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Billboards already popping up for legal marijuana, but it's not on the ballot just yet

Billboards are already popping up in Michigan advocating for legal marijuana, but it's not on the ballot just yet. (FILE: KSNV)

LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Right now, dozens of billboards are popping up promoting the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan.

But it's not yet certain if the issue will be on the ballot next year.

So far, pro-marijuana groups tell us they have collected almost 200,000 signatures to give voters the chance to vote on recreational marijuana next year.

Right now, they are about 50,000 signatures shy of the required amount.

Take a drive down one of Lansing's busiest roads, and you'll find billboard after billboard giving drivers information about recreational marijuana.

A California tech company recently put up the signs.

"In Michigan, we want adults to be able to choose to use responsibly," said Josh Hovey, with the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Hovey is working with a different group to promote legal pot. But he says these billboards are premature.

"There's going to be a time to educate voters, but right now our campaign is focused solely on getting the petitions that we need," he said.

And if they don't get the required amount of signatures, legalizing pot won't be on the ballot.

"We officially need 252,000 signatures. But our goal is to collect 360,000, roughly, to make sure we are on the safe side," Hovey said.

Several Michigan State University students are among the thousands who are open to signing the petition.

"Some people actually use it to concentrate on classes, maybe tests, people who have medical problems...it would be a good idea," one student said.

"I think who ever is for it is for it. I have nothing against it," said another.

Some people do have something against it.

A report by the police foundation found hospitalization rates sharply increased after pot became legal in Colorado.

But as you can see, the billboards use Colorado as a success story, and so does Hovey.

"It would add tax revenue to the state to the tune of $100-200 million every year," he said.

Hovey says the new revenue would go towards K-12 schools, roads, and local governments.

Hovey's group has until November 22nd to collect enough signatures.

To remind our viewers, this ballot initiative would make recreational marijuana legal for people 21 and older.

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