Backers Say Passage May Help Cause Statewide

  Backers Say Passage May Help Cause Statewide

Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2007 at 09:44:01 PT
By Shantell M. Kirkendoll  
Source: Flint Journal 

Flint, MI -- Advocates of medical marijuana received a big show of support from city voters Tuesday, winning overwhelming approval of a measure to make it legal to smoke pot here for health reasons. Exultant supporters chanted, "Free the Weed!" after final results gave the proposal 62 percent of the vote.
The measure is considered mostly symbolic since pot usage - medicinal and recreational - remains illegal under both state and federal laws. But backers hope the vote in Flint - the fifth community in Michigan to give such approval - will help give them momentum to take the issue statewide. "I knew in my heart that people would vote to help sick and dying people, and that's what this is about," said Charles Snyder III, a Flint bone disease patient who spearheaded the local ballot proposal. There was little else on the ballot in Flint, which may have contributed to a paltry 3.2 percent turnout among the city's roughly 90,000 registered voters. Supporters say marijuana helps alleviate pain and increases appetite for those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses. But, for the time being, the Flint victory won't change state or federal laws even if it shows an openness to new forms of pain management. "It doesn't mean anything really," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. "Under state law, it's still illegal to possess (marijuana), and there's no way to legally fill a prescription. I think the petitioners are trying to make a point that there are people who support it." Possessing marijuana is a misdemeanor, and Leyton said he's not aware of how often medical use is used as a defense. "It wouldn't make a difference anyway," he said. "They are just as guilty as someone who doesn't have it for medicinal purposes." But Flint voters appeared to see a difference. "If you're not the one in pain and suffering, how can you tell them not to do something that makes them feel better?" said Steve McChester, who voted at Gundry Elementary School. Linda Hagenson, 57, of Flint, a disabled autoworker, said it's past time to consider marijuana as a medicine. "I can't believe it's taken this long," said Hagenson, who has debilitating back problems and uses a cane to walk. "Symbolic or not, it opens the dialogue. I want to deal with the pain, but I don't want to be knocked out." Snyder became the driving force behind the marijuana measure after he spent three days in jail in 2005 for pot possession. He said he smoked marijuana to self-medicate the pain from muscle spasms caused by Nail-patella syndrome, a genetic bone disease. Snyder said he now uses OxyContin, a powerful painkiller but thinks marijuana worked better. Richard Clement, an outreach coordinator with Michigan's chapter of the pro-pot National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said the group is seeking legal guidance in getting a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in the city of Lansing. "City by city is working," Clement said. "Statewide is coming." Those opposed to legalizing marijuana said Flint's drug-dominated crime problem would only grow if the measure passed, even if pot were legalized under special circumstances. "I think the potential for abuse was tremendous in spite of its ability to take away pain for sick people," said John Carol, 50, who voted at the Sarvis Center. "It would create a wide open market for drug people." Rose Cox, 56, a Delphi retiree, said she believes doctors and pharmaceutical companies don't want use of medical marijuana because it will cut into their profits. But she sees the inexpensive and easily accessible medicine as a no-brainer. "It has been beneficial to some people," Cox said, after voting at Hasselbring Senior Center. "That's something that's needed." Journal staff writer Marjory Raymer contributed to this report. Complete Title: Pot Vote Symbolic: Backers Say Passage May Help Cause StatewideSource: Flint Journal (MI)Author: Shantell M. Kirkendoll Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2007Copyright: 2007 Flint JournalContact: letters flintjournal.comWebsite: http://www.flintjournal.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Michigan NORML Voters OK Legalizing Medical Marijuana Marijuana on The Ballot in Flint

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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 18:03:18 PT

Thank you for the video link. What a shame he has to take Oxycontin because of marijuana's legal status.
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Comment #3 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 28, 2007 at 17:48:32 PT:

a link to the video of an interview with Charles Snyder from ABC12 news before the election. to go Flint!
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on February 28, 2007 at 10:31:17 PT

more info on Hemp seed and products needed now.
Congress Receives Renewable Energy Action Plan   
 Compiled By Staff  
 February 28, 2007  
 Leaders from an alliance of agricultural, energy, environmental, business and labor groups presented Congress this morning with a plan for 25% of the U.S. energy supply to be made up of renewable fuels by 2025. The 25x'25 Action Plan provides policy makers with 35 specific recommendations for meeting the ambitious energy goal, which the plan's Steering Committee says would cost only 5% of America's spending on imported oil in 2006. The recommendations are based on the reviews and recommendations of over 400 organizations, including farm groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation, and General Motors. The 25x'25 recommendations focus on increased production of renewable energy, expanding consumer demand, improved efficiency and resource conservation, and better infrastructure for renewable fuels. One recommendation calls for a new federal renewable energy requirement, an idea which some members of the Democratic Congress have supported but which the Bush administration says should be left up to individual states. If the U.S. reaches the 25x'25 goal, the groups say it would generate $700 billion in new annual economic activity, including a $37 billion farm income increase in the year 2025; create four to five million new jobs; and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 billion tons. 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 28, 2007 at 10:02:03 PT

Two from the U of MD, Diamondback
2:28:7US MD: Edu: Editorial: Co-opted?Viewed at:
 -0-US MD: Edu: Support mounts for looser pot penalties 
Viewed at: 

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