Making Public Policy through Direct Democracy: Comparing Michigan’s 2018 Legalizing Recreational Marijuana and Citizens Redistricting Commission Ballot Proposals


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Direct democracy is an entrenched part of the Michigan civil society and yet it is relatively unstudied. This is particularly true when examining the 2018 marijuana and redistricting ballot proposals. Current research examines how citizens turn to ballot proposals when they believe they will not be helped from their state government. This paper examines the amount raised and spent on the two proposals in Michigan, while also examining the nationwide trends in marijuana legislation. Moreover, an exploration of the implementation phase of legalizing marijuana in Michigan has shown that the state has experienced administrative delays and considerable local resistance. Data for this study was accessed from various secretary of state websites, local, and national newspapers. This paper finds the claim that public opinion throughout the country is overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing marijuana to not be true.



Direct democracy, Ballot proposals, Michigan, Marijuana