Voters in Michigan have spoken their minds on a controversial proposal on the state ballot.
Michigan approved the use of marijuana for the severely ill. A large percentage of voters were in favor of the proposal to legalize medical marijuana.
Opponents of the proposal are expressing disappointment, while supporters are celebrating. They say they won by a pretty generous margin.
Diane Byrum is with the Coalition for Compassionate Care, one of the main groups behind this proposal. She says legalizing medical marijuana is good news for patients in the state of Michigan. Byrum insists marijuana has a strong health benefit for people in chronic pain, as well as for cancer patients.
The proposal allows patients to buy, grow, and use small amounts of pot -- with a doctor's prescription.
Meantime, opponents say this law is bad news. Newscenter 16 spoke with some people in law enforcement who are concerned that this proposal will be misused. They fear it will encourage drug problems in the state of Michigan.
"What we have to do in law enforcement is strictly enforce the law as it's passed, make sure we keep marijuana out of hands of people that aren't supposed to have it," explains Milt Agay, Police Chief for Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township.
"I'm disappointed because I think the proponents of this proposal have perpetrated a fraud on the citizens. I think they preyed on sympathies for individuals who are sick," says Arthur Cotter, Berrien County Prosecutor.
Michigan now joins 12 other states that have similar medical marijuana laws on the books. After all the paperwork is complete, this law will likely be implemented by early May.