The Detroit Election Commission rejected the ballot proposal seeking to legalize the possession of a small amount of marijuana. The ballot proposal was initiated by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit. This is the same group that successfully placed medical marijuana on the ballot in 2004. As first reported by the Detroit Free Press, the commission voted 3-0 to reject the proposal that would ask voters to approve a city code amendment allowing anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess up tp one ounce of pot on private property. Commissioners said they based their decision on a recommendation from the city’s Law Department, which argued state law would trump city code. According to Tim Beck, organizer of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, this argument belies the subtext. “It’s strictly a political decision,” Beck told reporters last week. “They don’t like the issue and they’re afraid it’s going to pass.”
Back in May, Beck submitted more than 6,000 petition signatures to City Clerk Janice Winfrey, who approved 4,500. In June, Detroit City Council avoided a vote on the proposal, a move many assumed would allow voters to decide in November. Coalition for a Safer Detroit, the organizers of the effort, plan to file an appeal in Wayne County Circuit Court before Chief Judge Virgil Smith, pointing out the proposal would simply change one section of the city code that is based on state law, not attempt to supersede it.