Pubdate: Fri, 07 Nov 2014
Source: Morning Sun (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
Copyright: 2014 Morning Sun
Author: Randi Shaffer


Mt. Pleasant residents have overwhelmingly voted in favor of 
decriminalizing marijuana.

With a vote of 62-percent to 38-percent, the mid-Michigan city 
residents voted Tuesday to amend the city ordinance so that nothing 
in the city's code would apply to the use, possession or transfer of 
"small amounts" of marijuana on private property by those 21 and over.

Mt. Pleasant's ordinance defines "small amounts" as less than one ounce.

"This is a significant statement in Michigan politics," Ian Elliott said.

Elliott runs Student Advocates for Medical and Responsible Use of 
Cannabis at Central Michigan University, and works as a liaison 
between the organization and the Coalition for a Safer Mt. Pleasant.

Elliott said that because a medical marijuana act had passed within 
both Isabella County and the city in 2008, he kind of figured the 
ballot proposal "had a good chance."

"I was surprised at how high some of the precincts went," he said. 
"Seeing 70 percent across the board was fantastic."

Elliott said it was likely that a high percentage of those precinct 
voters were Central Michigan University students.

Elliott said that, in talking with those who spent time at the polls 
Tuesday, general observations indicated there was a high amount of 
younger voters.

"We definitely feel that the marijuana proposal had a part in it," he said.

Mt. Pleasant Public Information Officer Jeff Browne said the vote 
will not change anything the city police department does.

"We have never, ever targeted people for possession of marijuana and 
never will," he said. "In the past, it's always been a subsequent 
reason for contact with someone."

For example, he said, someone could be charged for possession of 
marijuana if they were stopped for drunk driving, but the city has 
never targeted marijuana possession alone.

The city will, however, continue to enforce state law.

Clare and Harrison had similar measures on each municipality's ballot.

However, measures failed in both.

An ordinance amendment was defeated 63-percent to 37-percent in the 
city of Harrison, and 56-percent to 44-perent in the city of Clare.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom