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Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge Get Pot Petitions Turned In

Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge Get Pot Petitions Turned Indinos02sidelogo3

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 23, 2014)

The push for city-by-city marijuana decriminalization continues as petitions were turned in Tuesday for Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge, to put the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot. Berkley will also have a vote on the matter in November. And the matter will be decided at the Aug. 5 primary for Oak Park and Hazel Park.

The duo behind the petitions is Andrew Cissell, who is also running for State Representative for the 27th District, sidebar012stairsand Debra Young. Cissell, of Oak Park, and Young, of Ferndale, have been working with Safer Michigan to help pass ordinances or change charters throughout the state. The ultimate goal, Cissell says, is to send a message to Lansing that the public does not want to see people put in jail for personal marijuana use. “We need to legalize it, regulate it, and make money off it like they’re doing in Colorado,” he said.

Cissell also was behind the ballot initiative in Ferndale that passed last year. While leading that petition drive, Cissell was arrested for selling marijuana to a police informant, and later charged with misdemeanor fraud for using his father’s address in Ferndale to turn the petitions in though he owned a home in Oak Park. He has been charged with several marijuana-related felonies, and the trial is expected to take place later this year.

Whether he faces jail or not, Cissell is determined to continue working on marijuana Reid_Sally_115decriminalization. In Huntington Woods he and Young turned in 300 signatures, and if it passes in November the proposal would allow individuals 21 years and older to possess or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana on private property. In Pleasant Ridge they gathered 150 signatures, and the proposal would dictate that marijuana enforcement would be the police department’s lowest priority.

While he believes in decriminalization state-wide, Cissell’s focus has been on cities that are in the 27th District, where he is a candidate. “The ballot initiative process is a key part to my campaign, and I promise Judy_Palmer30yearsthat when I am State Representative if the Republicans in Lansing do not go with some of my proposed bills than I will go to the streets with state wide ballot initiatives,” he said.

Safer Michigan Coalition groups have successfully gotten ordinances passed in Ferndale and Jackson. Other cities with laws reducing the penalty for marijuana possession include Lansing, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Jackson, Grand Rapids and Flint.

Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana, and over a dozen other states have reduced penalties.

For previous stories on marijuana legalization efforts in Oakland County, see:


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