State prosecutors speak out against marijuana ballot proposal

WYOMING, Mich. - The Kent County and Muskegon County Prosecutor, along with several other Michigan prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, are speaking out  Wednesday against a ballot proposal that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker will be joined by Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson in Wyoming Wednesday morning. Other prosecutors are making public announcements Wednesday is other areas, including the Lansing area, Benton Harbor, Cadillac, Detroit area, and Saginaw area.

The group says that looking at what is happening in other states that have legalized marijuana show that the effect on the state would be "negative" and "significant." They point that marijuana-related traffic fatalities more than doubled in the year after retails sales of marijuana was allowed in Washington state. They says marijuana-related traffic deaths rose 62% in Colorado.

They also say that the Michigan ballot initiative allows for ten times the standard allowance that other states have allowed for recreational marijuana. Most other states that have passed initiatives only allow one ounce. They also say that Michigan's initiative includes one of the lowest proposed excise taxes on the marijuana, so the state's profits would be outweighed by other legal and health costs.

The board of directors for Network 180, a local rehabilitation treatment center, has also come out against the initiative.

You can see their entire presentation here:

We'll have more details on later editions of FOX 17 News.

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21 comments

    • Wings

      Money is not everything, there are other ways to raise money. Do you want more deaths??
      VOTE NO on this issue.
      Do you want people coming to work high?
      I sure as hell do not want to be by this person running a machine

      • Juanita Schultz

        You work with high people every day. You drive home alongside high people every day. Apparently you have never tried it so your opinion is invalid. Vote yes, Michigan needs the money.

  • Iamct01

    Maybe I want to speak out on all the alcohol dispensaries in Grand Rapids and our now national reputation for wrong way highway drivers.

    • Kevin Rahe

      I drink alcohol regularly, but almost never experience anything like what practically everyone who uses marijuana expects to experience. The typical way in which each substance is used is very different.

      • Unslaved

        This is from a scientific study on the effects of cannabis and driving…

        Surprisingly, given the alarming results of cognitive studies, most marijuana-intoxicated drivers show only modest impairments on actual road tests.37, 38 Experienced smokers who drive on a set course show almost no functional impairment under the influence of marijuana, except when it is combined with alcohol.39

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

        • Kevin Rahe

          I am more interested in the differences between the subjective experience of one vs. the other and the reasons each one chooses to use the substance. I do find it telling, though, that comparisons between the two usually involve what I and probably most others consider an ABUSE of alcohol. Find me a study comparing the effects of a more TYPICAL use of alcohol – such as the one beer I had with dinner tonight, which probably won’t be followed by another for a couple days – and a typical instance of marijuana use, and I will be happy to take a look at it.

          • Unslaved

            So everyone that consumes alcohol can choose how much they consume, but everyone that consumes cannabis just keeps going until they black out…that’s what you’re positing? You have to be trolling. Nobody can seriously be this obtuse.

      • Josh Smallwood

        Did you know your body immediately recognize alcohol as a poison and begins making chemicals to rid of the alcohol. You should google “what does alchohol do to my body”. Cannabis on the other hand is excepted by the body. You should google endocanbinoid system. Please dont drink it’s so bad for you. Eat an edible instead. Much love -josh

  • Unslaved

    The people of Michigan are tired of the out-of-control police state and are going to get rid of cannabis prohibition. The courts don’t like that because they realize they’re going to have to develop a new business plan. Right now it’s about 62% in favor of legalization and 35% against. Start looking for a new job if your job depends on locking people up for a plant.

  • William Clark

    A little respect for history, please. No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous–inherently toxic–like pharmaceutical drugs. Marijuana is not a ‘drug’, unless we lean heavily on Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something that affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included.

    There are differences between drugs and medicinal herbs.

    Drugs are 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.’. ‘New’ drugs must be unique creations, different enough from existing ‘approved’ drugs to merit their own patents. They are tested for ‘safety’ among limited groups of ‘subjects’, and therefore carry lists of cautionary notes and warnings–everything lawyers can imagine–implying that the contents have not been proved safe or suitable for all persons.

    Medicinal herbs are cultivated, bred, and refined over many years, often over centuries. They are judged successful when they benefit many persons, and are found safe for use within general populations.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Activists have since found that marijuana is the ‘gateway’ away from alcohol and opiate addictions. Here prohibition of cannabis has been built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. 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”.

    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 dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too. Fewer bodies on the road, folks. Hundreds of them, every year.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history.

    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 that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Greek and Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    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. And 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 kanah 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.

    Don’t want it in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re not the Christian you thought you were.

    Me? I’m 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 as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

  • dp211

    Their just gonna be mad they cant put people in jail like they use to, I don’t even smoke but I vote yes. Marijuana should be the least thing they worry about.

  • C

    Those that use pot know where to get it and have for many years. Fine. But legalizing recreational use would encourage its use in young people at a time when they should be learning things academic and ideally that is easier with a clear mind. I’ve known lots of users over the years and from my experiences with them, the only person that thinks that they smarter or more creative when high is the user himself. There are currently more than enough addle-brained young people out there. We don’t need more.