Detroit voters back Proposal M legalizing some pot possession - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Detroit voters back Proposal M legalizing some marijuana possession

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By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Proposal M passed with flying colors with more than 60 percent of Detroit voters in favor.  Once election results are certified, individuals 21 and older can legally possess and ounce or less of marijuana on private property.

"It means that people are going to be able to smoke grass and run the risk of getting arrested by the federal government," said Fox 2 political correspondent Tim Skubick.

The feds tend to look down on smoking pot, but it's a battle they're losing.

"The whole intent behind this proposal was to get the police fighting real crime, as the proponents say, but there will still be an element in the community that doesn't like this.  They think that this is going down the wrong road, but it's on the books and Detroit is not alone.  This also happened in Grand Rapids.  It also happened in Flint, Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti to a different degree," Skubick explained.

Tuesday night, voters in Colorado and Washington state passed referendums legalizing recreational marijuana.  Could Michigan be next?

Tim Beck put Prop M on the ballot.  He says the proposal is not the beginning of a marijuana takeover.

"This law is not going to encourage anybody to smoke marijuana that isn't doing it already," he told us.

There are still many questions, such as how do you get the marijuana?  You can't buy it.  You're not allowed to grow it, and if you do get it from somewhere, legally you still can't transport it.  Our expert answered that question with people will buy marijuana the same way as always.

"It's a conundrum.  It really is because the federal government says, hey, guys, what you're doing is against the law.  Yet the people spoke and there are such things as state's rights," Skubick said.

Marijuana charges have been lucrative for the city.  In 2009, Detroit collected fines from more than 1,500 marijuana cases, but for now, those days are over.

"I don't think you're going to see the cops in Detroit going after these people.  The people have spoken by a wide margin.  This was not even a close vote," said Skubick.

My request for a comment from the mayor's office went unanswered.  Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also declined to comment saying only that the voters have spoken.

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