(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 11, 2013)
Ferndale City Council is scheduled to take up the matter of marijuana permissiveness at the Monday night council meeting. Ferndale resident Andrew Cissell filed petitions requesting that the city change the code of ordinance to exempt persons over the age of 21 from prosecution if they possess or transfer less than one ounce of marijuana on private property.
The ordinance is a mainly symbolic one, as state and federal law would still put marijuana users at risk of prosecution. In spite of this, “decriminalization” ordinances are being passed in cities and states throughout the country in a growing effort to end the plant’s prohibition.
If council members chose to accept the petition and enact the ordinance, it would go on the books although Police Chief Timothy Collins said his department would continue to enforce the existing state and federal laws. When asked if this ordinance would change anything about the way officers do their job, he stated that it would not.
If council members chose not to enact the ordinance, it would then be placed on the ballot for the November 5, 2013 election.
The petition asks council to add Sec. 12 – 82 to the Ferndale Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, Article III, to read: “Sec. 12 – 82. Non – Applicability to Certain Behaviors Involving Marijuana. “None of the provisions of Sections 12 – 79 through 12 – 81 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.”
Council has obtained an opinion from City Attorney Dan Christ, which agrees with Chief Collin’s contention that it would be superseded by state and federal laws. That opinion, and the council agenda can be found at http://ferndale-mi.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=3&event_id=23.
For previous stories on the issue of marijuana in Ferndale, see…
http://www.ferndale115.com/20100629medicalm.html – Ferndale Place Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Based Businesses.
http://ferndale115.com/20100826clinic.html – Ferndale Clinic Still Open After Raid