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Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 12, 2012

    The Supreme Court for the state of Michigan has ruled that city election officials cannot prevent Detroit voters from deciding on a municipal ballot measure that seeks to remove marijuana possession penalties for those age 21 or older.

    The Court refused to review an appeal brought by the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission that sought to strike down the proposed ballot question, sponsored by the group Coalition for a Safer Detroit.

    In 2010, the Coalition collected over 6,000 signatures from registered voters to place the measure on that year’s electoral ballot. The vote failed to take place, however, because election officials at the time alleged that the proposal conflicted with state anti-drug laws.

    This past February, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Detroit election officials acted illegally in 2010 when they denied voters the opportunity to decide on the issue. “[Plaintiff[s] had a clear legal right to the placement of the initiative on the ballot,” the court ruled.

    The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the Appellate court’s decision. Detroit voters will now decide on the measure this November.

    More information about this campaign is available here.

    27 Responses to “Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure”

    1. raymond g. arrington kofh men eye stir Sunshine says:

      alpha omegans, Rastas, native american church, moonies, and many other religions already enjoy pot and higher schedule drugs… the federal government and many states already grow, distribute and have ultimate users of pot… the 14th amendment makes everyone else legally able to use the same people… also read scaffer report and studdy the nixon tapes people… current pot laws originate from the fraud u will find there… also remember natural liberty is described in the courts as “property that a person has acquired and has harmed nobody with remains the persons private property”
      ur constitutions and bills of right are printed on them people… the government is still making fuel from them… makes me mad everytime i pass a gas pump…

    2. Dan says:

      My only questions is the vote was passed 2-1. I wonder who the judge was that passed that it was okay and what reason could he possibly have for denying citizens the right to vote on something.

    3. Mciranny says:

      Today Detroit tomorrow the entire United States and we can all commence to chill out. Lol

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      This is a real victory for the voters of Detroit. I’m sure it’s no surprise to the fans of NORML how often democracy itself takes a backseat to cruel drug war ideology.

    5. Anonymous says:

      so, the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission denied people their rights.

      sounds like grounds for a lawsuit to me.

    6. Anonymous says:

      anon. there WAS a lawsuit. That’s what this article is about: a lawsuit.

    7. Peter says:

      “so, the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission denied people their rights.

      sounds like grounds for a lawsuit to me.”

      Try owning a gun in Illinois, especially Chicago.

    8. Joel: the other Joel says:

      That is very good news for democracy. I hope it all works on November 2012.

      Liberty rules.
      VOTE!

    9. Warren says:

      Sounds like grounds for a war to me. When the American Colonists declared themselves independent of British rule they did so because of taxation without representation in Parliament and other less prominent reasons like Colonial billeting of British soldiers in their homes. It seems to me that governmental assumption of authority it does not have, rampant police murder and brutality of citizens, false arrests by the thousands, and many other crimes against the people our government and cops commit on a regular occurrence, and the sale of legislative votes and court decisions to special interests groups give us many times more justification for revolt and open war than the original rebels in the first American Revolution.

    10. Dave says:

      Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    11. aoneone says:

      So this year to legalize so far is Michigan and Colorado this November? What happened to California? Sheesh..

    12. kurt voynovich says:

      yeah!

    13. just da facts says:

      The drug laws serve the narco terrorists and no one else. Not the cops, not the citizens, not the community. Only one reaping huge benefits are narco terrorists right here in Detroit and all over America. DE-fund drug gangs legalize.

    14. F.G. says:

      Coalition for a Safer Detroit……and whose that ? The pharmaceutical & liquor industry, that’s who . Just like ” Drug free America ” their using deception wording to convince you that using Marijuana will create safety issues but it is just the opposite . It is their drugs that create the safety problems .

      [Paul Armentano responds: Hardly. The Coalition is headed by the former Executive Director of Michigan NORML.]

    15. Fireweed says:

      If Detroit were to be allowed to regulate and distribute mj for adults it would pull Detroit out of its financial hellhole and into a staggering surplus. Traffic accidents would decrease, crime would decrease, the tax base would increase. Look for me to be visiting Detroit a lot if that gets passed.

    16. [...] Detroit citizens will be voting on a municipal marijuana legalization initiative in November after being delayed in 2010 by the city comptroller. Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure | NO… [...]

