|Grand Rapids, Mich.|
Grand Rapids residents are already enjoying lessened penalties for marijuana possession in their city, which went into effect May 1.
According to MLive.com, a 28-year-old man was cited for possession just three hours after the city ordinance went into effect. Dude now faces a $25 fine, and police likely took his stash from him. Sucks, but at least he’s not in jail.
The city law was officially approved by nearly 60 percent of voters back in November, but was challenged in court by Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth who clearly doesn’t like the will of the people. The law was upheld, though and police have been told to write civil offenses for minor marijuana possession and use cases.
According to an executive order from the city manager’s office, possession of up to 2.5 ounces should not result in misdemeanor charges or jail time.
A circuit judge is still considering the legality of the town ordinance but allowed the city to move forward with the measure in the meantime. He is expected to deliver an opinion soon. Cannabis activists say the judge will likely side in favor of decriminalization.
“This is a huge step,” marijuana activist Nicholas Monroe told Grand Rapids City Commission on Tuesday night, according to MLive.com. “It is common-sense policy. It’s necessary. You’re upholding the democratic process.”