SSDP Takes Initiative on Local Ballot Issue

SSDP Takes Initiative on Local Ballot Issue
Posted by CN Staff on February 01, 2008 at 12:11:12 PT
By Parker Willis
Source: Chart
Missouri -- With the first month of an election year coming to a close, one student is focusing on an issue he believes the Joplin public will be ready to vote on in November.Kyle Maddy, freshman public relations major and president of Missouri Southern's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policies (SSDP), said he and other members of SSDP are prepared to see that the Sensible Sentencing Initiative will appear on the ballot in November.
The initiative would decriminalize marijuana within the Joplin city limits. To get the initiative on the November ballot Maddy and his brother, Kelly Maddy, president of Sensible Joplin, will need to have the signatures of 5,000 registered Joplin-area voters. Currently the two, with the help of their friends, have been able to get 3,000 signatures. But their goal is 10,000 because of the chance of illegible signatures and unregistered voters signing the petition and getting thrown out later."Joplin voters need to decide for themselves," Kyle Maddy said. "We're not condoning use of marijuana. We just want to allow police to focus on more serious crimes like theft, rape and other more violent crimes."Since the semester only started a couple of weeks ago and SSDP just had its first meeting Wednesday night, Kyle Maddy hasn't had a chance to get any help from other members of his group. He has already started talking to students in the Lions' Den to get signatures, then a signature rally at the Blackthorn on Tuesday, and is planning to do more campaigning on campus and taking his group into the community to gather signatures. Kyle Maddy said he isn't always greeted by the nicest people while out trying to get signatures but he is finding more and more people agreeing with him, even if he has to argue a little with them first.Kendrick Irvin, an area resident who attended the signature rally, said our country has more important things to worry about."First of all I don't think it would be that big of a deal if it was legalized, in fact less people would probably do it if it was," Irvin said. "But more importantly I'd like to just smoke without worrying about getting into trouble." Complete Title: SSDP Takes Initiative on Local Ballot Issue, Begins Collecting SignaturesSource: Chart, The (Missouri Southern State U, MO Edu)Author: Parker WillisPublished: February 1, 2008Copyright: 2008 The ChartContact: chart mssu.eduWebsite: http://www.thechartonline.comRelated Articles & Web Site:SSDP Drive Kicks Into Gear Petitions Gaining Ground
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Comment #5 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 02, 2008 at 07:15:35 PT:
GreenMed, FoM
Thanks! I am really looking forward to helping get this proposal passed. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 02, 2008 at 06:07:01 PT
I am happy that it is looking good for you. 
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Comment #3 posted by greenmed on February 02, 2008 at 04:37:50 PT
fight 4 freedom
This is wonderful news.The people continue to lead where the feds have thus far failed. The states are truly the test tubes of democracy.Let us hope next January 20 brings the beginning of movement at the federal level as well.
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Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 01, 2008 at 21:07:12 PT:
What a beautiful day it shall be
Medical Marijuana Initiative May Appear on November BallotShannon Jones
February 1, 2008
Bay Mills NewsThe initiative to allow use of marijuana for medical purposes may come before voters this fall if the state legislature fails to act. If it were to pass, Michigan would be the first state in the Midwest allowing the use of medical marijuana.Despite claims from the state legislature indicating the marijuana initiative is not a priority, the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care has plenty of support on its side. The coalition collected and turned in 496,000 registered voters signatures on petitions on Nov. 20, 2007 - well over the 304,000 required for action.The secretary of state is currently certifying the petition. Under Michigan law, the legislature will get the first chance to pass the initiative, which is unlikely.According to MCCC spokeswoman Diane Byrum, the legislature has three options: adopt it as is, reject it entirely or do nothing. If the measure is rejected or nothing is done, it will then be up to Michigan voters to certify and pass the measure at polls this November. According to MCCC, that's not a far reach.A 2003 poll of residents found that 59 percent of state residents would support the marijuana initiative.Supporters behind the initiative include the American Bar Association, Episcopal Church and the American Nurses Association just to name a few. Byrum said there are also hundreds of nurses, doctors and other health care professionals supporting the initiative.There are currently 12 states that have exceptions in their state laws for medicinal marijuana use. The MCCC does not want the law changed for recreational users, but seeks to provide some comfort to those who are sick and would benefit from the drug, such as cancer and AIDS patients. Five cities in Michigan have already passed local initiatives in support, including: Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, Ferndale, and Traverse City.Supporters of the initiative believe misconceptions about using the drug medicinally are standing in the way of the patients who need it the most."It's a slippery slope," said Byrum. "Some people think by voting for this they are opening the gates for drug use."But studies have been done on the issue of medicinal drug use and recreational drug use and revealed there is no link between those who use medicinal marijuana seeking more illicit drugs.To date, no one person has ever been reported to have died from a marijuana overdose according to the Marijuana Policy Project. They assert that cigarettes are far more dangerous than marijuana as tobacco takes the lives of 1,200 people per day.If the initiative passes, the MCCC with the backing of the Marijuana Policy Project, would set up a patient/caregiver system of registries. The system would allow qualified patients and their caregivers to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 12 plants. Cases would be approved individually to register, but would most likely be judged by medical condition."There are specific limits and activities for its [marijuana] use," said Byrum. "This initiative would affect less than one-half of 1 percent of the population."Although state law cannot supercede federal law, which makes marijuana use illegal in any case, Byrum doesn't believe it will be an issue. In most states, it is state authorities that enforce the laws, not federal. And despite the current federal marijuana laws, they may also change in the near future. In every congressional session in the last several years a measure has been introduced to make the drug legal for medicinal use; each session it gains more support though it has yet to pass.For more information on the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, visit
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Comment #1 posted by observer on February 01, 2008 at 19:24:22 PT
Reefer Madness - 1936 screenplay
Reefer Madness, 1936 Dialog transcribed from original 1936 classic film; the direction/action has been reconstructed. 
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