Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 2004
Source: Flint Journal (MI)
Copyright: 2004 Flint Journal
Note: Prefers to print letters from people in the area of The Flint Journal
Author: Bob Wheaton
Cited: Michigan NORML
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)


FLINT - Erich Schmitz takes his marijuana seriously.

"I don't like using the word pot,' " said Schmitz, 21, of Mt. Morris.
"To me, it sounds juvenile."

Schmitz, who said he smokes marijuana "on occasion," and dozens of
other supporters of legalizing marijuana attended the third annual
Marijuana March held by the Flint National Organization for the Reform
of Marijuana Laws.

"Just like you can drink alcohol responsibly, you can smoke marijuana
responsibly," Schmitz said. "I do believe marijuana is safer (than

By 12:45 p.m., about 70 people were gathered at Riverbank Park off S.
Saginaw Street. They listened to live music and speeches and planned
to march to Flint City Hall later in the day. Organizers discouraged
participants from smoking marijuana at the rally.

While most proponents appeared to be in their 20s, older generations
also were represented.

"The prohibition of (marijuana) is quite a crime-producing policy,"
said Richard Hynds, 53, of Montrose Township, who heads an
organization that promotes meditation. "It's the same way the
prohibition of alcohol in Prohibition spurred gangsters and corruption
that we see take place today in the drug war."

Reacting to the event, Genesee County Undersheriff James Gage said,
"It's a simple fact that increased drug abuse and increased crime go
hand in hand. It makes no difference whether the user can purchase the
drugs legally or not. ... I think the answer is not legalizing it. I
think the answer is education." 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake