The people of several of Michigan’s most populous areas spoke at the ballot a few months ago—lessening the state’s grip on marijuana laws. But city officials in Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids are dragging their feet in implementing the new, more permissive ordinances, according to the Free Press.
The police in Flint will ignore the new ordinance, says the city’s state-appointed emergency manager. In Detroit, officials are simply not doing anything about the new ordinance that says adults can possess pot without fear of arrest. Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth of Grand Rapids is seeking a preliminary injunction that would block the new pot law there. And Kalamazoo officials said they simply won’t open dispensaries there despite voters’ wishes, because the dispensaries would violate state law.
Voters in all of these cities wanted looser marijuana regulation. While they didn’t have the opportunity to vote on legalizing marijuana on a statewide scale (as in Colorado and Washington), the state’s larger cities did vote locally to chip away at marijuana laws.
Still, officials seem scared to cross state law. It seems they are concerned that they can’t implement ordinances when they are in direct violation of state criminal law. This despite a state Court of Appeals deciding only the cities can determine how best to allocate their law enforcement resources. In other words, the big court said city officials can tell their police to back off pot offenders.
Opponents of the new marijuana ordinances say they send children the wrong message—that marijuana isn’t harmful. Apparently, these opponents have research on the “harmfulness” of pot that they aren’t sharing with the rest of us. Most reputable research these days instead points to the benefits of marijuana rather than the risks.
“ ‘Many times, young people will mix marijuana with alcohol’ and then take risks to their health and safety, including driving while intoxicated, said Jones, who is a retired sheriff of Eaton County.”
The retired sheriff is right—drinking and driving is bad for your health. Drinking is bad for your health, so it stands to reason that mixing alcohol with pot would be bad for you—as would mixing alcohol with Doritos or alcohol with video games.
The injunction being sought in Grand Rapids is the most aggressive opposition in the fight against the marijuana ordinances and we should be hearing the outcome on that in coming days. Until then, marijuana users are cautioned that cops in these cities may or may not care about what the voters have said and you may or may not face arrest if caught with pot.
If you are charged with a marijuana offense, contact us today. We can help you understand your legal options and what might be done to prevent serious consequences.