Pot Ban Referendum results 2019 11 05 800w351h

The 2018 vote was clear.  Two thirds of Michigan Voters were done with criminalized Marijuana, done with mass imprisonment, done with institutional hypocrisy, done with the Drug Wars, done with over-militarized police, done with predatory asset forfeiture.

How did Michigan's local governments react?  1,300+ municipalities made the recreational marijuana business illegal. Recreational retail sales were made illegal. Growing, processing, testing, and transporting recreational marijuana was made illegal within their municipal borders.

Until Northfield's vote, any recreational marijuana business was legal in only 5 Michigan municipalities. 


In other voting, proposals to allow pot shops were defeated in Keego Harbor, Walled Lake, Allen Park, Hudson, Mt Pleasant, South Haven and Marinesco Township.  Crystal Townsip voted down a ban. Lincoln park may have upvoted a proposal to allow the business.  This info comes from Detroit Free Press Marijuana reporter Kathy Gray's tweets.

The Detroit Free Press: Marijuana is on the ballot, again, in 4 metro Detroit communities, by Kathleen Gray, 11/4/2019

MLive:  Voters reject ban on marijuana businesses in Northfield Township, Whitmore Lake by Riley Murdock, 11/6/2019

The Detroit Free Press: Most voters just say no to marijuana businesses in their communities by Kathleen Gray, 11/6/2019

Here's my earlier collection of links to stories on the Pot issue.  It covers a year or so of reportage - ending abruptly on July 12.  I was exhausted.

State of Michigan:  List of 1,403 Michigan municipalities who have notified LARA that they have opted out of the licensed facilities portion of MRTMA.  Updated as of 11/15/2019


I know only a few of the names of the many who made this progress happen.  Here are bits of that, described in a series of tweets to Free Press reporter Kathy Gray from my @OurNorthfield twitter account.

Principal among the many downtown Whitmore Lake business owners driving the pro-marijuana business push: Dana Forrester and James Trunko, the tattoo artist duo who own Lucky Monkey Tattoo in Ann Arbor and Lovely Monkey Tattoo in Whitmore Lake. They can tell you more.

Craig and Brenda Warburton, owners of an Ann Arbor jewelry business, and Sam Iaquinto, who owns Whitmore Lake's main Marina were also energizer bunnies in driving voters to the polling booths in this issue. Former Dominoes Pizza owner Tom Monaghan contributed to the anti-pot side.

Township Trustee Janet Chick strongly articulated her support for the pro pot business camp from the beginning.  Trustee Jacki Otto moved from opposition to support after what she termed soul searching and noticing the way support and opposition defied delineation by party line.

The pro pot-business people brought energy. The anti pot-business people brought confirmation bias and ideas that hadn't been dusted off in fifty years. The phrase "dirty hippie" got flung by a Township planning commissioner at an April[?] Planning Commission meeting, during the first public hearing on the PC's marijuana ordinance. A planning commissioner had sneered out that phrase. It took me back to my youth, watching Vietnam war protests on TV. To verify, I'll find the spot in the video and link it in a LiveAgenda.


One of the backstories: In the 80s I engineered embedded controls at a downriver electronics manufacturer. Our printed circuit boards were made by a Romulus mom and pop manufacturer - at the time - Saturn, owned and run by Indian immigrants, Perry Sutyariya and his brothers.

One of the scions of what Saturn had become: a large, successful, family enterprise, sat in on several Northfield Township board meetings. At a call to the public he introduced himself and his family's investment plans. They wanted to build a solar powered grow op.

Over a post meeting snack at the North Ann Arbor Casey's bar, he elaborated. His family was backing his well thought out plans. He had a business case, a deep knowledge of the state of Michigan's marijuana business and risks. He knew the property market and had backers.

It was a ridiculously classic immigrant family success story. I listened, thinking about Northfield Township's 2016 majority vote for the hate cult of Donald Trump. He'd watched all the town meetings. He had vision, situational awareness, capital, gravitas, enthusiasm, know-how, experience, energy, and plans. ( You wouldn't be reading all those pronouns if I could remember his first name, fwiw)

Pro-Pot Business campaign literature:


PotBan Postcard Address Side 895w593h


PotBan Postcard Message Side 891w602h


Cannabusiness Open House 824w1276h 50pct


Print Bud and Breakfast 824w1276h 50pct