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Detroit Voters Consider Medical Marijuana In August

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DETROIT (AP) -- Voters will consider a proposal in August to legalize
use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie this month validated 7,779 of the
signatures submitted by the Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care,
a group seeking to get a marijuana use proposal on the ballot for
several years. The law requires 6,141 valid signatures.

In 2001, the group gathered more than enough valid signatures, but the
Detroit law department challenged the petition, citing technicalities,
and kept the measure off the ballot.

"The law department has raised no objections this time," coalition
founder and chairman Tim Beck of Detroit told the Detroit Free Press
for a story Friday. "So the Detroit Medical Marijuana Initiative
question will finally appear on the primary ballot next August."

If passed, the proposal would not prevent Wayne County, state police
or federal agents from arresting marijuana users in Detroit.

"I think it's more symbolic for the proponents of medical-marijuana
use," said city lawyer Michael Karwoski. "The impact on the city is
probably negligible because they are not changing state law."

National advocates said a medicinal marijuana use law would be a good
for Detroit.

"It keeps police from wasting time and valuable resources," said Kevin
Zeese, president of the Common Sense for Drug Policy, based in
Washington, D.C.

Medical use of the drug has been approved in California, Nevada,
Oregon, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Arizona and Hawaii, as
well as in Canada.


Pubdate: Fri, 21 Nov 2003
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
Referenced: The Detroit Free Press article