GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Cannabis advocate Michael Tuffelmire says the will of people is not being heard.
"It's disheartening. Proposal 1, also known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) passed by 55 percent [in 2018], that's hundreds of thousands of more votes of yes than no," Tuffelmire said.
But after the statewide elections this week there are now more than 1,300 Michigan communities - several in the western part of the state - who have said no to marijuana businesses.
"This has done nothing but hurt patients, this hasn't stopped any kind of violent activity or drug activity or cartel activity, it's hurt people," Tuffelmire said.
Many of the communities that have opted out are rural and Tuffelmire argues that most of them could use the additional revenue from marijuana businesses.
"They're going to lose out on some of the tax structure that was set up through MRTMA and was suppose to benefit - we're talking roads and schools here," Tuffelmire said.
But if other states like Colorado are an example, some of these Michigan municipalities could change their minds down the road.
"People are going to notice some of these cities are blowing up including smaller towns who very early on opted in. And they're going to see this and yes I hope they see a good economic model," Tuffelmire said.
More marijuana-related stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- Business busted in southwest Michigan for illegally selling pot and edibles
- Fees reduced, eliminated for medical marijuana users
- Michigan takes applications for marijuana business licenses
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