Marijuana will become legal in the city of Flint, Michigan if voters approve the proposed measure on the November ballot. A group of marijuana activists returned a petition with more than the 1,3000 signatures from Flint residents necessary to place the matter on the ballot in the upcoming election, Michigan Live reports. If approved, the legalize cannabis amendment would permit anyone at least 19-years-old to possess less than one ounce of marijuana. Flint City Clerk Inez Brown told the Flint Journal that officials will be reviewing the marijuana signatures during the coming week to verify those who signed are registered voters.
“We’re really hoping this will give the officers here in Flint the option to use discretion so they can spend better time dealing with the rampant crime happening in the city,” Coalition for a Safer Flint representative Brian Morrissey stated during an interview with the Flint Journal. “”There are still quite a few people being arrested for minor possession of small amounts of marijuana… I think the citizens of Flint are definitely ready to see their police resources used more efficiently. I think this is a no-brainer.”
Even if Flint voters approve the marijuana decriminalization issue, using or possession of marijuana will remain illegal under state and federal law. Michigan state law does permit sanctioned medical use of marijuana via approved dispensaries.
Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock told the Flint Journal that it is “too early” to know if the new Flint law legalizing marijuana would have an “effect on law enforcement.” Chief Lock stated the department is “not ready to comment on that just yet.” The veteran law enforcement officers also noted that the police are just doing their jobs when they find marijuana and if they (voters) think “it’s a waste of time, then that’s fine.”
The effort to place a marijuana legalization issue on the ballot in Flint comes just one month after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling last month permitted Detroit voters to consider a similar measure.