Cities pass on issue of legalizing marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Sep 30, 2001.

  1. A leading proponent of marijuana legalization has something in common with the leaders of several local governments: both think the issue is none of a community's business.
    Officials for the Tri-Community Coalition, a youth anti-drug and alcohol abuse group in Berkley, Huntington Woods and Oak Park, tried to make cities take a stand on the issue by asking them to pass resolutions against marijuana decriminalization.

    Each city, however, refused to consider the issue.

    "We're going to try again," said Tri-Community Coalition coordinator Judy Rubin. "But so far, no one will support it."

    While the city councils from all three communities said they support the coalition and its work, council members refused to put the item on their respective agendas for a vote.

    Their hesitation to consider the issue makes sense to Saginaw attorney Greg Schmidt, the leading proponent behind a petition drive to have the legalization issue put before voters in November 2002.

    "They tried it, and they tried a lot of different techniques, Schmidt said. "But let's let the voters decide.

    "They don't have a legal leg to stand on. Their business is to accept the law as it is, not make the law. I respect the law and so should they."

    Judy Rubin of the coalition said she understands that local cities can't make laws governing the use of controlled substances, but she wants the signed resolution as a show of their support.

    "We need to gather strength against it," she said. "And this is a great way to start."

    Berkley left the door open to come around to her way of thinking. The council originally pulled the item from its agenda, but recently agreed to again let the coalition plead its case.

    "We have asked the coalition to schedule a work session item where they will inform us of the information they're using and bring everybody up to speed," said Berkley Mayor John Mark Mooney. "We just haven't gotten around to it yet."

    He added, though, that even after the city understands what data the group is using to oppose the resolution there might be a bigger issue standing in the way of adopting it.

    "There is some discussion on the council that that may not be something on which a city council should act," Mooney added. "That is one of the issues we want to discuss. I just don't know."

    In Huntington Woods, city commissioners said there didn't appear to be enough evidence that the city should tackle a subject over which it has no control.

    "We talked a little about it, but I don't think it was something we wanted to do," said Mayor Ronald Gillham. "You have to do it on a statewide basis.

    "How could any one city enforce it more than any other city? It's one of those things where I think you need a compelling argument to take that step."

    Rubin said she believes her group has plenty of compelling evidence: research that says smoking marijuana negatively affects everything from a user's cognitive ability to social skills.

    She said research shows long-term marijuana use results in brain changes seen only in heroin and cocaine abusers. It adversely affects learning ability, memory, perception, problem solving, coordination, motor skills and judgment, she added.

    "From our point of view, it is not a good thing," Rubin said. "Legalizing it could change the whole climate of our society."

    Schmidt, 41, counters that it could change society for the better. He's leading the petition drive for marijuana decriminalization and said it's "poised to make the ballot."

    Schmidt supports a Personal Responsibility Amendment to the Michigan Constitution that would allow residents to grow and possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for personal use. If passed, the amendment would make it legal for residents to grow and smoke marijuana in their own home, although it would still be illegal to sell it.

    The measure would also require that all proceeds from drug, alcohol and gambling forfeitures be sent to education and rehabilitation programs.

    Last year, a similar petition campaign fell 150,000 signatures short of making the ballot. This time, though, Schmidt has 2,700-2,800 people gathering signatures and feels assured he'll have enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

    He already has 231,000 of the 302,000 necessary signatures and has a self-imposed deadline of Nov. 1 to gather the rest.

    If he has the required signatures at least 120 days in advance, the issue will be placed on Michigan's November 2002 ballot.

    "We have many, many supporters throughout the state," Schmidt said. "A lot of them are in Wayne County, where we have a very huge and effective campaign. We also have some really good people in Oakland County.

    "We don't have substantial funding. It's a completely grassroots effort," he added. "We just have a lot of people on our side. It's considered an impossible feat, but we keep getting closer and closer to marijuana decriminalization."

    Rubin hopes that's not the case, saying if the measure passes it could especially have an adverse effect on teen-agers.

    Statistics show that when teen perception of risk decreases, use of marijuana increases, Rubin said, adding that young people emulate the behavior of adults.

    Schmidt disagreed, saying decriminalization could help meet the coalition's goal of eliminating drug problems in young people.

    "We should put government into more fruitful endeavors like fighting terrorism," Schmidt said. "They need to stop chasing mice and fight rats. I can see why they don't - rats fight back - but they must start to do it instead of demonizing and making kids want to try it because it's wrong. If it wasn't illegal, less people would try it."

    Anyone who wants pro-marijuana petitions can find them at www.PRAyes.com; anyone who wants to urge city officials to pass resolutions against it can call Berkley at 546-2410; Huntington Woods at 541-4300; or Oak Park at 691-7400.

    Staff writer Christy Strawser can be reached vie a-mail at christy.strawser@dailytribune.com or by phone at 591-2569.


    ©Daily Tribune 2001
     
  2. hell yeah dude.
    I also think that leglizing it would get people that would not usualy contribute to a war fund to pay tax to the cause. I don't under stand why the goverments don't see that. These people that want to stay at home smoke pot and complain about the goverment would be supporting it if they could go to the coffee house and pick up an oz. tax would and could go for the war fund and education so that the future of the U.S. could be sucure. It makes no since. Not like you would be forcing people to smoke, like with beer or other alachol products, it would be your choice. they could use the 21 and over status and not allow driving or working under the influnce. I mean DUH dont these people get it?
     
  3. Give it time, wasn't that long ago California LIT UP.
     

  4. The quote you're responding to was written almost eight years ago lol. How did you end up digging this topic up?
     
  5. Wow wtf, talk about old age :confused:
     
  6. The topic is in threads. You do run searches on here? I do, and found this one is still a topic worth commenting on. I am hoping to see legalization before I die.
     
  7. Lol I wasn't saying it's not relevant anymore, I was just saying you probably wont get a response back from the person... :p
     
  8. And........If I knew I was going to get hassled by the POST POLICE I would have minded my own business. You feel superior now fuk-face?:D
     
  9. Nah not really what I was going for, but if thats what you want to think then keep on keepin on.
     

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