Pubdate: Fri, 23 Dec 2011
Source: Tuscola County Advertiser (Caro, MI)
Copyright: 2011 Michigan Media, a division of the Edwards Group
Author: Bob Wood


Editor, Advertiser:

A coalition of Michigan parents, teachers, attorneys, physicians,
health professionals, former law enforcers and many other people from
all walks of life are putting together a voter ballot initiative to
repeal marijuana prohibition in Michigan. The 2012 Michigan Ballot
Initiative to End Marijuana Prohibition will give Michigan citizens
the opportunity to vote on the repeal of Marijuana

We enacted the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) in 2008 to
protect patients from criminal prosecutions. Instead of regulating the
medical marijuana industry (like Colorado did) our State Attorney
General, law enforcement, activist judges and our state legislators
have done everything they can think of to destroy the new law.

State registered patients and caregivers have been viciously attacked
and prosecuted by the state. The voters did not intend for the state
to spend millions of tax dollars to prosecute patients and caregivers
and attempt to destroy the new law.

This coalition examined all the options. They thought about
strengthening our current Medical Marijuana law. They discussed
decriminalization and concluded that whatever they did the state would
try to destroy our new effort the same way that they did with the
Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

Thanks to the current effort by AG Bill Schuette and company to
destroy the MMMA, Michigan could be the first state to repeal
marijuana prohibition.

Michigan prohibited alcohol in 1919. In 1933 the U.S. Government
recognized the connection between high crime rates and prohibition. A
state convention with one delegate from each state house district
voted 99-1 to repeal alcohol prohibition. The following year Michigan
had a 70 percent drop in homicides.

The violence carried out by the likes of Al Capone was minor compared
to the violence that is created by marijuana prohibition. As soon as
we enacted marijuana prohibition the murder rates skyrocketed the same
way they did when we tried to prohibit alcohol. Crime rates will drop
if we succeed in our effort to right a very serious wrong by repealing
marijuana prohibition.

The repeal of marijuana prohibition in Michigan will reduce criminal
gang activity, reduce access of marijuana by minors. It will promote
agriculture and create jobs by creating a new hemp industry and reduce
the burdens of an overpopulated prison system, increase better
relations between people and law enforcement and law enforcement will
have more time and resources to focus on real crime where there are
actual victims.

We've spent over one trillion tax dollars and arrested over 20 million
people for marijuana. Drug use with school children and adults has
increased every year along with our drug war budget. Our school
budgets have been gutted to the point that there is no more room to
cut. Repealing marijuana prohibition will free up millions of tax
dollars to help shore up our school finances.

Colorado Representative Jared Polis recently called on Congress to end
the prohibition on marijuana. Rep. Polis said "We've seen the benefits
across the board, as a job creation engine in Colorado". Polis
predicted that national legislation was on the horizon, but said
"states must lead the charge". "It's a critical and important time for
advocacy at the national stage," he said. "The more states that create
a regulatory structure around marijuana production and sales, the more
pressure there will be on Congress nationally".

The undertaking by the coalition working to repeal marijuana
prohibition will be an enormous undertaking. We need thousands of
volunteers to circulate petitions in order for this to become a
reality. The 30-year-

old and younger crowds are being targeted in this war and they are the
ones that will have to step up to the plate to help make this happen.
You need to volunteer to help collect signatures and to recruit other
volunteers. My generation brought an end to the Viet Nam war through
peaceful demonstrations and your generation will bring an end to the
war being carried out against you under the disguise of marijuana law.

Bill Schuette has many prohibition allies with very deep pockets. Bill
Schuette and company will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on
negative and dishonest ads against the repeal of marijuana
prohibition. We do not have financial backing to counter their ads, so
we will need donations to combat the negative and false advertising
that will surely come from our opponents.

Go to now and volunteer to help collect signatures or
to donate money for this effort, because if we fail with this effort
the violent and unprovoked attacks against innocent people who choose
a safer alternative (marijuana) to alcohol, will continue.

Bob Wood
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.