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Free On Bond, Ferndale Marijuana Advocate Plans Rally


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US MI: Free On Bond, Ferndale Pot Advocate Plans Rally


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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n482/a07.html

Newshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Tue, 24 Sep 2013

Source: Oakland Press, The (MI)

Copyright: 2013 The Oakland Press

Contact: allan.adler@oakpress.com

Website: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2114

Author: Michael P. Mcconnell




A Ferndale ballot proposal to decriminalize marijuana is on the city ballot, even though its local sponsor faces felony charges of selling pot to a police informant and is under investigation for fraudulently registering to vote in Ferndale.


Andrew Cissell, 25, is free on $50,000 bond as his legal challenges proceed.


"It is good to be out of jail," he said Monday, five days after he was released from the Oakland County Jail.  "I'm having a political rally Oct.  6 at Geary Park in Ferndale and it should be a pretty big deal.  I can't say more until I talk with my lawyer."


Cissell said he and his attorney, Lisa Dwyer, plan to soon release a statement and take questions on his legal case.


Cissell said he is continuing his campaign to be elected state representative for the 27th District in 2014.


It is unclear how the ongoing voter registration probe into his residency will affect the legality of his state candidacy.  The rally at Geary Park was planned before Cissell's arrest as part of his campaign for state office.


Ferndale officials this week will send out absentee ballots to registered voters.  City Clerk Cherilynn Brown said the pot proposal is on those ballots.


"The issue of voter registration fraud is under investigation," Brown said.  "Until there is proof of any fraud we are moving forward."


During the course of the NET investigation, police said it appeared Cissell lived at a house in Oak Park and not at his father's address in Ferndale.  Cissell's voter registration, filed in June, indicates he lived at his father's house on West Drayton, Brown said.


However, his father confirmed to police, and reporters, that his son has not lived at the Ferndale address in about three years.


County prosecutors have charged Cissell with five counts of marijuana delivery in Oak Park 45 District Court.  Each charge is a fiveyear felony.  He is scheduled for a preliminary examination before Oak Park District Judge David Gubow at 1 p.m.  Oct.  3.


Police raided Cissell's house in Oak Park, a second house in Oak Park where he had some personal property, and his father's house in Ferndale.


Police said the raids turned up more than 100 marijuana plants, nearly 30 ounces of pot, digital scales and packaging material.


Ferndale officials and the city attorney are working with state and county election officials on how Cissell's legal case may impact the legality of the vote in Ferndale, Brown said.


Voter registration fraud is a misdemeanor.


The Michigan Bureau of Elections last week told Brown the law makes no provision for invalidating a ballot proposal based on a possible false voter registration address by the petitioner.


Ferndale police began a preliminary examination into possible voter registration fraud by Cissell and turned it over to the county sheriff's office last week.  Ultimately, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper's office will decide whether voter fraud charges are filed.


Cissell collected about 600 Ferndale voter signatures to put the pot decriminalization issue on the city Nov.  5 election ballot.  The clerk's office validated the signatures shortly after they were submitted July 30.


The following month, the Oakland County Sheriff's Narcotic Enforcement team began an investigation of Cissell.  A police informant wore a wire for investigators and bought marijuana from Cissell, police said.


Cissell is a registered marijuana care giver for four patients, but had more marijuana than is allowed under the state's medical marijuana law, police said.  He was arrested Sept.  9. 

MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom



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