By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
Michigan is undergoing a groundswell of activism for a statewide vote on the legalization of marijuana, and voters could get a chance to have their say in November 2012.
There’s a strong popular will toward reforming the cannabis laws statewide, according to Kalamazoo defense attorney Louis Stocking, who ran the petition drive for that city’s successful citywide vote Tuesday to make enforcing the marijuana laws the lowest priority of police, reports Paula M. Davis at the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Following Michigan’s approval of medical marijuana in 2008, Tuesday’s ballot measure in Kalamazoo was “a way of keeping the tidal wave going,” Stocking sasid.
Sixty-five percent of those who voted were in favor of amending the Kalamazoo city charter so that the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by persons 21 or older is the lowest priority of law enforcement.
?Not surprisingly, Michigan’s notoriously anti-marijuana Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office is “not supportive” of the ballot proposal.
“Police officers should not be handcuffed when making decisions on how to best protect public safety,” said the AG’s spokesman, John Sellek, evidently believing that somehow, arresting citizens with less than an ounce of marijuana mysteriously achieves public safety goals.
Stocking, though, said his vision of legalized marijuana in Michigan could be good for everyone.
“We’re in such turmoil financially it could literally turn around the state and the country,” Stocking said.
There is rising activism for a statewide decision to reform the marijuana laws, said John Targowski, a Kalamazoo attorney and one of the authors of the successful charter amendment.
One idea is to make the cultivation of 1,000 plants or less a misdemeanor. “Right now, even growing one plant is a felony,” Targowski said.
Activists see the presidential election year as a prime opportunity for pot legalization. It was a presidential vote year in 2008 when an overwhelming 63 percent of Michigan voters passed the Medical Marihuana Act.
“I think most voters who self identify as Democrats particularly are going to be in favor of reforming drug policy,” Targowski said. “That would be my guess.”
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.