We told you earlier this week about marijuana decriminalization measures in Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and several other towns in Michigan and suburbs of Detroit. In total, there were 11 measures scattered around the state.
Well, voters did the right thing in six of those communities last night and passed bills lowering or eliminating marijuana penalties for small amounts of cannabis.
In Berkley and Huntington Woods, marijuana possession of an ounce or less by adults 21 and up on non-public private property legal is now completely legal. In Pleasant Ridge, voters made marijuana possession the absolute lowest law enforcement priority.
Things that weigh heavier than pot in Pleasant Ridge now: illegal garage sales, jaywalking and trash dumping.
The votes were popular ones, too. Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger said this was the largest voter turnout in years. More people voted for the pot measure than they did for a mill levy increase that will pay for upgrades to local parks and libraries, he pointed out.
“So pot beat parks, but that’s OK,” Metzger told the Detroit Free Press.
Voters also approved bills in Mount Pleasant, Port Huron and Saginaw.
But in Clare, Frankford, Onaway, Harrison and Lapeer, Michigan, voters clearly weren’t as pumped about pot. Decriminalization measures in those towns were shot down. Anti-decriminalization supporters (mostly police) have said the laws put the cities at odds with state law.
Police say they are ignoring the local ordinances and enforcing state law in places like Oak Park, Ferndale and Lansing that have passed decriminalization measures in the last two years.