Election Ballot Language Would Amend City Code To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession
After months of legal wrangling, democracy has prevailed. The Wayne County Circuit Court today issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Detroit Election Commission to place on the November 6 general election ballot language that would amend the city code to remove criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The order was issued pursuant to a Michigan Court of Appeals decision that city officials have improperly tried to keep the language off the ballot and away from voters.
Specifically, the code amendment that Detroit voters will decide on in November reads:
“None of the provisions of this article shall apply to the use or possession of less than 1 ounce of marihuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years.”
Congratulations to Tim Beck, Matt Abel, and the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, who fought this battle all the way to the state Supreme Court. In so doing, not only have they given Detroit voters the chance to send a powerful message that marijuana prohibition has failed, but they’ve also set a precedent that Detroit’s elected officials cannot play politics with the right of the people to change the law by direct initiative.
Source: Marijuana Policy Project