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Michigan Marijuana proposals passed: Detroit,Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo

By Basoodler, Nov 7, 2012 | Updated: Nov 7, 2012 | | |
  1. Basoodler
    Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    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



  1. Basoodler
    Re: Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    'Yes' votes far ahead in Detroit marijuana proposal

    DETROIT, MI -- Election results out of Wayne County are slow, but early returns show a lot more "yes" votes than "no" on a proposal to remove city restrictions of marijuana possession in small amounts.

    With no direct numbers yet from Wayne County, the Detroit Free Press has results from 53 percent of precincts showing 65 percent in favor of the proposal.

    The measure allows people 21 and over will be able to possess less than an ounce of marijuana on private property without facing arrest and prosecution under the city code.

    But marijuana use and possession will still be crimes under state law.

    And local police have remained mum on how it would or wouldn't affect enforcement.

    A school district millage renewal and four charter amendment proposals were also on the Detroit ballot, and it appears voters were willing to say "yes" today.

    With 17 percent of precincts counted on the proposal to renew an 18-mill tax for Detroit Public schools, 73 percent said "yes," according to results tracked by the Detroit Free Press.

    "Yes" votes were also ahead on each of the charter amendments with more than half of precincts counted.

    By Khalil AlHajal | kalhajal@mlive.com
    on November 07, 2012 at 12:06 AM, updated November 07, 2012 at 12:38 AM
  2. Basoodler
    Re: Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    Don't forget Michigan! I am pretty sure other counties passed similar measures.. I just can't find them ATM
  3. Basoodler
    Re: Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    Kalamazoo medical marijuana dispensary proposal passes by nearly 2-to-1 margin

    KALAMAZOO, MI -- With all of Kalamazoo's 27 precincts reporting, a proposal to establish medical marijuana dispensaries in Kalamazoo passed by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

    The citizen-initiated charter amendment had 13,569 yes votes to 7,542 no votes, according to unofficial results.
    The initiative calls for a licensing system to regulate dispensaries. Dispensary owners would pay an annual $3,000 registration fee to the city.

    Dispensaries would have to be located in "visible store-front locations in appropriate commercial districts," according to the proposal, and would have to be at least 500 feet from pre-existing public schools, private schools or other dispensaries.

    Kalamazoo has allowed caregivers to grow and provide medical marijuana to patients, but not commercially. In September 2010, city commissioners added language to the zoning ordinance to establish licensed dispensaries as home-based occupations.

    By Emily Monacelli | emonacel@mlive.com
    on November 06, 2012 at 11:45 PM, updated November 07, 2012 at 12:17 AM
  4. Basoodler
    Re: Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    Election results: Proposal 2 marijuana decriminalization passes in Grand Rapids

    GRAND RAPIDS, MI – City voters strongly favored marijuana decriminalization at the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, giving 60 percent support to Grand Rapids' local Proposal 2 with about one out of every four precincts reporting.

    The decision amends the city charter so that people possessing or using marijuana no longer are subject to a misdemeanor offense. Instead, marijuana violations will be civil infractions punishable by a fine of $25 for a first offense, and rising to a maximum of $100 for subsequent offenses.

    The charter amendment came before voters because decriminalization advocates collected more than 10,000 signatures to put it on the ballot.

    “I don’t think the crime warrants the sentence,” said Matthew Peterson, 30, drinking a Long Island Ice Tea at The Meanwhile bar where DecriminalizeGR advocates gathered. “This (alcoholic beverage) is far more dangerous than marijuana.

    “This (vote) is about redefining what the substance means, taking away the stigma. There’s a lot of wasted energy (trying to crack down on marijuana).”

    Proposal 2 supporters, including Mayor George Heartwell and three other city commissioners, claim that marijuana decriminalization will free up city police to focus on what they consider more serious crimes. Decriminalization also will keep people from getting a criminal record for what a marijuana violation that Heartwell has called a “youthful indiscretion.”

    RELATED: Proposal 2 in Grand Rapids: 5 angles on marijuana decriminalization

    The Grand Rapids charter amendment borrows language from a 38-year-old decriminalization policy in Ann Arbor, except that sale of marijuana remains a criminal offense.

    "It just shows what can happen when a group gets together and pushes for what they believe in," said Michael Tuffelmire, DecriminalizeGR director. "It was time for a change (in city policy on marijuana)."

    Grand Rapids elections: Chat live and get local election results

    Police Chief Kevin Belk and Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth also opposed decriminalization, saying it will complicate law enforcement and lead to increased substance abuse.

    “It shouldn’t have been illegal in the first place,” said Andrea Horn, 24. “It’s just got a bad rap. There are too many good people getting punished.”

