Petition for Marijuana Legalization Recycled

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. By Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press
    Source: Detroit News

    Last year, supporters of legalizing marijuana didn't collect enough signatures to get a measure on the 2000 ballot. This year, armed with a larger and wiser group of volunteers, they're trying again.
    Saginaw attorney Gregory Schmid, the leader of the Personal Responsibility Amendment effort, began collecting signatures last weekend for a 2002 ballot measure.

    If the proposal gets on the ballot and voters approve it, anyone over 21 could buy the drug without penalty, and adults could grow small quantities of marijuana in their homes. Michigan residents also could use marijuana for medical purposes.

    Passage would make Michigan the first state to allow recreational marijuana use. Eight states already allow marijuana use for medical purposes.

    Including recreational marijuana use could doom the proposal, said Chuck Thomas, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

    "Voters, according to most public opinion surveys, have a much higher support for medical marijuana rather than non-medical marijuana," Thomas said.

    "If the voters really have the opportunity to think about and hear the issues, I'm confident that they would support this particular initiative. But will people have that opportunity?"

    Schmid believes frustration with the country's expensive drug war could persuade many voters to pass the measure.

    "We had to make a choice: Do something or do nothing. So we decided to be inclusive about this whole issue and take the next step," Schmid said.

    Last year, Schmid collected only about half of the signatures necessary to get the measure on the ballot. He was working with a small, unexperienced group of volunteers who tried to collect most of the signatures during winter.

    This year, Schmid said, he already has 3,000 volunteers and is recruiting more on trips to college campuses. Volunteers plan to collect most of the signatures over the summer, he said.

    Volunteers have collected more than 5,000 signatures so far, including from many who attended last weekend's annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor. The group needs to collect 302,711 valid signatures by October for the measure to get on the ballot.

    Thomas and Schmid say lifting the ban on marijuana use would decrease crime and addiction because people would not have to buy marijuana from dealers who may introduce them to harder drugs. They also say police resources are being wasted in the fight against drugs.

    "This is not a way of coddling marijuana users," Thomas said. "It's a way of better using our limited law enforcement. Do we want to be targeting rapists and violent criminals or do we want to be targeting the 40-year-old man sitting at home smoking a marijuana cigarette on a Friday night?"

    But state Rep. Paul DeWeese, R-Williamston, said he is troubled by the attitude that marijuana is a harmless drug.

    "I've known quite a number of people that regularly smoked marijuana, and I really am of the opinion that marijuana removes something that is essential in the human person," said DeWeese, a physician. "Regular use of marijuana takes away the ability to sustain a long-term, arduous effort toward a significant goal."

    DeWeese said he doesn't want to legalize recreational marijuana use, but is open to the idea of allowing marijuana use for medical reasons.

    "I am convinced that marijuana, from a medical perspective, does help many patients," he said.

    "So I don't have any problem saying, if the marijuana has real medical value, maybe that's something we should be taking a look at."

    Source: Detroit News (MI)
    Author: Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press
    Published: April 19, 2001
    Copyright: 2001, The Detroit News

    Related Articles & Web Sites:


    Marijuana Policy Project

    Ann Arbor Hash Bash
  2. I thought I heard that the signatures gotten at hash bash were enough to get this issue on the ballot. Perhaps not?

    And who in the fuck cares if Mr. DeWeese thinks marijuana should remain illegal? It's finally in the hands of the people. I believe Weesey should have the right to choose not to smoke marijuana himself, but the rest of us should have the right to choose for ourselves too.

    They ran the series "Hooked. Illegal drugs and how they got that way" this week again on the history channel. They seem to tell it like it is. They said that if the people who passed the first "Tax act" on these drugs could see what their little act has caused, they probably would never have passed it. It made users of drugs criminals (which we aren't).

    It's so nice not to have to listen to the government propaganda bullshit on television where ever you turn.
  4. Sometimes I get extremely industrious when I am high and I am more focused on what it is that I am trying to achieve. DeWeese seems to almost want to look at the issue philosophically but has really nothing to grasp onto to prove his point.


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