Marijuana: Detroit Possession Legalization Initiative Hands in Signatures

Organizers of a municipal initiative that would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults handed in 6,000 signatures to the Detroit City Clerk Wednesday. They need only 3,700 valid signatures to make the ballot, so they have a quite comfortable cushion.

According to the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, which is spearheaded by long-time local activist Tim Beck and which organized the signature-gathering drive, more than 1,500 people were arrested for simple marijuana possession in Detroit last year. The group also reports that Detroit police have begun issuing "civil citations" for marijuana possession and seizing vehicles or other property owned by pot smokers. This asset seizure, which is done without a hearing, forces the ticketed person to pay large sums -- fines, towing and storage fees -- to retrieve the seized property -- and the "civil citation" is recorded as a misdemeanor on his criminal record.

The initiative would amend the city code to exempt from arrest or prosecution "the use or possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, on private property, by anyone who has attained the age of 21 years."

Passage of the initiative would not necessarily end pot possession arrests in Detroit. Detroit police could still charge marijuana users under state law if they so desired. But passage of the initiative would send a clear message to police, prosecutors, the city council, and the mayor that voters do not want their law enforcement resources wasted on minor pot busts.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!


i live in the detroit area and do hope this bill gets approved...detroit is a poor city and any money saved will be appreciated...hopefully the money saved will go a long way

possession legal in detroit, but not in the USA

We have to attack the federal ban if the states are going to do their job of being federalism laboratories for local policies.

the current federal law regarding pot is flagrantly unconstitutional. Learn more here:

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School