Pubdate: Thu, 29 Dec 2011
Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Jackson Citizen Patriot
Author: Aaron Aupperlee


Jackson residents have already volunteered to help a grass-roots
organization put a measure to legalize marijuana on the ballot in November.

"oeEverybody that I've talked to said it should be legalized,"  said
Steve Sharpe, a medical marijuana patient who volunteered to help the
campaign. "oeWe want the public to be involved in this because it's
their health, and it's their money."

The Ann Arbor-based group, Repeal Today For A Safer Michigan 2012,
wants the question to go before voters. obtained a draft
version of the petition that seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution,
making marijuana legal for people 21 and older.

It reads as follows:

A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution Article 1, to

Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition. For persons at
least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana cultivation,
possession, bodily internal possession, sale, acquisition, transfer,
delivery, transportation, religious, medical or personal use, or
possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged,
or penalized in any manner; nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided
that no person shall be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while
impaired by any substance.

More than 322,600 signatures from registered voters in Michigan are
needed to put that question on a statewide ballot,
reported. Charmie Gholson, communications director for the campaign
and co-owner and editor of the Midwest Cultivator, said collection of
the signatures will start in mid-January.

"oeEverybody's really excited,"  Gholson said Thursday. "oePeople
have waited along time for this, and they're ready to get to work."

Sharpe thinks the campaign will be a success. He spoke to the Citizen
Patriot last week and said he already had recruited local volunteers
to gather signatures and was arranging meetings with township and city
officials. He said the campaign is not just about legalizing the drug
but also hemp.

"oeIf we legalize this, everyone thinks it's about getting high, and
it's not,"  said Sharpe, a former self-employed contractor who uses
marijuana oil for back pain and believes it cured his colon cancer.
"oeThere are so many products, over 25,000 products, that can be made
from hemp here in Michigan."

Roger Maufort, who runs the Jackson County Compassion Club, 1620 E.
Michigan Ave., said several club members have expressed interest in
working on the campaign. Maufort said recent actions by Michigan
Attorney General Bill Schuette fueled the push to make marijuana legal
in the state.

Schuette recently sued Danny Trevino, seeking to close his Jackson and
Lansing HydroWorld stores. Police raided the stores September and
claim undercover officers were sold marijuana outside the provisions
of the law.

"oeIf it weren't for the attorney general doing what he's doing,
this wouldn't be happening,"  Maufort said.

Volunteers can sign up for the campaign at Repeal Today For A Safer
Michigan 2012's website,
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