    17. Ryan says:

      The legalization measure is excellent legislation. The voters will approve of it verwhelmingly. And this will play a key role in Detroit’s revival. Liberalized pot laws are appealling to the young and creative types that have been quietly returning to the city.

    18. Jayne Knous says:

      This is great news, some common sense shinning through. The drug war has got to end, it is killing a lot of people on a global level including this country. And all it has accomplished is to create a bigger & more dangerous criminal element than we had before the prohibition. It has also lead to the creation of designer drugs that have proved to be quite lethal. The drug war failed at it’s inception. It’s killing the economy on a global level also.

    19. Douglas says:

      (To Anonymous) It sure does sound like a law suit and a lot more

    20. [...] Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure The Supreme Court for the state of Michigan has ruled that city election officials cannot prevent Detroit voters from deciding on a municipal ballot measure that seeks to remove marijuana possession penalties for those age 21 or older. The Court refused to review an appeal brought by the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission that sought to strike down the proposed ballot question, sponsored by the group Coalition for a Safer Detroit. In 2010, the Coalition collected over 6,000 signatures from registered voters to place the measure [...] [...]

    21. mxvapetoke says:

      1. During the pending campaign period, watch what kind of money flows into the opposition campaign fund: how much from alcohol, $igarette, pharma companies or their allies (via Secret Sacred $igarettes United SuperPACks)? Now, analyze and figure out why the 0.1%$$ oligarch share-owners, CEOs, advisers, attorneys of these corporations fear and take measures against cannabis legalization.

      2. What if, following cannabis legalization, there was a sudden $$ DROP in purchases of alcohol beverages, especially among youngsters, along with a sudden DROP in vehicular accidents? (would lots of really BIG money turn green in the face?)

      3″. What if, because something caused a sudden disappearance of $igarette smoking, certain profitable “chronic” diseases also disappeared, reducing sales of Lipitor and other “chronic” prescription drugs?

      4. As soon as cannabis is unambiguously legalized and no fear remains of being molested or arrested for possessing or using any cannabis, overt Harm Reduction Equipment such as the single-toke chillum (narrow screened crater, long flexible drawtube) will also be de facto legalized.

      No one will have the right to frisk or arrest you for possessing such a utensil, cite it as evidence to arrest you for cannabis, etc., and you will be FREE TO USE the utensil with cannabis or– this is what they fear– with tobacco.

      A conventional inhalant pack-a-day $igarette smoker in a high-tax state, now paying $10 a day for about a half ounce per day of tobacco rolled in 700-mg $igarettes, could instead– after de facto legalization of the calumet, chillum, kiseru (Japan), midwakh (UAE), sebsi (Morocco) or any one-hitter or narrow-gage bong–

      (a) cut apart the $igarettes, remove the tobacco, grind it through a 1/16″ wire sifter,

      (b) over the next day instead of burning up 20 $igarettes for $10 a day, serve 40 x 25-mg vapetokes for a total cost of about 70 cents a day, using one-fourteenth as much tobacco, and

      (c) keep the “$igarette money” to invest in the campaign fund of some candidate or cause they REALLY like).

      5. Detroit needs a domestic manufacturing industry making a single toke utensil such as the Jamaican-style long-stemmed CHOOMETTE). Start with marketing to cannabis user customers, yes, but BE READY when 40,000,000 tobacco $igarette puffsuckers nationwide suddenly convert from high-$$-profit corporate-rolled $igarettes and there is a huge $$ demand for new Dosage Moderation Equipment from Detroit.

      Some design tips for green entrepreneurs to study now are in wikiHow.com: “Make Smoke Pipes from Everyday Objects” and related articles. Sign in, revise and improve articles, add photo of device, etc. Thank you; yes we cannibinize!

    22. Fireweed says:

      I know I’ll definitely go to Detroit and spend some tourist money, not just on weed either but on restaurants and stuff.

    23. Bob says:

      OK folks its time to make a stand.

      The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. If ya have some money to spare – contribute to Normal or a like organization and/or email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

      To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

      Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010 and each year the number increases. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

      I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and endorse responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.

      Signed

      Voting Citizen
      & Member of the Movement

    24. Candice Howren says:

      The US Government took out Patent # 6630507 on the Cannabis Plant for Medical Purposes in 2003. Just Google it!

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