jeff irwin

Michigan: Proposal to Legalize Cannabis on Pace to Make 2018 Ballot

Michigan Cannabis 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use in Michigan is gaining momentum as the group raises more money and claims to have gathered more than half of the signatures needed to put the issue before voters in 2018.

The proposed law would decriminalize the possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public and allow for up 12 plants to be grown per household.

Michigan: Lansing, Ferndale, and Jackson Voters All Approve Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Voters in three Michigan cities on Tuesday approved ordinances to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, reportedly bringing to 14 the number of cities statewide that have removed criminal penalties for personal-use amounts of cannabis.

Voters in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb, approved an ordinance that would allow possession or transfer of less than an ounce of marijuana with a whopping 69 percent of the vote reports Kate Abbey-Lambertz at The Huffington Post. The measure applies to adults 21 and older on private property. Lansing voters approved a measure by 63 percent, and Jackson voters approved with 61 percent of the vote.

The Lansing measure differs from the other two, according to MLive.com, because it enacts a change to the city charter rather than updating an ordinance. Recreational marijuana is still illegal under state and federal law.

"The public is far ahead of most politicians on this issue, as evidenced by the overwhelming support for medical marijuana when it was on the statewide ballot several years ago, as well as the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana in cities like Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said, reports Brandon Howell at MLive.com.

Michigan: Group Protests CPS Taking Children From Medical Marijuana Patients

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A coalition of attorneys, parents, students and legislators on Tuesday called on the State of Michigan to recognize the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and stop removing children from the homes of licensed medicinal cannabis caregivers and patients.

At least three families who have been targeted by CPS spoke to the media. The press conference and protest were held at noon at the Department of Human Services offices in Lansing to address the removal of children from licensed medical marijuana caregivers and patients

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, attorneys Thomas Lavigne and Joshua Covert, Steve and Maria Gree and other families from across Michigan who have had their children removed by CPS due to their status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver were in attendance at the event.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was passed with overwhelming 63 percent support in 2008. Specific protections were written into that voter-initiated law to protect families from losing their children when caregivers and patients have registered with the state.

Five years after the enactment of the law, Michigan Child Protective Services (CPS) continues to unjustly remove children from the homes of state sanctioned medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

Michigan: Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced With Bipartisan Support

(Illustration: The Daily Chronic)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would make the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine, rather than a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

"We know, and the people here in Michigan know, that marijuana prohibition is not working," Irwin said during a press conference at the Capitol, reports Jonathan Oosting at Mlive.com.

"Despite the fact that we're spending a minimum of $325 million a year on arresting, trying and incarcerating marijuana users in this state, we know marijuana has never been more available," Irwin said. "We know that law enforcement has not been successful at keeping marijuana out of the hands of anyone in the state."

Irwin has at least two Republican cosponsors for the bill; joining him at a press conference were Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon), Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville).

"This is the right time to have this debate in Michigan," Rep. Shirkey said. "We're using a lot of money, energy and resources in Michigan and across the nation to accomplish something we've failed at.

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