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Election Commission Blocks Detroit Marijuana Legalization Vote

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #644)
Drug War Issues

The Coalition for a Safer Detroit thought it had done everything right in its bid to get a marijuana legalization initiative on the city's November ballot. The group gathered sufficient signatures to make the ballot, and the city council went through the motions of considering the measure, opening the way for the voters to speak by failing to act. The next step should have been a rubber-stamp approval by the Detroit Election Commission, the body that only two months earlier had certified the signatures.

Detroit organizer Tim Beck (courtesy
But on Monday, the commission voted 3-0 to remove the measure from the ballot. The surprise move came after Detroit Corporation Counsel and commission member Krystal Crittenden told the commission that in the opinion of the city's law department, which she oversees, state law forbidding marijuana possession preempted the measure.

The initiative simply excluded the use or possession of less than an ounce of marijuana by adults in private from the city's ordinance.

"This would have sent a message to the police that they should focus on more serious crime," said Matthew Abel, a Detroit attorney who worked with petition organizers.

Tim Beck, chair of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, is considering whether to appeal the decision to the Wayne County Circuit Court.

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Edward Phillips (not verified)

Whatever the drug all needs to be decriminalized and focus education and rehabilitation; except for the fact that they need to keep the poor black, Hispanic and poor white American in a Police State.


What a bunch of 'Assholes" in Detroit.  It is close to a century of Drug Prohibition and we are worst off today than we were yesterday.  You know the American People use to be Stupid, now Stupid is too intelligent for them.

Sun, 08/15/2010 - 8:40pm Permalink
md313 (not verified)

I am from Detroit and support the change in law. So don't think we are all stupid. I support NORML and have been pushing to pass HR 5843 which congressman Barney Franks introduce to the floor of congress in 2008 to make it legal for any amount under 3 1/2 ounces in the USA. So I want congress to pass it and the states will have to follow. So people tell your congressman or woman plus your senator to support or write a bill to legalize marijuana.

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 8:55pm Permalink

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