by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
Millions of voters will decide on Election Day in favor of ballot measures to legalize and regulate the use of cannabis by adults. Voters in three states — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — will decide on statewide ballot measures to legalize the possession and distribution of cannabis for those over 21 years of age. Voters in three additional states — Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana — will decide on measures to allow for the therapeutic use of cannabis by patients with qualifying ailments. In Michigan, voters in four cities – totaling over a million people – will decide on municipal measures to legalize or depenalize the adult use of cannabis.
Ballot measures in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington remain favored among voters, according to the latest statewide polls.
Since 1996, 17 states have enacted legislation to allow for the limited possession of cannabis when a physician authorizes such use. In ten of those states, voters enacted medical cannabis legislation via the statewide initiative process. But to date, no statewide proposal to remove criminal and civil penalties for the broader, personal possession and use of marijuana by adults has succeeded at the ballot box. This reality is likely to change tomorrow.
A summary of this year’s more prominent statewide and local ballot measures appears below.
ARKANSAS: Voters will decide on Measure 5, The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012, which allows authorized patients to possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis for various qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The measure also allows state regulators to establish not-for-profit facilities to produce and dispense cannabis to approved patients. Individual patients will also be permitted to privately cultivate limited amounts of cannabis (up to six flowering plants) if they reside further than five miles from a state-authorized dispensary.
COLORADO: Voters will decide on Amendment 64, which allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those persons age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retailers. Voters in the state approve of the measure by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent, according to the latest Denver Post survey.
MASSACHUSETTS: Voters will decide on Question 3, which eliminates statewide criminal and civil penalties related to the possession and use of up to a 60-day supply of cannabis by qualified patients. It would also require the state to create and regulate up to 35 facilities to produce and dispense cannabis to approved patients. Individual patients will also be permitted to privately cultivate limited amounts of cannabis if they are unable to access a state-authorized dispensary. Voters in the state approve the measure by a margin of 55 percent to 36 percent, according to the latest Suffolk University poll.
MICHIGAN: Voters in four cities – totaling over a million people – will also decide on Tuesday whether to legalize or depenalize the adult use of cannabis. Voters in Detroit will decide on Proposal M, which removes criminal penalties pertaining to the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults over age 21. In Flint, voters will decide on a citizens’ initiative to amend the city code so that the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis paraphernalia by those age 19 or older is no longer a criminal offense. Grand Rapids voters will act on Proposal 2, which seeks to allow local law enforcement the discretion to ticket first-time marijuana offenders with a civil citation, punishable by a $25 fine and no criminal record. In Ypsilanti, voters will decide on a proposal to make the local enforcement of marijuana possession offenses the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.
OREGON: Voters will decide on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, which provides for the state-licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The measure does not impose state-licensing or taxation requirements upon those who wish to cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes.
WASHINGTON: Voters will decide on I-502, which regulates the production and sale of limited amounts of marijuana for adults. The measure also removes criminal penalties specific to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use. Voters in the state back the measure by a margin of 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the latest KING 5 poll.
Legalize It 2012
The Colorado Marijuana Initiative 2012 (Colorado)
YES on WA’s Marijuana Initiative 502 (Washington)
Cannabis Tax Act (Oregon)
VOTE YES on Question 3 (Massachusetts)
Arkansans for Compassionate Care (Arkansas)
Marijuana Policy Project
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Fuck Yeah Drug Policy
William Reddie, 32, was killed by police as Child Protective Services employees attempted to seize his three-year-old. Reddie had been accused of smoking marijuana in front of his son.
A prosecutor in northern Michigan has cleared the police officer who shot and killed a Grayling man as police and Child Protective Services (CPS) employees attempted to seize his three-year-old. The attempted removal of the minor child came after a police officer who came to the scene on a call earlier that same day reported that he smelled marijuana and reported the incident to CPS authorities, who decided the child needed to be removed. The dead man, William Reddie, 32, becomes the 17th person killed in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
Reddie’s killing took place on February 3, but we only became aware of it when news broke this week that prosecutors had decided that the police officer’s use of deadly force in the incident was justified.
According to the Crawford County Avalanche, Grayling police Officer Alan Somero was called to Reddie’s apartment for an alleged domestic disturbance. Somero made no arrests, but believed he smelled marijuana and reported it to CPS. Two CPS employees went to Reddie’s apartment to check on the situation. They then got a court order to remove Reddie’s 3-year-old son, Cameron, and asked police to escort them to the apartment to serve the court order.
[…] when police and CPS workers arrived to seize the child, Reddie then reportedly displayed a pocketknife and lunged at them. Crawford County Deputy John Klepadlo shot and killed him. Police had been deploying Tasers, but holstered them and grabbed their guns when Reddie displayed the knife.
Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield then asked the Michigan State Police to investigate his deputy’s use of deadly force. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office referred the case to the neighboring Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office. After receiving a report from the State Police, Roscommon County DA Mark Jernigan determined that the use of deadly force was justified and that Klepadlo would not be charged with any crime.
[…] Toxicology reports, which were included in the final investigation, showed there was no marijuana or alcohol in Reddie’s system when he was killed.
[…] Cameron Reddie is now in foster care. His father’s family is seeking visitation rights.
Meanwhile, Deputy Klepadlo, who had been on administrative leave after the shooting, is back on the job.
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It’s a surprise to hear that Dr. Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon, Detroit’s former top cop, believes that marijuana should be legalized and is speaking out on the issue.
"I’ve never taken a public position on this, but I think it’s time to do so," McKinnon says. "We have to stand up for things we believe are right. … My position is, let’s look at this realistically and honestly. Too much law enforcement money and resources are being used on this. There are better things to spend our money on." +
A young woman smokes marijuana at the Rainbow Family of Light gathering at Ottawa National Forest near Watersmeet, Michigan, on Tuesday, July 2, 2002 - photo by Elizabeth Flores (source)
August 30, 2011—In a case that sparked debate about parental rights versus state involvement in the medical care of children, a Detroit woman won a major victory Monday when all the charges against her were dropped.
[…] Godboldo, 57, of Detroit was charged with discharge of a weapon, three counts of felonious assault, resisting and obstructing an officer and felony firearm.
She was accused of firing a gun at police who had accompanied a state Child Protective Services employee to Godboldo’s home on Blaine on March 24.
The employee had a Juvenile Court order to take Godboldo’s 13-year-old daughter after Godboldo had been accused of neglecting her by discontinuing a psychotropic drug. Godboldo has maintained she has the right to decide her daughter’s medical treatment.
Police said Godboldo barricaded herself in her home with her daughter and shot at them.After hearing testimony at Godboldo’s preliminary examination in 36th District Court on Monday in Detroit, Judge Ronald Giles ruled that the court order was not valid and that there was insufficient evidence that Godboldo fired at police officers. +
A bill that would impose reporting requirements on law enforcement SWAT teams has been introduced in the Michigan House. The bill, House Bill 4857, would require those specialized paramilitary units to file a report when they forcibly enter a home, discharge a weapon, or injure or kill a suspect.
The sponsor, Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) told the instate Livingston Daily he introduced the bill in part because of concerns stemming from a May 2010 Detroit police SWAT raid in which police shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyanna Jones. He said he was most concerned about the lack of information from SWAT teams, which use automatic weapons and grenades, as well as kicking down doors.
[…] The only other state to impose reporting requirements on SWAT teams is Maryland. That law passed only after a Prince Georges County SWAT team made the mistake of practicing its usual tactics on the mayor or Berwyn Heights, who was both innocent of any wrongdoing and in a position to be able to right the wrong inflicted on him. +