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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan regulator will consider an advisory board’s recommendation to add a

By Associated Press, Carla Bayron |Posted: Thu 5:40 AM, Apr 26, 2018  | Updated: Thu 10:42 AM, Apr 26, 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections board says organizers of a ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreation use collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The Board of State Canvassers’ ruling Thursday means the measure will first go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could enact it or let it proceed to a statewide vote.

Josh Hovey, a spokesperson for The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, said staff at the Secretary of State’s Office estimates that out of the 365,000 signatures they collected last year from registered voters, 277,000 are valid. 250,000 are needed to get approved for the November ballot.

Hovey said legalization will benefit the state in many ways, but one Senator is not too sure.

“We’ll generate 100’s of millions of dollars of tax revenue for the state of Michigan that will go to our roads, our schools, and our local governments,” Hovey said.

“What about all of the young people that will smoke marijuana and then can’t pass the drug test so they won’t be able to get a really high paying job? There are so many people out there that need good jobs. I hate to see them held back by using marijuana,” said Sen. Rick Jones, (R) Grand Ledge.

The canvassers also will take up a proposal that would repeal a law requiring higher “prevailing” wages on state-financed construction projects.

If the petitions are certified, both bills will go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could either enact them into law or let the measures proceed to a statewide vote in November.

Jones said that chances of the House and Senate passing the recreational marijuana initiative is slim, and the voters will most likely be left with the decision.

Trade unions urging the board to reject the anti-prevailing wage proposal say paid circulators improperly listed addresses where they do not live. No group is challenging petitions submitted by marijuana backers.

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