No proposals on state ballot; Ingham to vote on 1 issue

Jeanne Day-Labo spent dozens of hours each week volunteering for MILegalize, an organization aiming to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan. The woman stood on intersections and other high-traffic locations gathering signatures to get a question on November’s ballot. In the end, MILegalize came up short. Although the organization turned in more than 370,000 certified signatures, well above the 252,000 required, the organization failed to collect the signatures within the mandated 180-day window. The activist said she believed Michigan’s laws work against grassroots and volunteer-based organizations.

The critical youth vote and the importance of youth voting

 

Andrew and Alex Heavin, natives of Rochester, Mich. turned 22 just three weeks ago. They have been through this rodeo of presidential voting once before, and with their loyalty connected to the Republican Party, they cast a vote each for Mitt Romney. Now they, like numerous others, feel that this election feel they are choosing the “lesser of two evils.” In their opinion, that is Donald Trump, the businessman turned politician whose ranting about a top-down economic plan and strict immigration have captivated many, but left a many other fearful of what he could do when in power. But for the Heavin twins, a part of them wishes for the sake of all their friends who didn’t have a chance to vote last election that their first would have been more, for a lack of a better word, normal.

Tensions rise as unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries continue to grow in Lansing

By Emily Elconin
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Co-owners Brian Hamilton and Ronnie Sartain of Puff N’ Stuff dispensary located at 229 W. Grand River Ave. in Old Town share a passion for the legalization of medical marijuana. After sustaining personal injuries from a motorcycle accident and a broken ankle, Hamilton and Sartain made a decision to stop using opiates to alleviate pain and start using cannabis as an alternative painkiller. Although medical marijuana is considered by some experts to be a viable alternative to traditional painkillers, tensions continue to rise in Lansing regarding a new ordinance that addresses regulation and zoning for medical marijuana facilities. As dispensaries surrounding the outskirts of Old Town still remain unregulated, the amount of dispensaries open raises concern for public safety in the community.

Marijuana petitions signed at Ann Arbor Hash Bash

By Rene Kiss
MI First Election

Snow flurries and pot smoke blew through Ann Arbor as thousands of marijuana legalization supporters gathered for the 45th Annual Hash Bash on April 2. Hash Bash is a two-part event. The annual marijuana protest takes place in the heart of the University of Michigan’s main campus in Ann Arbor, and the Monroe Street Fair is held two blocks south of there. More than two dozen speakers addressed the crowd about the legalization campaign. At “high noon,” the first speaker took the stage: actor-musician Tommy Chong.

Voting online still too vulnerable

By Ben Muir
MI First Election

Launching a campaign that would allow voters to cast ballots online is a convenient and simple thought. But considering the idiosyncrasies of each person’s vote, the inability to verify each online voter, and lack of security, an online election is too much of a threat to democracy, experts say. The technology of the 21st century has made it so virtually any daily chore can be completed from a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Marie Wicks is the East Lansing City Clerk, Freedom of Information Act Coordinator, and proponent of voting online.  Wicks said an online election would expand political reach and inspire youth.