    By Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.com
    on November 07, 2012 at 12:28 AM, updated November 07, 2012 at 12:53 A
  5. Basoodler
    Re: Marijuana activists pleased with early vote results in Michigan, nationwide

    That is all I can find for Michigan.. All 3 passed.

    it seems like a large portion of the population will see decriminalization

    its also a good sign for the rest of the state, and surrounding states (a good barometer)
  6. Basoodler
    Police Plan Marijuana Arrests Despite Vote Decriminalizing Possession

    FLINT (WWJ/AP) - Flint police and Michigan State Police troopers that patrol the city plan to arrest people for marijuana possession despite a vote on a city ballot proposal to decriminalize marijuana in some cases.

    About 57 percent of ballots counted as of Wednesday were in favor of the proposal to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana by those 19 or older. The city said in a statement, however, that the proposal is “symbolic in nature” as officials defer to state and federal law, which still classify marijuana as an illegal drug. “We’re still police officers and we’re still empowered to enforce the laws of the state of Michigan and the United States,” said Flint police Chief Alvern Lock. “We’re still going to enforce the laws as we’ve been enforcing them.”

    Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who handles Flint and the surrounding area, said his office will continue to review cases that are brought to prosecutors.

    Brian Morrissey of Coalition for a Safer Flint, the group that gathered signatures to get the initiative on the ballot, said he’s disappointed with the city’s decision. “If the city police want to follow state law rather than city law, then maybe the state should be paying their salary,” Morrissey said.

    ballot measures in Detroit and Grand Rapids got voter support Tuesday, which would allow adults over age 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana on personal property without criminal prosecution.
    In Detroit, however, “Proposal M” doesn’t have the support of City Council members, who say the city residents shouldn’t be expecting them to draft an ordinance in support of the measure since “the proposal is illegal.”

    In Ypsilanti, residents voted to redirect police efforts away from enforcing laws against marijuana use in the city. Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker said her police department will devote its time to more serious issues.
    “The present state of the marijuana law in Michigan is in flux,” Walker told AnnArbor.com. “The Ypsilanti Police Department takes all crime seriously, and we are under oath to enforce the law. Because of limited resources, we must devote the most effort to the most serious crimes against people and property.”
    Michigan voters in 2008 approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons, but parts of the law are being challenged in court.
    In Kalamazoo on Tuesday, voters approved a charter amendment to establish medical marijuana dispensaries by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. The initiative calls for a licensing system to regulate dispensaries, the owners of which would pay an annual $3,000 registration fee. However, the legality of this amendment rides on a supreme court case.

  7. Basoodler
    Pot laws eased in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint

    • By Christine MacDonald and Darren A. Nichols

    Detroit — Final tabulations of Tuesday's elections show that city voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to decriminalize marijuana.

    With all precincts reporting, the measure passed 65-35 percent. It will allow adults older than 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana on personal property without criminal prosecution.

    "This is no surprise," said Tim Beck, chairman of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit. "We knew we were going to win."

    "I truly believe that the city will not use its resources to prosecute small time marijuana users. There is no upside."

    Sgt. Eren Stephens, the Detroit Police Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that the department had no comment on Proposal M's passage.

    "We will be guided by the city of Detroit's law department," Stephens said.
    A call to a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bing wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.
    The effort came the same day that ballot measures relaxing laws on marijuana won approval statewide and nationwide.

    In Grand Rapids, voters made marijuana possession a civil infraction punishable by a fine — rather than a misdemeanor that carried possible jail time — 59-41 percent. In Flint, allowing possession of less than an ounce for those older than 19 was leading 57-43 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting.

    Nationally, voters in Colorado and Washington became the first states to approve recreational use of the drug, setting up a potential showdown with federal authorities.
    Federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug and some local officials have been reluctant to allow local law to supersede federal regulations — as backers of a 2008 medical pot initiative in Michigan know well.

    Statewide voters approved that measure in 2008, but much of that law is still being fought in court. Beck said Detroit users still could be charged under state law, but those charges would have to be heard in circuit court rather than local ones.

    The Detroit initiative already survived one court challenge, when a judge this spring allowed it on the ballot after city officials protested that state law makes pot illegal.

    The measure was one of six to pass in Detroit. The others are:

    Proposal C: Amends the city charter to clarify the role of the city's top lawyer, or corporation counsel. It gives the corporation counsel the authority to file lawsuits to enforce the city charter. It won 63-37 percent.

    Proposal E: Sets minimum and maximum signatures required to seek elected offices. Requires 500 to 1,000 signatures for nominating petitions for mayoral, city clerk and at-large City Council positions. Requires 300 to 650 signatures for council district seats and the Board of Police Commissioners. It won with a 67-33 percent.

    Proposal G: Amends the charter to allow for officials and workers to accept gifts and gratuities. It passed 52-48 percent..

    Proposal P: Removes the one-year ban on former employees coming back to work for the city under special contracts. It passed by 53-47 percent.

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121107/METRO/211070412#ixzz2C66wknJd
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