A majority of officials in Michigan oppose medical marijuana facilities in their jurisdiction, according to a new survey by University of Michigan researchers.
According to the survey, almost 75 percent of Michigan cities, townships and villages report that they have chosen to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in their areas.
"Local leaders from all jurisdictions report low levels of support for the facilities personally and also believe that there is low support among their residents and chief law enforcement officer," said Tom Ivacko, associate director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at U-M's Ford School of Public Policy.
Although the survey did not ask officials about the upcoming ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana, 54 percent of local officials oppose marijuana legalization, while 21 percent support it.
In contrast, a recent public opinion poll by Michigan State University found that 61 percent of Michigan residents would support this initiative.
"We have found differences of opinions between local government leaders and citizens on other topics before, but these differences stand out because they hold true even when looking at breakdowns by partisan identification and age," said Natalie Fitzpatrick, one of the authors of the report.
"This survey puts in perspective how the local officials are thinking about a range of issues related to marijuana," said Debra Horner, project manager at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. "While there appears to be increased support among residents for legalizing recreational marijuana, MPPS finds government leaders are less supportive."