Marijuana Legalization On November Ballot In Detroit


Photo: Shawn Wilson

‚ÄčThe movement to legalize marijuana in Detroit appears to be ready for a decision by voters in November after petitions were certified by the Detroit Elections Commission. The initiative would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use.

The petitions were filed by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit last month with City Clerk Janice Winfrey. Backers said petitions to put the initiative before voters were certified May 19, reports Darren A. Nichols of The Detroit News.
“They met the proper number (of signatures) and we met all the legal standards,” said Tim Beck, a registered medical marijuana patient who filed the petitions.

“There will be no legal challenge to keep if off the ballot,” Beck said. “I’m very confident. People in Detroit have a serious understanding that priorities need to be reconsidered in respect to law enforcement. We need to focus on violent crime and guns. We just can’t afford this any longer.”
The group turned in more than 6,000 signatures to place the voter initiative on November’s ballot. The Detroit City Council has 30 days to either pass the initiative into law, or it automatically goes before voters.
The council is likely to have the legalization issue on its June 15 agenda, a spokeswoman for Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said Tuesday. Leaving it up to the voters is “actually what I expect will happen,” said Stacie Clayton, Brown’s public affairs director, reports Bill Laitner of The Detroit Free Press.
“It would be appreciative if the City Council would save the city a lot of money and pass it themselves,” attorney Matt Abel said.
“We think it will pass handily,” Abel said. “It’s just getting the word out and making sure people know it’s going to be on the November ballot and getting out the vote. People are tired of reefer madness. The people are ahead of politicians. Nobody ever died from it.”
Michigan citizens already legalized medical marijuana with an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote in 2008.