Mike Shirkey

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (Photo: Roberta Jasina/WWJ)

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Predicts 'Serious Voters Remorse' Over Legalized Pot

May 30, 2019 - 1:33 pm

MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) - Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey expects voters to regret their decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Michigan.

Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950 at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, Shirkey, a Republican from Clarklake, was asked when Michiganders without medical cards can expect to be able to shop for pot in stores.

He said "it's going to take time and it's going to be cumbersome."

"And the second prediction I'm gonna make is that there's gonna be a serious voters remorse in about five years for now,"  Shirkey said. "Saying 'Mmm. Not so sure we should've done that.'" 

Why?

"Because the implications associated with that industry," he told WWJ's Tom Jordan and Roberta Jasina. "I mean...we're seeing the data coming from other states like Colorado, Oregon where there are other unintended consequences that are starting to show their ugly heads. And, unfortunately...it's a new reality for us and we're just gonna figure our way through it."

Under the new Michigan law, adults age 21 and up can have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of the drug on them and up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home. It also allows users to grow up to 12 plants in their homes.  Once retail sales are in place, the state will collect taxes on marijuana sales to fund road repairs.

The Senator said he believes the citizen-initiated ballot measure is "very flawed." 

"We predicted it from the beginning," he added. "I tried my best to muster the votes up in the House and the Senate so  we could adopt it, and then alter it so that it could be more functional. I failed, fell a few votes short of being able to do that."

State regulators have said they plan to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana shops in the fall of this year

Other topics Shirkey got into with WWJ: Auto insurance reform, a proposed increase in the gas tax, and what else he thinks could be done to fix the roads. Listen to the complete interview below. 

MORE FROM MACKINAC: