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Pot Legalization Efforts Going City By City

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Pot Legalization Efforts Going City By City


While a statewide petition drive continues to legalize marijuana statewide, a separate wing of the pro-pot movement is taking a different tact . . . a city-by-city strategy that could result in four towns where grass is essentially decriminalized.


Tim Beck, who co-authored the state's medical marijuana law, said that in addition to the possible vote on the issue in Detroit this August, efforts are underway in Jackson, Flint, Ypsilanti and Saugatuck-Douglas to get this on the local ballot.


Buoyed by a successful effort in Kalamazoo, where the measure passed with 66 percent of the vote. Beck said he believes organizers in the other cities will be just as successful.


In Detroit, a Court of Appeals ruling this month cleared the way for a ballot initiative (See "COA: Detroit Pot Ordinance OK To Be On Ballot," 2/10/12), but it likely be appealed. Beck remained confident it could withstand a higher court challenge.


He said it was a "very narrow opinion" written by a conservative appellate judge Henry Saad. Beck said it was based on "tons" of legal precedence and he predicted an overturn "is not going to happen."


And, if that is the case, he predicted Detroit would support the measure on the primary ballot. He noted that 78 percent of the Motown voters approved medical marijuana in 2008 and the current backing for outright legalization is "in the 60 percent range."


Asked why Lansing was not included on the targeted list, Beck said there is no one here to push the effort.



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