ST. JOHNS, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s a hot button issue on the November ballot that’s of high interest across the state. We’re talking about recreational marijuana.
Law enforcement and prosecutors across the state came together on Wednesday, including here in mid-Michigan, to take a closer look on the legalization of recreational marijuana issue and what it could mean if it passes in November.
Several officials argued their case that recreational marijuana should not be given the green light.
Police and prosecutors say aside from this substance rolling out dangerous situations on our roads, recreational marijuana will also be difficult to regulate.
Officials believe if this ballot initiative moves forward, our state could get bowled over by the consequences.
“The legalization of recreational marijuana will simply be bad for our state,” said Doug Lloyd; Eaton County Prosecutor.
“The impact will be dire and it will not only affect the state, but the safety of our roadways, our communities, the workforce, the crime rate and our youth,” Sheriff Larry Jerue of Clinton County stated.
The rules and regulations surrounding recreational marijuana can be a bit hazy, and that’s why law enforcement and prosecuting attorney’s across mid-Michigan gathered to clear the air to inform voters of the negative side effects legalizing this substance could cause Michigan.
“If recreational marijuana is legalized, it’s going to create more work for law enforcement not less,” said Jerry Jazyncka; Jackson County Prosecutor.
Of course one of the main concerns police have is reckless driving.
According to the numbers in Colorado, a state where recreational marijuana is legal, fatal crashes have increased 151% since the law was given the green light.
Another issue in the spotlight about this budding industry is how it will affect college students.
“Higher dropout rates in college, lower grade averages for our college students,” Chuck Sherman stated; Clinton County Prosecutor.
Ultimately police say recreational marijuana will be catastrophic for our state and will increase violent crime and incarceration rates. They hope voters will take this into consideration when heading to the polls in November.
“We need the voters to listen, we need the voters to review the data and the research and understand that it is our obligation to protect our children and our future and our state,” said Sheriff Jerue.
The group “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol,” which supports marijuana legalization released a statement to 6 News in response to the news conference.
It says while it welcomes debate, some opponents of this ballot issue are trying to confuse the public using “dubious statistics.”
You can view that statement below..