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Why one Michigan mother says legalizing pot would increase public health and safety

Posted: 6:24 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 19:11:00-04

Multiple polls show that roughly 60 percent of Michigan voters want to see marijuana legalized. 

CHECK OUT THE ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE DEBATE IN OUR BIG STORY IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Charmie Gholson is one of those pushing for legalization. She’s been advocating for it for the better part of a decade as the founder of Michigan Moms United. 

And today, she’s speaking out against law enforcement agencies across the state now asking the public to say no on recreational use of pot.  

Why? She believes legalizing it like alcohol better controls it, giving children less access instead of the rampant access youth have to the drug today. 

Under the new proposal, anyone over the age of 21 would be able to carry up to 2.5 ounces of the drug. 

Law enforcement argues that passing it would require more policing, but Gholson and other advocates believe it means smarter policing. 

MSP data shows nearly 10% of drug arrests in Michigan are marijuana-related. 

"Ask police to really stop focusing on marijuana use and perhaps utilize resources to help people," said Gholson. 

Instead, she wants to see police focus on finding harder criminals, like rapists and murderers.

But what concerns her most of all is that law enforcement agencies often rely on grants to crack down on the drug, making her question whether they have an incentive to maintain the status quo. 

"We’ve seen them turn out in mass at the hearings for forfeiture reform and they tell the legislature again and again that we need that money for budgets," she said. 

The debate continues on the pros and cons, but ultimately it will be left up to voters who are set to cast their ballot on November 6th.