Has your city voted to decriminalize marijuana?
What Michigan cities are decriminalizing marijuana?
Ferndale, Lansing, and Jackson are all Michigan cities that have voted to decriminalize marijuana this week. You can add those 3 cities to the other Michigan cities that have already voted to decriminalize marijuana including Flint, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. With all these cities now updating ordinances, it has many wondering if Michigan will be the next state to legalize marijuana.
Passing the Vote
Lansing passed the vote to enact a city charter change by 63%. Ferndale passed the vote to decriminalize less than one ounce of marijuana by 69% and Jackson passed the vote by 61%.
How to Michiganders Feel?
The Huffington Post reported that Michigan has many supports of decriminalizing marijuana. A poll taken by EPIC-MRC last September said that 47% of voters support taxing and regulating marijuana just like alcohol. Another 16% of likely voters said that possession should be a fine rather than a criminal charge. 26% of Michigan voters said to keep the system the way it is.
While Michigan voters are making themselves heard, the conflict is that under state and federal law, recreational marijuana remains illegal. This conflict has many law enforcement officers unsure of how to approach the new ordinances. Matthews Heins, the Chief of Police from Jackson, described the difficulty decriminalizing by saying, “It’s a never ending process to try to keep the officers abreast … what is the most recent legislation … what is the most recent court decisions,”.
Governor Rick Snyder and Bill Schuette, the Attorney General, both have stated their objections saying that even with the cities’ new ordinances, that the state law remains that recreational marijuana is illegal. Schuette wrote a letter explaining the situation and included:
regardless of whether the proposed amendment is approved by the voters, marijuana will remain a controlled substance under state and federal law. … No city charter provision ‘shall conflict with or contravene the provisions of any general law of the state.'”
What Do You Think?
Should small amounts of marijuana become legal in Michigan? Should it be decriminalized to “only” a fine? Or, do you share the same opinion as 26% of potential voters and believe that marijuana should remain illegal?