Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide
DETROIT, MI —
Medical marijuana advocates let out periodic cheers from a smokey room at the Cannabis Counsel offices' election result party in Detroit Tuesday night that stretched into Wednesday morning.
Pro-marijuana proposal after proposal passed voters Tuesday, including five votes to decriminalize pot in five Michigan cities.
Rick Thompson, the editor for The Compassion Chronicles and a radio host of "The Medical Marijuana Radio Show," took in the results at the Cannabis Counsel's office, busily tapped at his keyboard checking voting results across the state and nation.
Behind him was an enormous pot leaf on a tie-dye wall tapestry.
he poster on another wall knocked off the Barack Obama campaign slogan, "yes we can."
With a same red-white-and-blue design scheme, it alternatively said: "Yes we cannibus."
A box of hemp plus omega granola bars sat atop some filing cabinets.
"Washington legalized; KIRO news calls it," Thompson says excitedly. "So we have two. We have two states. Fantastic. Yes."
The action is taking place in offices where attorney Matt Abel and his law partners work defending those charged with violating drug laws, usually marijuana grow operations or violations related to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Abel led the unsuccessful Committee for a Safer Michigan effort to repeal marijuana prohibition in Michigan and assisted with legal efforts to get Detroit's Proposal M onto the ballot this November.
Proposal M would decriminalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal recreational use by persons over 21 in Detroit.
Related: 'Yes' votes far ahead in Detroit marijuana proposal
Its passage was a matter of concern. Thompson frequently rattled off the latest news on voting results; "65 percent with 9 percent of the precincts reporting," he'd say.
Abel said he was confident from the very beginning that it would pass in Detroit — if it came before voters. He helped move forward the legislation that was held up in litigation for nearly two years.
Results as of 2 a.m. indicated, with 57 percent of Detroit precincts reporting, 65 percent favored the measure.
Abel, who had to be in a Novi courtroom by 9 a.m. Wednesday, said shortly after midnight that he didn't plan to wait up for the final results.
The focus was broader than just the Detroit proposal for Thompson, Abel and those medical marijuana patients on the first floor watching TV and smoking medicinal marijuana together.
They were not only concerned with the passage of liberating marijuana laws in Detroit, but the new medical marijuana laws passed in Massachusetts, statewide laws to decriminalize marijuana in Washington state, Colorado and Oregon; and marijuana laws up for vote in four other Michigan cities.
Ypsilanti residents voted to make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, Grand Rapids voted to make marijuana possession a $25 civil infraction, Kalamazoo approved mandated dispensaries and Flint voted on a law similar to Detroit's that would decriminalize marijuana possession up to an ounce.
Flint's law was passing with 60 percent support and only three precincts awaiting results. Ypsilanti's measure passed with 74 percent supporting the proposal.
"This is so sweet, this victory that we have waited so long for," Thompson said when the news that legalization passed in Washington came through. "It doesn't even have to be our state... Massachusetts became the 18th medical marijuana state and we have two legalizations."
Abel, obviously pleased but less vocal, chimes in: "The death of prohibition by a thousand cuts."
By Gus Burns |
on November 07, 2012 at 2:30 AM, updated November 07, 2012 at 8:47 AM
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Michigan Marijuana proposals passed: Detroit,Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo