Pubdate: Thu, 07 Aug 2014
Source: Daily Tribune, The (Royal Oak, MI)
Copyright: 2014 The Daily Tribune
Author: Megan Semeraz
Page: A1


Advocate: 'I Just Think Voters Spoke on It. I Figured It Was Going to Pass.'

Hazel Park and Oak Park voters who expected legalized marijuana after 
Tuesday's vote may face some disappointment.

The two marijuana decriminalization ballot measures passed by voters 
are most likely a statement rather than a full-on legalization.

Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner said the way his department 
handles marijuana will not change.

"I'm going to continue to enforce the laws of the state and federal 
laws," Barner said. "And until the city council, mayor, city attorney 
and other administration tell me to do otherwise, (we will enforce it)."

Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate said Oak Park will also continue 
to uphold state and federal laws.

"We are responsible to uphold the state law," Tungate said. "Our 
agenda will not change ... If we see people in the community using 
illegal drugs, we will identify them and deal with them accordingly."

Tungate said this is a complex issue and agrees that the state of 
Michigan needs to take a position. "The bottom line for us is there's 
really no change," Tungate said.

Barner said Hazel Park will continue to pursue charges for those who 
possess, use, grow and transfer marijuana.

"My personal opinion is that state and federal lawmakers need to make 
it all legal, or not," Barner said. "... We've seen this medical 
marijuana law pass and it's been abused ... I don't think the people 
of the state of Michigan need any more (confusing) laws."

A similar marijuana ballot proposal passed in Ferndale in 2013, but 
it remains more of a statement, said pot advocate Andrew Cissell.

"I just think voters spoke on it (in Oak Park and Hazel Park)," 
Cissell said. "I figured it was going to pass."

Cissell, who is 26 and resides in Oak Park, was a key organizer in 
gathering signatures to get marijuana on local ballots. He said 
voters will soon speak on the issue in Huntington Woods, Berkley and 
Pleasant Ridge.

"I just want the readers to know, I'm not going to stop," Cissell said.

Facebook commenters had mixed views on the issue.

Reader Vincent Woods said: "What's keeping these people in their 
private property after they've used it and are thus high?"

Others wrote that the efforts should be expanded.

Reader Amber Graf Jubenville said "Now let's get the whole state on 
the bandwagon!"

However, the law will not be enough to stop some.

"We're going to do it anyway," Cissell said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom