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Coa Give Go Ahead For Detroit City Legalization


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The COA sided with the Coalition for a Safer Detroit to force the city to put the decriminalization question (possession of an ounce or less) on the city ballot. This had been blocked by city council president, Charles Pugh.

 

http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20120209_C300516_70_300516.OPN.PDF

 

 

........Plaintiff established the requirements for a writ of mandamus and the trial court abused

its discretion in failing to grant the writ. It was outside the authority of defendants to consider

the substance and effect of the initiative and defendants had a clear legal duty to place the matter

on the ballot once the clerk determined that the petition had the requisite number of qualified

signatures. Plaintiff had a clear legal right to the placement of the initiative on the ballot, and

plaintiff had no other remedy that would achieve the same result. Again, we emphasize that

judicial pre-election determinations of the legality of ballot proposals are disfavored as undue

interference with the legislative process, including the initiative process, the most direct form for

citizens to pass laws. And, where, as here, the question of whether the ballot proposal conflicts

with state law is a complex, close question of law, clearly the judiciary should let the legislative

process proceed.

Accordingly, we reverse and remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent

with this opinion. We do not retain jurisdiction.

 

It was not 100% clean in that it was 2-1 w/ the dissenting opinion..

 

http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20120209_C300516_71_300516D.OPN.PDF

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The COA sided with the Coalition for a Safer Detroit to force the city to put the decriminalization question (possession of an ounce or less) on the city ballot. This had been blocked by city council president, Charles Pugh.

 

fyi...

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey was also involved in blocking the democratic vote.

 

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Sapala was the lower court judge who agreed with the Clerk & Election Commission's decision to block the vote.

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A petition drive aimed at giving voters in the City of Detroit voters the option of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana was improperly barred from the ballot in 2010, the state Court of Appeals said in a decision released this morning.

 

The appeals court reversed the ruling of a Wayne County judge, who let stand a decision by the Detroit Elections Commission to keep the issue off the ballot because they believed the proposal conflicts with state drug law.

 

A 2-1 majority of the appeals panel said city officials did not have the authority to make that determination.

 

“It was outside the authority of (city officials) to consider the substance and effect of the initiative and defendants have a clear legal duty to place the matter on the ballot,” the court wrote.

 

In the majority were judges Henry Saad and Elizabeth Gleicher. Dissenting was Judge Jane Markey.

 

Article here.

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fyi...

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey was also involved in blocking the democratic vote.

 

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Sapala was the lower court judge who agreed with the Clerk & Election Commission's decision to block the vote.

 

 

No question about Winfrey, but having watched the drama back when, Pugh seemed to have really forced the issue.

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