Recently we reported that two Michigan cities – Ferndale and Jackson – collected the required number of signatures necessary to put cannabis decriminalization to a vote of the people this November, a policy shift which has already stopped hundreds of misdemeanors in the Michigan city of Grand Rapids after less than 3 months.
Now, with less than a week to go before signatures are due, activists in Lansing – Michigan’s capital – have submitted more than 6,000 signatures to put a cannabis legalization initiative on this November’s ballot; the city requires 4,200 valid signatures to be submitted by July 5th. Jeffrey Hank, attorney and founder of the Coalition for a Safer Lansing (the group behind the initiative), told us this morning that he’s “absolutely confident” that they’ll qualify for the ballot.
Unlike the Ferndal and Jackson initiatives, Jeffrey tells us that Lansing’s initiative is a full repeal of cannabis prohibition within the city; under the proposed law, the possession, use and transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis will no longer be illegal under city law, meaning that it wouldn’t even be a civil infraction.
According to Jeffrey, one of the group’s primary goals in pushing this measure is to “free up police resources to focus on violent crimes”; he also believes the move is important to help build a better relationship between law enforcement and the citizens of the city, which he says will come once police begin to respect the people’s civil liberties.
If the group does in fact end up submitting the required number of valid signatures voters in Lansing will get to voice their opinion on the subject at this November’s election.