This week’s asshole prohibitionist award goes to Kent County (Michigan) Prosecutor William Forsyth, who single-handedly has challenged the will of voters in Grand Rapids after they decided in 2012 to decriminalize up to 2.5 ounces of pot.
He’s failed so far, but now the case is in the hands of the state Court of Appeals.
Forsyth first challenged the law in 2013, saying voters have no right to pass a measure that makes city laws conflict with state laws. But his challenge was shut down when a county circuit court judge said voters did have the authority.
“The voters of Grand Rapids had the power to amend the city charter and plaintiff has failed to show that any section of the charter amendment necessarily conflicts with state law,” Sullivan wrote in the ruling according to Mlive.com.
Since then, cops in Grand Rapids have been writing civil infraction fines of $25 for pot possession instead of arresting people. State law says that possession of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor charge with up to a year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
That didn’t satisfy Forsyth, who has kept up his fight.
“Reasonable people can disagree with whether the possession or use of marijuana should be criminal. … What reasonable people cannot do, however, is countenance a direct violation of the laws of the state,” Forsyth argued in the earlier challenge.
The state appeals court will hear oral arguments today but a decision isn’t expected for several months.