DecriminalizeGR is working to get the issue on the November ballot as a city charter issue. The group needs 6,500 signatures.
MLive Media Group’s Matt Vande Bunte reports the effort is an attempt to pre-empt enforcement of state and federal law that prohibits marijuana use. The amendment would make use of the drug a civil infraction, with fines ranging from $25 to $100. The proposal is modeled on an ordinance in Ann Arbor, where marijuana use has been a civil infraction for decades.
MLive.com readers have mixed views on the situation.
johnny2x2x said police officers would enjoy pursuing dangerous criminals rather than marijuana users.
I know police officers who would be glad to see marijuana decriminalized. It would give them more time to catch real and dangerous criminals. They’re also sick and tired of the driver responsibility fees which have made a large % of Michigan’s drivers criminals.
ppwiii questions if the proposal would even be effective if it received public support.
For this to work the proposed Charter Amendment has to do more than just create a new civil infraction. It has to mandate that GRPD cannot initiate state charges or participate in the prosecution of state charges. GRPD has to be limited to pursuing this new charge, otherwise this is a waste of time because GR does not prosecute marijuana charges now.
wrisley is hopeful for DecriminalizeGR’s success, but also has reservations.
I hope this action succeeds. I have my doubts, however, because the amount of money that the lawyers, courts, and court ordered ‘AA’ styled classes, etc, will lose out on will be prohibitive to those who benefit from these arrests.
CityofGRresident said the city needs to determine if pursuing marijuana violators is worth the effort of public safety workers.
The question is whether the voters of the City want law enforcement spending time, money and other resources chasing marijuana users or whether those resources can be better used in preventing and investigating real crime. Some folks don’t get it. The P.D. can only spend a dollar once. This issue is about HOW and WHERE the law enforcement dollars are spent.