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Skubick: Ballot proposal to decriminalize marijuana coming to a town near you

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Coming to 12 cities in Michigan soon:  Local ballot proposals to legalize or decriminalize marijuana for adults who use small amounts for recreational reasons.

Everyone knew this was coming but not until right now did citizens know if they were on the list.

Here ya go:  East Lansing, Saginaw, Mt. Pleasant, Oak Park, Hazel Park, Lapeer, Utica, Port Huron, Clare, Onaway, Harrison and Benzie County.

The “Safer Michigan Coalition” has nailed down local coordinators to collect the required signatures to place this before the voters in August and November.

It will make for some uncomfortable moments as the local lawmakers running in those areas will likely be forced to take a stance on the controversial issue which many are loathed to do because going one way or the other could cost them votes and maybe their jobs.

Apparently the coalition is not concerned about putting them on the hot, or should it be, on the “pot” seat.

Tim Beck, who co-authored the successful Medical Marijuana statewide vote, is confident these cities will follow a host of other Michigan cities that have already adopted this.  

“The state of Michigan is ripe for change,” he writes while revealing the names of coordinators.

The pitch to the voters that has worked before continues to be free up the cops to fight “real crime, with real victims; not harassing consenting adults for something that should not be a crime in the first place.”

The amazing element in all this is that all areas of the state have looked at this and liked it.  Grand Rapids, not exactly the Ann Arbor of the West Coast, said yes and other more conservative leaning cities such as Jackson have, too.

Guys like Attorney General Bill Schuette, who seems to find himself on the opposite side of many populist movements these days, will likely lead the charge against all this with his comments that grass is a “gateway drug” that leads to other hard drug useage especially among children.

That didn’t work on Medicial Marijuana and marijuana sympathizers are hoping it won’t resonate in these communities either.

Mr. Beck points out that 17 states including New York and near-by Ohio have already gone there and the strategy is to pick off Michigan cities, one by one, until lawmakers finally decide to just do it statewide.

Needless to say this conservative GOP dominated legislature is in no hurry to do that and may be content to let Mr. Beck and company peck away at this town by town.
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