US MI: Marijuana Vote Is 1 Step Away

Newshawk: Taking the Initiative
Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jun 2010
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Page: 7A, top of page, four column banner headline
Copyright: 2010 Detroit Free Press
Author: Naomi R. Patton, Free Press Staff Writer
Cited: Coalition for a Safer Detroit
Bookmark: (Cannabis – United States)


Detroit Commission Must OK Language

Detroiters are one step away from a November vote on whether to allow
possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Detroit City Council’s Internal Operations Committee declined
Wednesday to vote on amending a city ordinance that would allow
anyone 21 and older to legally possess less than 1 ounce of marijuana
on private property. The issue is now headed to the Detroit Election
Commission for approval of the ballot language.

Advocated by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit — the group that
successfully got medical marijuana placed on the ballot in 2004,
which passed — the ordinance would amend Chapter 38 of the city code
regulating controlled substances.

Tim Beck, a registered medical marijuana user who filed the
petitions, says the amended ordinance would “free up the Police
Department to pursue crimes with actual victims.”

In 2009, Beck said, there were 1,500 arrests for misdemeanor
marijuana possession in Detroit.

Detroit police spokesman John Roach said the department’s legal staff
is still researching the impact of legalized recreational marijuana.

The City of Denver and the State of Alaska have similar laws.
Legislation in Seattle and California has been proposed.