Detroit's Proposal M would legalize pot possession in some cases - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Detroit's Proposal M would legalize pot possession in some cases

Posted: Updated:

By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- "We do not believe that a person peacefully using marijuana should be arrested or prosecuted any more than somebody's who's drinking a vodka martini," said Tim Beck.

Legalizing marijuana has been a national debate for more than a decade.  Now it could be a reality in Detroit.  After years of litigation, Proposal M is finally on the ballot in Detroit.  The proposal would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property for those 21 and older.

Beck from the Coalition for Safer Detroit is responsible for the initiative.  He says passing Prop M will allow Detroit police to solve real problems instead of chasing what he calls victimless crimes.

"Vandalism, breaking and entering, auto theft -- people don't like that stuff and it's out of control, so take that money away, that $3 million, reallocate it to get more police working on those types of crimes that are actually destroying this city."

In 2009, Detroit spent almost $3 million prosecuting the estimated 1,500 arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana.  Beck says that's money the state could use in larger scale drug prosecutions.

Many express concern that marijuana is a gateway drug and legalizing it will only make the city more dangerous and drug infested.

"There (are) plenty of drugs in Detroit," Beck said with a laugh.  "This law is not going to encourage anybody to smoke marijuana that isn't doing it already."

"These young hoodlums, they're going down the street, they're chugging Colt 45, they're smoking weed and harassing people, and that's intolerable.  We don't want that.  That's why we say private property.  Just be responsible.  We don't want people walking around the street smoking marijuana and causing other people that don't like marijuana to get uncomfortable."

Similar proposals to decriminalize marijuana had already been passed in Denver and Seattle.  In Ann Arbor, getting caught with a small amount of marijuana is equivalent to a minor traffic ticket, and in Kalamazoo, it's the lowest law enforcement priority.  Still, it's not something everyone agrees on.

"They have a lot more things to be worried about other than what's going on.  They need to clean up downtown first and get some good people in office," said Mark Saunders.

"I don't think they should allow it because our kids (are) out of control right now and I feel that... (isn't) doing (anything) but giving them another way to get (a) hold of the stuff," said Carline Williams.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:01 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:01:01 GMT
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
  • Detroit soccer team to compete for homeless world cup in New York

    Detroit soccer team to compete for homeless world cup in New York

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:03:06 GMT
    "Soccer's real popular right now, people are playing that have never played before," said Reginald Ikard. "It's a blessing, we're going to represent and try to win." Ikard is talking about his soccer team going to New York, representing Detroit with his teammates, all of whom used to be homeless.Sheilah Clay is president and CEO of the Neighborhood Service Organization."They didn't know anything about this, so it was an overwhelming thought of 'you want us to compete as a team and play in New...
    "Soccer's real popular right now, people are playing that have never played before," said Reginald Ikard. "It's a blessing, we're going to represent and try to win." Ikard is talking about his soccer team going to New York, representing Detroit with his teammates, all of whom used to be homeless.Sheilah Clay is president and CEO of the Neighborhood Service Organization."They didn't know anything about this, so it was an overwhelming thought of 'you want us to compete as a team and play in New...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices