Detroit Voters to Decide on Marijuana Decriminalization in August
On Friday the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a February case that said Detroit election officials were wrong in keeping a marijuana decriminalization measure off the city ballot, meaning voters will have a chance to decide for themselves. The measure is due to be on the August 7th primary ballot.
The measure itself would decriminalize marijuana possession of an ounce or less by an adult, similar to measures in Seattle, WA and Denver, CO. But because Michigan state law really doesn’t allow for this in their cities, offenders could still be charged by local police under state law.
So what is the point? According to Coalition for a Safer Detroit’s website (http://www.saferdetroit.net/): “In that sense this proposal is ‘symbolic.’ However, the more important symbolism is the clear expression of the will and priorities of the voters -- sending a message to the Mayor, Council, Prosecutor, and the Detroit Police that we want our scarce law enforcement resources used to get tougher on real crime.”
Anyone who knows how utterly crime-ridden Detroit is also knows that the problem isn’t people with baggies of weed. The problem is violence, violence fueled by rival gangs fighting over drug turf. And the only reason they fight is for the massive profits that come from the drug trade, profits heavily inflated by prohibition.
Advocates see the upcoming vote as a long-fought victory. "A long trail of voter abuse by the City of Detroit has come to an end," said the Coalition's Tim Beck, in an e-mail to supporters. "We got everything right. Our petitions were flawless."
A police spokesman reacted to the news by saying the department could adapt to the measure’s passage and decriminalization "if it's handled in an appropriate way, and this is what the citizens of Detroit choose."
You have to imagine many cops in Detroit are tired of busting people for cannabis while their city crumbles around them.
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