HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Detroit Voters Approve Allowing Medical Marijuana
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Aug 2004
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2004 Associated Press
Author: Sarah Karush, The Associated Press
Cited: Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care


DETROIT - Residents approved a proposal Tuesday to legalize medical
marijuana use in a largely symbolic victory for those who hope to
rewrite the state's drug laws.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent, or 38,604 votes,
were in favor of Proposal M, while 41 percent, or 26,497 votes, were

The vote changes the city code, creating an exception to the marijuana
ban for people who use the drug for medical purposes under a doctor's
direction. But the change has no effect on federal and state laws that
allow prosecution of those possessing or using marijuana.

The initiative's backers acknowledge that there will be little
practical effect from the change and view the measure as a step toward
rewriting the state's drug laws.

Timothy Beck, founder of the Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care,
which collected the necessary signatures to put the measure on the
ballot, said his group will work to change state laws following the
Detroit vote and a similar one scheduled for November in Ann Arbor.

Beck said the group will work with lawmakers to put the issue before
the state Legislature or push for a statewide ballot initiative in

"We're just going to let this message resonate, and it is a
substantial message," Beck said. "Sophisticated persons that vote in
primaries overwhelmingly support medical marijuana."

Opponents of the change say it will send the wrong message to young
people about drug use and is part of a push for broader legalization
of marijuana.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon,
Vermont and Washington state have passed laws allowing the use of
marijuana for medical purposes. The U.S. Supreme Court said in June
that it will rule on the issue in the case of two California women who
say marijuana is the only drug that eases their chronic pain.
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