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Point of View

HOW DOES MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION AFFECT MICHIGAN BUSINESS?

 

PETER LUCIDO

8TH DISTRICT

AS AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF LEGALIZED MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES, WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CONCERNS ABOUT THE NEW LAW?

Regardless of Michigan’s laws, marijuana possession and use are still federal crimes. As more states move to legalize, Congress and the federal government need to act to provide direction and guidance for the states. Beyond that, there are other ramifications that it has on our society. I am concerned of its impact on our youth, in the workforce, and in terms of taxation and regulation.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO BUSINESSES TO HELP ALLEVIATE CONFUSION AND ENSURE COMPLIANCE AS THEY AMEND THEIR WORKPLACE POLICIES?

This is one of my biggest concerns with the law—the impact on business owners and their customers. My advice is for businesses, business associations, and chambers of commerce to seek the advice of legal counsel when considering workplace policies related to marijuana use. It’s a decision that could have a big impact, legally and financially.

WHAT IS YOUR TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY FOR THE YEAR?

My top priority is to reform civil asset forfeiture to ensure the due process rights of innocent Michigan residents. Right now, law enforcement has the authority to take and keep individuals’ property even if they haven’t been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. My bill would require that an individual be convicted of or plead guilty to a crime before law enforcement could take ownership of their personal property through the civil asset forfeiture process.

Peter Lucido is the Republican senator-elect representing Michigan’s 8th District.

 

JEFF IRWIN

18TH DISTRICT

YOU’VE BEEN A LONGTIME ADVOCATE FOR LEGALIZED MARIJUANA. WHY IS THIS ISSUE SO IMPORTANT TO YOU PERSONALLY?

Prohibition is a costly, destructive failure. Given that I believe this to be factual, I have an obligation to stand up for the public interest and call for an end to this costly, failed, big government policy. Prior to the passage of Proposal 1, over 20,000 people were arrested every year in Michigan. These arrests harm those residents, their families, and their employers. And we all pay for these arrests, as well as the associated prosecution, jail, and prohibition costs.

HAS MICHIGAN HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM OTHER STATES’ CAUTIONARY TALES AND HOW DO WE AVOID SIMILAR HURDLES?

Michigan absolutely has the opportunity to learn from the growing pains that other states have experienced.

One example is the tax rate. Our 16% tax on cannabis was set to maximize revenue and limit activity in the black market. Other states, such as Colorado and Washington, have set rates so high that unregulated sales have a huge market advantage. States like Massachusetts, have set a much lower tax, so low that it misses this important opportunity to address our long-standing needs in our schools, our local governments, and on our roads.

WHAT IS YOUR TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY FOR THE YEAR?

Increasing support to K-12 schools is the most important action the Legislature can take to secure the future prosperity of Michigan.

Jeff Irwin is the Democratic senator-elect representing Michigan’s 18th District.