The Committee for a Safer Michigan, who was behind a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state, says they have fallen far short of the more than 322,000 signatures to get on the ballot, getting only about 50,000 before the deadline. But they vow that they will be back in 2014.

“Women didn’t earn the right to vote in six months. We didn’t get rid of Jim Crow in six months. This is a marathon race,” Charmie Gholson, a spokeswoman for the group, told The Huffington Post. “We’re not going away.”

The campaign’s director, Matt Abel, says this year’s effort were a good start and have had some influence. “Any time we discuss it openly, it helps,” he said, “It’s not as taboo a subject as it used to be and more and more people are coming out of the closet, if you will, for the legalization of marijuana.”

The group said they will need to raise about $1 million for the legalization push in 2014. This year’s initiative would have legalized the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana for everyone 21 years of age and older, but would have banned use in a motor vehicle.

Advocates have two years to prepare for the campaign for legalization in Michigan, they need to use their time well.

– Joe Klare

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