate their efforts on violence and property crime.

He said in states like Colorado, where it's already legalized, violent crime has fallen 6.9%. Dillon also said the changing attitude toward the drug is another reason to legalize it, pointing to several cities across Michigan including Grand Rapids which have recently voted to decriminalize marijuana.

Several coalitions are already pushing to get the issue on the statewide ballot in 2016.

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18 comments

  • William Clark

    My thanks to Fox 17 for the chance to comment on this story.

    I believe that prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011 a study at the University of Colorado found that, in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan–while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party last week. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. Legalization should improve those numbers further.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. And most people–and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuro-protectant which actually encourages brain-cell growth. Research in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries has discovered that it also has
    tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. “Cannabis” in Latin, and “kaneh bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came
    into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. But Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kaneh bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated by most of the world’s major
    religions.

    • Vapeman (@MiVapemans)

      Damn well said Mr. Clark (have a good buddy that has your name lol. known a few. lol)

      For every reason you stated and more (Endocannabinoid System, CB1/CB2 Receptors ), and the very fact as you noted it IS the Tree of Life, is why I am fully AGAINST An and ALL Legalization Efforts.

      Legalization would be like leaving the pedophiles in the pulpits and daycare facilities.
      Big Oil (Pharma) via its hound dog FDR, started this Insanity in 1937. Prior to that, Cannabis was well known and well used, though even by then, much of its true history was being suppressed (since just after the Civil War and the unconstitutional passage of the Organic Act of 1871.

      We do not need Legalization. we need Real Redress of Cannabis Prohibition, and that only happens via Complete and Comprehensive Decriminalization of Cannabis. As per the Actual Definition of the word Decriminalize, aka to remove ALL criminal associations. No Felony, No Misdemeanor, No Civil Penalty of any kind. No Fine, No Ticket, No Arrest, No Cops, No Judges, No Lying Lawyers, No Jail, No Bail, No Prison, No Penalty whatsoever, not even a $.01 cent Fine.

      The Real Pot for Potholes is not Legalization. The Real Pot for Potholes is True Decriminalization and Hempcrete.

  • Vapeman (@MiVapemans)

    Rep Dillon can dream all he wants. This state does not want “Legalized” Pot for Potholes.

    Michigan wants to Decriminalize Michigan Because More Laws Create More Criminals.
    Lets say we woke up tomorrow morning to an UofM announcement “Tomatos Cured Cancer and there
    is 100% proof that can not be disputed.”
    Would we be running to Lansing or any Government at 10 AM tomorrow morning begging them to Legalize, Regulate, Tax, and Not allow us to Grow and Eat the Tomatos we grew in our own gardens so we may cure our own cancers and ensure we dont get it again?

  • Vapeman (@MiVapemans)

    Think about it this way. Alcohol is legal. How many people go to jail for simple public intoxication, even if they are not being a problem or causing any issues, Just being a bit too Legally Drunk, they are locked up, have to post bail, see a judge, do 12 step that doesn’t work, and do it all over again. Do we want to see Cannabis handled like Legalized Alcohol is the question we need to be asking ourselves.
    Keeping in mind Alcohol does not cure cancer, treat MS, or epilepsy, nor do our bodies have an Endoalcohol system…

  • Vapeman (@MiVapemans)

    Before 1937, Cannabis was not Legal, Nor was it Illegal, It was Cannabis, and it was regulated like Tomato, Lettuce, or Oranges. Decriminalize Cannabis and regulated it like Tomato, Lettuce, and Oranges again.
    Plenty of People in Jail for Legal Things, but No One is in jail or paying a fine or a fee for eating a Tomato, Lettuce or Oranges.

  • Randy

    DILLON for GOVENOR! I’ve been saying for sometime now, that as soon as government can figure out how to tax POT, it would be legalized. Let’s all get behind this movement.

  • J.B.

    a lot more support for this than the Prop1 and a sales tax increase debacle.
    but then again, do you actually think they care want the people want anymore?

  • Jessica Harvey

    Sounds like Brandon Dillon knows what he is talking about. He has the plan! Colorado is flourishing. They have paid off many debts. Fixed problems. Reduced crime. So what are we waiting for?