Detroiters To Decide Legalizing Marijuana
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Detroiters To Decide Legalizing Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on July 03, 2010 at 10:39:58 PT
By Zenobia Jeffries, Michigan Citizen
Source: Michigan Citizen 
Detroit -- Should possession of small amounts of marijuana be legal? Detroit voters will decide in the Nov. 2 election. Tim Beck of the local organization Coalition for a Safer Detroit says yes. Beck is known for helping to get the law allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes passed in 2004.He recently led the petition drive that garnered nearly 6,000 signatures to get the new initiative on the ballot. Only 3,895 signatures are required. The clerk validated enough signatures to put the question to the voters.
Earlier this year, the Coalition asked the City Council to shortcut the ballot process by amending the city’s ordinance to allow anyone 21 years and older to possess an ounce or less of marijuana on private property.The Council passed on the opportunity.According to Beck, Council received advice from corporation counsel to not vote on the amendment because of their oath to state and federal laws which make possession of marijuana illegal.Council faced a similar situation when in 1997 an ordinance amendment was passed to allow for needle exchange without a prescription.“Sending it to the voters provides [the council] an ‘ass covering,’” Beck said.If the law is passed and small amounts of marijuana for personal use becomes legal in the city, the Detroit police will have a choice between enforcing the city law or state and federal laws.Corporation counsel, however, disagrees.“State and federal law preempts city law,” says Krystal Crittendon, corporation counsel for the City.Crittendon said that just because the initiative makes it on the ballot does not make it legal.“It can be a properly passed ordinance and still be illegal. It’ll be subject to constitutional challenge,” Crittendon said. “If the people pass an illegal ordinance, it will be unenforceable.”Crittendon says the language of the initiative that goes on the ballot is very important and it’s up to those who put it together to get the language right.Beck says that Crittendon is wrong.“There will be a final public meeting with the elections commission, where [City Clerk Janice] Winfrey, Corporation Counsel and [Council President Charles] Pugh and I will determine how the language appears,” Beck said.“[If the initiative passes] Detroit police have a choice. They can do what voters say and enforce city law … if they don’t want to follow [city law] they can charge under state law. Any [fines] would not be revenue for the city,” says Beck.He believes that the DPD’s choice not to arrest medical marijuana users is indicative of what could happen if the new initiative for personal use passes.“After medical marijuana passed in 2004 there were no arrests made in Detroit. In that case police chose to follow city law,” Beck said.Beck is positive that the initiative will pass. According to his Web site, he believes Colorado and Washington are examples of the law working in favor of citizens.“The cities of Denver [Colorado] and Seattle [Washington] recently made use or possession of small amounts of marijuana their lowest law enforcement priority.”Source: Michigan Citizen (Detroit, MI)Author: Zenobia Jeffries, Michigan CitizenPublished: July 3, 2010Copyright: 2010 Michigan CitizenContact: editor michigancitizen.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 04, 2010 at 09:06:10 PT
Thank you. I like reading what Neil is up to. He's a good man. I went to Neil's web site and they are playing a song by Pegi.
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on July 04, 2010 at 08:44:40 PT
Motor City Rolls On
Go, Detroit.OT - FoM - in case you missed these:Neil Young’s next visit to Greendale is in a comic.
Published On Tue Jun 15 2010 Young Plans Gulf Coast Dates.
Posted on Jun 29th 2010 11:30AM by John D. Luerssen.
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