Detroiters May Vote on Legal Marijuana, Proposal Heads for Ballot

Newshawk: A Reformer’s Guide to Direct Democracy
Pubdate: Thu, 6 May 2010
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Page: Front Page, top of page, continued on page 4A
Copyright: 2010 Detroit Free Press
Author: Bill Laitner, Free Press Staff Writer
Cited: Coalition for a Safer Detroit


Proposal Heads for Spot on Nov. Ballot

A Detroiter who helped lead the drive to allow medical marijuana in Michigan is pushing for something bound to be equally controversial: legalizing pot in the city of Detroit.

“You’ve done a great job,” meeting the detailed filing requirements, City Clerk Janice Winfrey said Wednesday as Tim Beck handed over more than 6,100 petition signatures.

Beck, 58, spent five weeks overseeing the collection of many more than the 3,700 signatures needed to get Detroit’s November ballot to include his proposal. It would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of pot on private property by adults 21 and older.

City officials must certify the petition signatures in the next 10 days, and then the City Council has 30 days to pass the proposal or send it to voters this fall, Elections Director Daniel Baxter said.

“We’re quite sure we’re in conformity with state law and the city charter,” said Beck, a veteran of successful drives to approve medical marijuana in five Michigan cities and ultimately statewide.

If his proposal passes, Detroit would follow Denver in legalizing possession of pot.

“It’s a good year for this because it’s also on the ballot in California,” said Beck, a medical marijuana user. California voters this fall could vote to treat marijuana like alcohol.