Oak Park… Marijuana to go on Aug. 5 Ballot (Video)

Oak Park and Petitioners Negotiate, Marijuana to go on Aug. 5 Ballot (Video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 3, 2014)

After days of negotiations and thousands spent on attorney costs, the City of Oak Park agreed ctechadto put a pro-marijuana proposal on the Aug. 5 ballot. If passed, the proposal would change the City’s Charter and make it legal for adults to possess an ounce or less of marijuana.

Though the Safer Oak Park Coalition followed the proper procedure and gathered the required amount of signatures, The City of Oak Park told them that the issue could not go on the ballot until Attorney General Bill Schuette approved the language. The Coalition sued and the court directed them to discuss the issue in hopes of finding a resolution.

“Oak Park has seed06_kat_bruner_jamesbeen put in a precarious position here where various parties are perhaps playing politics, and I’m not accusing the Attorney General of playing politics of course,” said City Manager Erik Tungate. He maintained the position that Oak Park had been following proper election law, but compromised to avoid further expense to the city.

“We erred towards the side of letting our voters decide. And we compromised to let our voters decide. We compromised to save tax dollars that could be better used elsewhere,” Tungate said. “We had to know that in the event we would be litigated against later on, because again we believe we violated due process here, that the other party would indemnify the city against these costs.”HowesLocation

The resulting court order gave protection to the City Clerk so he could not be sued for his role in placing the measure on the Aug. 5 ballot. The order also states that “the parties will issue a joint press release upon entry of this Stipulated Order to issue a statement hat the City Clerk has followed all provisions of the Michigan Election Law and Home Rule City Act, that the Plaintiff disagrees,and that the purpose of this agreement is solely to compromise and terminate all claims chickenscratchfever-ad-finaland the possibility of additional litigation and costs.”

Tim Beck, an advocate for marijuana legalization and Chair of Safer Michigan Coalition, said “there’s no value in litigation,” and that “if Bill Schuette or anybody decides they don’t like it, we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with Oak Park and make sure this individual is defeated in court.”

Andrew Cissell, Chair of Safer Oak Park, was frustrated with the coalition being forced to spend time and money taking the City to court, but was happy to see it move seed030_Laurinda Rossforward. “Were really happy the voters are going to be able to decide this issue we’ve worked really hard for them and basically we’re doing the work of the people.”

Safer Oak Park is part of a state wide effort to legalize marijuana. They are responsible passing an ordinance in Ferndale last year, and getting the matter placed on the Hazel Park ballot for Aug. 5 as well.

Tungate said that Oak Park takes a “nonpartisan objective approach to the issue.”

For more see our previous coverage:


Jim Shaffer KELLER ad blackhttps://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/05/29/pro-pot-petitioners-sue-oak-park-over-neglecting-ballot-proposal/










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