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Michigan’s Two Largest Cities to Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization This November

Most of the media attention regarding marijuana reform this election has been focused on the state wide ballot initiatives in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State that would legalize marijuana, but there are also several important local initiatives on the ballot in Michigan. Voters in four Michigan municipalities, including the state’s most populous cities, will be deciding the fate of local marijuana reform measures.

  • Detroit – After a multi-year legal battle with the city, the Coalition for a Safer Detroit finally won the right to have their initiative go before the voters. If Proposal M is approved by the city’s residents, it would remove all local penalties for adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Minor possession would still technically remain a crime under state law, but the approval of the measure would send a clear message to local officials about how voters want limited law enforcement resources used.
  • Flint – The city of Flint is voting on a local ballot measure, which is sponsored by the Coalition for a Safer Flint, very similar to the one in Detroit. The initiative would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana on private property by adults 19 and over no longer a local criminal offense.
  • Grand Rapids – Proposal 2 was successfully put on Grand Rapids’ ballot by the organization DecriminalizeGR. The measure would amend the city’s charter to make marijuana possession only a civil infraction, similar to a parking ticket. The penalty for a first offense would be simply a $25 fine, a second offense would result in a $50 fine and a third offense would result in a $100 fine.
  • Ypsilanti – A local measure would make minor marijuana possession the city’s lowest law enforcement priority. In the past other cities such as Denver, CO and Seattle, WA have approved similar local ballot measures to make marijuana possession the lowest priority for the police.

Detroit and Grand Rapids are the two largest cities in Michigan, and Flint ranks seventh. Combined, they contain roughly 10 percent of the state’s population. Having all the initiatives win this November would not only change the local marijuana laws for roughly a million people in state but it also would send a signal that a large segment of the state no longer believes marijuana prohibition is worth continuing.

CommunityJust Say Now

Michigan’s Two Largest Cities to Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization This November

Most of the media attention regarding marijuana reform this election has been focused on the state wide ballot initiatives in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State that would legalize marijuana, but there are also several important local initiatives on the ballot in Michigan. Voters in four Michigan municipalities, including the state’s most populous cities, will be deciding the fate of local marijuana reform measures.

  • Detroit – After a multi-year legal battle with the city, the Coalition for a Safer Detroit finally won the right to have their initiative go before the voters. If Proposal M is approved by the city’s residents, it would remove all local penalties for adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Minor possession would still technically remain a crime under state law, but the approval of the measure would send a clear message to local officials about how voters want limited law enforcement resources used.
  • Flint – The city of Flint is voting on a local ballot measure, which is sponsored by the Coalition for a Safer Flint, very similar to the one in Detroit. The initiative would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana on private property by adults 19 and over no longer a local criminal offense.
  • Grand Rapids – Proposal 2 was successfully put on Grand Rapids’ ballot by the organization DecriminalizeGR. The measure would amend the city’s charter to make marijuana possession only a civil infraction, similar to a parking ticket. The penalty for a first offense would be simply a $25 fine, a second offense would result in a $50 fine and a third offense would result in a $100 fine.
  • Ypsilanti – A local measure would make minor marijuana possession the city’s lowest law enforcement priority. In the past other cities such as Denver, CO and Seattle, WA have approved similar local ballot measures to make marijuana possession the lowest priority for the police.

Detroit and Grand Rapids are the two largest cities in Michigan, and Flint ranks seventh. Combined, they contain roughly 10 percent of the state’s population. Having all the initiatives win this November would not only change the local marijuana laws for roughly a million people in state but it also would send a signal that a large segment of the state no longer believes marijuana prohibition is worth continuing.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com