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City of Lansing Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2013)

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A City of Lansing Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal was on the November 5, 2013 election ballot for voters in the city of Lansing in Ingham county, Michigan, where it was approved.

The Lansing Proposal removed any law or code in the city's charter or ordinances that prohibited the possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years, thus decriminalizing marijuana according to city law.[1]

The measure was initiated by the Coalition for a Safer Lansing.[2]

Similar proposals were also approved in Jackson and Ferndale.[3]

Election results

Lansing Proposal
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 8,550 61.56%
No5,34038.44%
Election results from the Ingham County elections office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot was:[4]

Shall the Charter of the City of Lansing, Michigan be amended such that nothing in the Code of Ordinances shall apply to the use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years?[5]

Support

Supporters

The Coalition for a Safer Lansing was behind the initiative.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Jeffery Hank, an attorney and the Chairman for a Coalition for a Safer Lansing, said, "We want law enforcement focus to be on serious crimes with victims. This is a pro-law enforcement, pro-civil liberties initiative meant to improve safety and policing in Lansing while restoring constitutional liberties that are a casualty of the so-called war on drugs," Hank added. "This is an initiative that indicates that the voters of Lansing seek peace."[6]

Opposition

Opponents to decriminalization argued that it is important for law enforcement to keep people from using marijuana because it is a gateway drug. Some also argued that marijuana use and possession is still illegal according to state and federal law, making this measure impotent and useless.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Michigan

The Coalition for a Safer Lansing collected more than 7,000 signatures to qualify this initiative for the ballot. Valid signatures equaling five percent of Lansing's registered voters were required to qualify the initiative for the ballot. This amounted to about 4,200 in 2013. Once submitted signatures were vetted, it was determined that more than the required number of submitted signatures were valid.[6]

Similar measures

Approveda Detroit City Marijuana Decriminalization Question (November 2012)
Approveda Flint City Marijuana Use Exemption Amendment Proposal (November 2012)
Approveda Grand Rapids City Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Proposal (November 2012)
Approveda Kalamazoo City Medical Marijuana Amendment Measure (November 2012)
Approveda Ypsilanti City Marijuana Amendment (November 2012)

See also

External links

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References