(WJBK) - Lawmakers could vote early next week to legalize pot, thus taking the issue out of the hands of Michigan voters in November, according to some legislators.
A pro-pot coalition wants Michigan voters to decide the issue in November. But for the first time the senate GOP leader reports he has the votes to legalize pot without a vote of the people.
"I have the ability in the Senate to pass the petition and amend it," said Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.
Meekhof wants to amend the proposal to place more controls on the production, distribution and sale of pot. But are there 55 House votes to do get this through?
"We are well short of support there," said House Speaker Tom Leonard (R). "I don't anticipate this happening, the voters are going to have to decide this."
"I think (the chance is better) than people think," Meekhof said.
Democratic candidate for governor gretchen whitmer wants this issue on the ballot, hoping young voters will vote on pot and then vote for her.
"If that's on the ballot I think that does inspire some people to come out to vote," she said. "That is not my primary concern. It is insuring that the will of the people is respected."
A leader of the pro pot effort believes that Meekhof is pushing this vote allegedly on behalf of some business interests who want to monopolize the pot business.
The House Democratic leader can't confirm that but adds this:
"Part of the reason this is being pushed is that some well connected donors perhaps are having conversations and move this forward," Sam Singh (D) said. "Instead of letting the voters make a decision and that is the best policy for the state."
"That's not true," Meekhof said. "Not any part of it. This is public policy that is very bad for Michigan."
Look for this legalized pot issue to come to a head early next week.