Michigan Rep. Jeff Irwin (D–Ann Arbor) announced at Ann Arbor’s 44th Annual Hash Bash this weekend that he’s currently writing a bill that would legalize marijuana in the state, much like Colorado’s law.
“It’s going to be Colorado improved in the Great Lakes state,” Irwin said.
Michigan voted to approve medical marijuana back in 2008, but the program never got up and running until recently. With patients now able to purchase and receive their medicine in working order, politicians like Irwin see the state as primed for full out legalization.
While the bill has a long way to go before it could come to voters, support for it at the Hash Bash was (not surprisingly) already rampant. Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing, Michigan, also spoke at the event to support the bill.
“It is a shame that in the year 2015, pot is still politically polarizing,” Bernero said. “A lot of people are still afraid to embrace legalization. I’m proud to say my thinking has evolved.”
The event was attended by hundreds, and while smoking marijuana in public is still definitely illegal in the eyes of the law, police left the demonstrators mostly alone, arresting only three people they said planned to deal drugs.
“Look at this,” said Nick Jones, a Hash Bash demonstrator. “Smoking marijuana is a victimless crime.”
Other Michigan politicians were also in attendance, lending their support to the cause alongside a Hash Bash staple, Tommy Chong, who got multiple laughs from a crowd primed for laughter.
“I really have one message for the government of the United States: decriminalize it,” Chong said. “Today is a celebration of the greatest plant known to me. I’m going to smoke one right now.”
And he did.