Monday, June 4, 2012

Detroit to Vote on Legalizing Pot

Legalization poster for Detroit Michigan Nov 2012 ballot issue.

 The Detroit Free Press is reporting:

 After a nearly two-year legal battle, the Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way Friday for a referendum question that could make Detroit the state's first city to legalize marijuana. Voters in the Aug. 7 primary election can expect to see the question -- asking them to legalize possession and use of up to 1 ounce of the drug, on private property, by those 21 and older, said Tim Beck, a Detroiter who heads the referendum group Coalition for a Safer Detroit.

Here is the actual ballot language as approved by the  Michigan Supreme Court:

REPEAL OF MARIHUANA PROHIBITION A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution, Article 1, to add: Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition. For persons who are at least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana acquisition, cultivation, manufacture, sale, delivery, transfer, transportation, possession, ingestion, presence in or on the body, religious, medical, industrial, agricultural, commercial or personal use, or possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged or penalized in any manner, nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided that no person shall be permitted to operate an aircraft, motor vehicle, motorboat, ORV, snowmobile, train, or other heavy or dangerous equipment or machinery while impaired by marihuana. 

Bottom Line

This would be major progress in turning the page on an immoral and racist war on drugs started by President Nixon in the early 1970's and then put on steroids by President Reagan in the 1980's. Nixon used it as a means to fight anti-war hippies, Reagan however used it in a more racist fashion all the while preaching limited government. Since President Reagan's time in office the national incarceration rate has gone from 1 to 5 in a 100,000. The US now has a higher percentage of it's population in the prison system than Stalin had in the Gulags. Our neighbor to the North, Canada, has legalized small amounts of pot for personal use years ago and yet has a substantially safer and healthier society.

This is however a first step. Pot still remains illegal on the federal level and Republicans on the state level are doing everything they can to countermand the overwhelmingly popular medical marijuana law. A further question is if Mitt Romney wins what will his policy be on the issue?

For Further information:

Coalition for a Safer Detroit

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