So You Want to Help Your Community Opt Out of Legalized Recreational Marijuana Businesses?
Yeah, so do a growing number of Michigan communities!
Keep reading to find helpful handouts, and “next steps” for keeping your community healthy and productive in light of Michigan voters choosing to legalize recreational marijuana. You are not without options! Email us with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Start
Step 1: Focus on Local Leadership.
Michigan’s new law legalizing recreational marijuana goes into effect all across Michigan for every community as of December 6, 2018. Your community has to opt-out if you do not want recreational marijuana businesses (vs the other option of “opting in”).
Identify who your local leaders are here (focus on County Leadership and lower).
- Find their information on a website, or through someone connected in the community.
- Call them, email them, message them on Facebook, or stop by to visit!
Go Fact Finding:
- Ask your local leaders: is there anything in the works for your local community to opt out?
- If they say “Yes!” – ask how you can be of help!
- If they say “No, or I don’t know” – ask them what type of information you can provide them to help them understand why this is an important topic to your local community.
Step 2: Build a Coalition of Local Support
Identify other citizens and local residents that are like-minded with you on this topic. Invite them to help you in educating local leaders. Build an email list, share materials, split the responsibilities.
With others start attending local meetings to better understand the topic or the questions that local leaders have.
Step 3: Voice Your Opinion in a REC Manner and Ask Others to Do the Same
What does “REC” stand for, you wonder?
R = Respectful
E = Educated
C = Credible
It is important that we always understand that while we may believe strongly in an issue, others may not see it for the same importance and that is okay! It is our job to help our leaders better understand our position but if we do not speak up, they won’t. And remember, the majority of people have the best intentions for your community. So while you may not agree with a position they take – be prepared to approach your local leaders as friends, not as enemies.
R = Be respectful in your tone. Local officials have so many requests being made of them. They will respond better to respectful requests, tones, and appeals.
E = Be educated as you present information to your leaders. Remember many leaders may not be passionate about this topic like you are – and that is okay. In fact, they have so many things they are juggling they may not even be aware of what they are legally allowed to do. They may not know that you can opt out, or add regulations. Don’t overwhelm them with resources and information: give them material that succinctly explains the matter and be available if they ask for more information to provide it to them.
C = Be credible. Numbers speak to local leaders: when you take a dozen citizens with you to talk to the Local Council members that will mean more than if only you go. (But if you are the only one to go, one is better than none so go!!) Succinctly explain who you are: “We are business owners and leaders in this community and represent dozens of other people who care about this issue.” And remember tone and approach add to your credibility.
Some Options for Opting Out
1. Municipalities can pass an ordinance
2. Zoning boards can enforce different restrictions on growing operations
3. It can be voted on during an election.
Email us with questions email@example.com