Law Enforcement Officials Declare Their Disapproval of City’s Undemocratic Approach
The City of Flint, Michigan has announced that despite a successful ballot measure decriminalizing the adult possession of marijuana approved by 54 percent of voters last week, it will continue to prosecute people for marijuana possession. City officials called the vote “symbolic,” saying they would continue to arrest people for pot.
“We’re still police officers and we’re still empowered to enforce the laws of the state of Michigan and the United States,” said Flint police chief Alvern Lock, reports Gary Ridley at mlive.com. “We’re still going to enforce the laws as we’ve been enforcing them.”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law enforcement officials who support legalization of marijuana, on Wednesday publicly condemned the city’s actions.
Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: “This is in direct violation of the wishes of voters who opted for a decriminalization approach”
“This is in direct violation of the wishes of voters who opted for a decriminalization approach similar to those successfully implemented in cities across the country,” said Executive Director Neill Franklin of LEAP. “Keeping marijuana illegal benefits no one. It’s expensive, ineffective, and destroys the relationship between police and the communities they serve.
“The citizens of Flint spoke loud and clear in favor of change,” Franklin said. “City officials should respect the wishes of the voters who put them into office and can remove them just as easily.”
Brian Morrissey, of the Coalition for a Safer Flint, the group that gathered the signatures to get the initiative on the ballot, said he was disappointed with the city’s decision.
“If the city police want to follow state law rather than city law, then maybe the state should be paying their salary,” Morrissey said.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials and others who, after witnessing the harms of the Drug War firsthand, are now devoted to ending that war.