Detroit Marijuana Legalization Backers Appeal Ballot Rejection

The Coalition for a Safer Detroit, sponsors of a municipal initiative that would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot for adults 21 or over in the Motor City, has appealed a surprise decision Monday by the city's Election Commission that knocked the initiative off the ballot.

Detroit skyline
"If you're on the cutting edge of social change, litigation is just a cost of doing business," coalition leader Tim Beck told the Detroit Free Press yesterday after the group filed an appeal with Wayne County Circuit Court.

The court Friday agreed to hold an expedited hearing on the case. That will occur on August 26.

The coalition handed in more than 6,000 voter signatures earlier this year, and the initiative was approved by the same Detroit Election Commission that killed it Monday. After it was approved, in accordance with city law, the initiative went before the Detroit City Council, which could have voted to make the initiative law. By failing to vote on the initiative, the Council cleared the way for the voters to make their preferences known in November -- or so everyone thought.

But on Monday, the Election 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.

Now, it will be up to the courts to determine whether Detroiters will have the right to vote on the initiative. Stay tuned.

Detroit, MI
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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They stated they voted it off

They stated they voted it off because they thought it might pass..... So these public servants did exactly the opposite what the people want. I hope they will be voted out of office!

marihuana initiative

  Its time the people of Detroit should be able to make their own decisions, and not get pushed around by ruthless lawmakers. Detroit as well as the state could benefit so much by profiting from the sale of marihuana. Real problems could than be dealt with such as getting murderers off the streets. And Detroiters will no longer be wasting money (against their will) fighting something that is totally harmless. I say to these lawmakers if you never smoked marihuana than you have nothing to base your opinions on. I run a very successful contracting business., and have a son that is getting ready to graduate college. (I smoke every evening) Its time you wake up and listen to public opinion. 

I completely agree with you.

I completely agree with you.

What a charade of a system we

What a charade of a system we have.  You want change? Then get out sign petitions and vote for it say the politicians.  UH OH, they did it!? It's polling well!? It could pass!? No worries we can always just yank any power from under them and go back to business as usual.  So sad.

voting for pot

The benefits of legalization far outweigh the any negative aspects and I'll name just a few;

More taxpayers moving back into the city, buying currently unoccupied houses, increasing the city's tax roll;

Police could focus more on violent criminals like carjackers, robbers, and murderers, making the streets safer;

Taxing may reduce or eliminate the black market for pot, bringing more desperately needed  tax money to the city to hire more cops and revamp the EMS system.

     I would certainly feel more comfortable, safer,  and would attend more activities in Detroit, knowing the police are focusing on crack and other hard drug dealers and other violent activities.

     The city council in Detroit, like that of any other city, is legally bound to represent the citizens of their city. When the proper and lawfully aquired signatures were gathered, the message was sent to the city council, make marijuana legal or let the citizens VOTE. I have heard much about the citizens of Detroit getting tired of others telling them how to run their city and the systems within, ie schools etc.. so how can the ELECTED officials now refuse their citizens that same right?

Stand Up People

It's corrupt and NEEDS to be corrected.  I'm so tired of our elected officials not listening to the people who voted them into office.  This is just unbelievable!!!!!!!! 

It's time for change!!

I totally agree with the above comments. There are way bigger issues and problems going on in this city then pot! Weed is a harmless substance that helps more people then it ever would hurt! I myself am about to get my marijuana card because of health issues.

I really hope this appeal goes through, because what the officials have done is wrong. Tim got 6,000 signatures to get this on the ballot, and I guarantee he could have gotten 6,000 more. It's time for change to hit this city, and I think this would help greatly.

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