Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2014
Source: Central Michigan Life (Central MI U, MI Edu)
Copyright: 2014 Central Michigan Life
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Michigan)


Marijuana decriminalization in Mount Pleasant just got two more voices
of opposition in the form of Michigan's governor and attorney general.

Both Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette sent letters
to Mount Pleasant's city commissioners care of City Clerk Jeremy
Howard denouncing the proposal, which is slated to be on the Nov. 4
ballot. The proposal, spearheaded by marijuana advocacy groups on and
off campus, would effectively make the use, possession and transfer of
less than one ounce of marijuana legal in the city.

In their letters, both men wrote that they would note approve the
charter amendment if passed due to its inconsistency with state laws
prohibiting marijuana consumption, possession and sale.

"Whether or not the proposed amendment is approved by the voters,
marijuana will remain a controlled substance under state and federal
law," Snyder wrote.

The governor added the amendment would hinder law enforcement's
ability to enforce the law of the land.

"The proposed amendment seeks to deprive the division of Public Safety
of the authority to detect and arrest persons who have violated state
and federal law with respect to certain marijuana-related offenses,"
he wrote. "Nothing in this proposed amendment limits the
responsibility of a Mount Pleasant police officer to enforce the
state's criminal laws, including those applicable to marijuana."

Snyder and Schuette also argued that the language does not conform or
is inconsistent with the Home Rule City Act (HRCA). The HRCA allows
cities to develop their own governments and city charters. It also
provides a mechanism for cities to amend their charters.

Citing the HRCA, Schuette said the language in the proposal is "the
ballot language is inaccurate because it is does not inform the voters
that the proposed amendment conflicts with state law. The ballot
language also does not inform the voters that state law will control
regardless of whether the proposed amendment is adopted."

Mount Pleasant's City Commission discussed the letters during its
regular meeting Monday.

City Manager Nancy Ridley said she and city staff were compiling a
list of important information to effectively educate residents on the
proposal. The information will be published in an upcoming Mount
Pleasant newsletter.  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D