All marijuana initiatives in Michigan cities all are reporting at least tentative victories. While Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana statewide, Michigan voters are tackling prohibition one locality at a time.
Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Ypsilanti voters all backed various decriminalization measures, while those in Kalamazoo supported a ballot issue to create medical marijuana dispensaries. As a whole, marijuana advocates were celebrating and no doubt sparking one up late Tuesday night.
Here’s our city by city guide to the results:
Detroit: Voters passed Proposal M, which decriminalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use by people 21 and over while on private property. As of last count (7:40 am Wed.), approximately 60 percent voted in favor of the measure and 40 percent opposed. Eighty percent of precincts were reporting.
Grand Rapids: With nearly all precincts reporting as of 7:30 am on Wednesday, Flint voters passed Proposal 2 which would decriminalize marijuana, making it a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor criminal offense. This means, if you are caught in possession of pot within Grand Rapids, you will face a $25 fine and nothing more. Sixty percent of voters pushed this issue to passage.
Flint: In Flint, 60 percent of voters (as of 2 am Wed. morning and all but 3 precincts reporting) passed their measure, making it legal for anyone 19 or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana on private property. This changes the current law, which classifies possession of less than one ounce as a misdemeanor punishable by jail time.
Ypsilanti: While the measure Ypsilanti residents voted on wasn’t as liberal as the other cities listed, 74 percent showed up to ensure it was passed. This ballot issue will make marijuana the lowest priority for law enforcement in the city. What does this mean? If cops have something better to do with their time, they will, avoiding marijuana arrests to focus on more serious endeavors.
Kalamazoo: Voters spoke out overwhelmingly in support of a measure to create medical marijuana dispensaries in Kalamazoo. According to Mlive.com, the measure passed by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, with 13,569 yes votes and 7,542 no votes with all precincts reporting.
After months of work by activists and supporters, the campaigning paid off across the state. What’s next for Michigan marijuana policy is anyone’s guess. But with these numbers, a statewide legalization effort may prove worthwhile in coming years.