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Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero Backs Marijuana Ballot Measure

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LANSING -- Virg Bernero hasn't been shy in the past about his support for medical marijuana.
On Monday, Lansing's mayor voiced his approval of a ballot initiative that would amend the city charter, legalizing the possession, use and transfer of an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 years and older on private property.
A full statement issued by Bernero follows:


It is not surprising that this proposal to legalize small quantities of marijuana has garnered enough signatures to be put to a vote of the citizens of Lansing this fall. The public is far ahead of most politicians on this issue, as evidenced by the overwhelming support for medical marijuana when it was on the statewide ballot several years ago, as well as the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana in cities like Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids. 
It is just a matter of time before other cities, including Lansing, either follow suit or go one step further, as this proposal would do. 


My personal view is that marijuana prohibition has been a complete failure that has mainly succeeded in filling up our prisons with minor drug offenders at an extremely high cost to the taxpayers of this state. Our police officers and courts have more important things to do than pursue and prosecute these violations.

Bernero has previously--and boldly--endorsed medical marijuana, and earlier this year he directed his administration to begin


 researching marijuana decriminalization for Lansing in the vein of Grand Rapids.

The Lansing initiative is different from Grand Rapids' recent decriminalization, which made possession a civil infraction punishable by a fine. Under the proposal, possession, use and transfer of an ounce of marijuana by someone at least 21 years old on private property would be completely legal.


The Coalition for a Safer Lansing submitted 6,400-some signatures for its marijuana legalization initiative on Monday. Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said the measure appears to satisfy legal requirements for placement on the November ballot. He plans to have the measure completely vetted within two weeks.



Edited by bobandtorey
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