Marijuana Decriminalization Vote On The Ballot This November in Grand Rapids
Tired of risking a criminal infraction in the city of Grand Rapids for lighting one up? You’ll get a chance to have that charge reduced to a civil infraction this November. Of course you’ll have to make sure you’re a registered voter and make it out to the polls in November to get it passed.
You have the hard working members of DecriminalizeGR to thank. The group has collected more than 6,000 signatures to put the question on the ballot November 6th. According to the pro marijuana advocates; current laws are inconsistently enforced, the laws are a waste of tax payer money, other cities and municipalities who decriminalized the law have not seen any increase/abuse of the substance, and finally they believe Grand Rapids shouldn’t be a city who can ruin lives with simple marijuana possession or use.
According to an article on MLive.com, the language of the bill is as follows:
PROPOSAL 2 PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO TITLE XVIII (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, CONCERNING THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
A proposal to decriminalize possession, control, use, or gift of marijuana, through a Charter amendment prohibiting police from reporting same to law enforcement authorities other than the City Attorney; prohibiting the City Attorney from referring same to other law enforcement authorities for prosecution; prohibiting City prosecution except as civil infractions enforced by appearance tickets with a maximum fine of $100.00 and no incarceration; waiving fines if a physician, practitioner or other qualified health professional recommends the defendant use marijuana; and providing an affirmative defense to prosecution for defendants intending to use marijuana to relieve pain, disability, or discomfort.
If approved by voters, the measure would make possession of your blunt more like a speeding ticket versus something that could get you tossed in the slammer.