Detroit voters to decide on marijuana proposal come November - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Detroit voters to decide on marijuana proposal come November

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By RONNIE DAHL
MyFox Detroit Reporter


DETROIT (MyFox Detroit) -- Pot, marijuana, reefer -- using it or possessing it could get you busted by the cops, but that could change in the city of Detroit.

"If this ballot provision passes, a person who is over the age of 21, who is on private property and in possession of no more than one ounce of marijuana could not be prosecuted under city ordinance," said attorney Matt Abel with the Cannabis Counsel.

The city of Detroit's Election Commission lost a long legal battle.  Detroiters will now vote on amending the 1984 Detroit city code to exempt adults from criminal prosecution for the possession of less than an ounce of weed.  The issue went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court.

"The heart of the issue is the fact that some things should not be crimes," said Tim Beck with the coalition of a safer Detroit.

Beck is behind the initiative.  He and other supporters claims busting people for smoking or possessing weed is taking away from resources that could be used to fight more serious crimes.

"It's about $600 an hour when you take the criminal justice system, police costs, court costs, on and on, and you times that out, it's about $2.8 million.  So we've got $2.8 million on our bottom line right away."

"It seems like that we could refocus the efforts, the limited efforts of Detroit police, who have dwindling resources all the time, on that violence and not in a place where no violence is occurring," said Steve Greene, who hosts the Michigan Medical Radio Show.

Come November, it will be up to voters to decide.  After more than two years of being tied in up court, Proposal M will be on the ballot.

"Weed smokers don't bother anybody," said Tim White.

"I'm totally against people smoking pot at home, in the streets, anywhere," said Yolanda Herbert.

Supporters believe they'll have no problem getting this passed in the city of Detroit come Election Day.  A similar initiative will also be on the ballot for Flint voters.

If this does pass in Detroit, supporters believe that would give them the momentum to get it passed statewide.

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