Michigan Voters Pass Proposal 1, Support Letting Severely Ill Grow Own Pot

Wed, 5 Nov 2008
Detroit Free Press (MI)


Michigan voters favored sanctioning the use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating illness Tuesday, apparently rejecting arguments that doing so would increase crime and juvenile drug use. Advertisement

The marijuana measure, Proposal 1, led 63% to 37%, with 87% precincts tallied early this morning. The vote was 2,566,783 in favor to 1,526,477 against.

When it goes into effect -- 10 days after the vote is certified later this month -- patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and other conditions can be authorized to cultivate, possess and use marijuana without fear of prosecution under state law.

Michigan becomes the 13th state to approve medical marijuana, meaning that one in four Americans will live in a place where the use of the herb for medical purposes will be legal, according to advocates for legalization.

Bruce Mirken, communications director at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday evening he was optimistic about the prospects for Proposal 1 but not quite ready to declare victory.

Bill Schuette, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge who was cochairman of the anti-Proposal 1 campaign, said, "I think we waged a good fight. I think we had a good argument. It just looks like we came up short."

MPP, which advocates for marijuana law reform around the country, was the primary backer of the initiative, spending $1.5 million in Michigan to collect petition signatures and put the issue before voters, then another $227,000 in the final days of the campaign to counter a late-starting opposition campaign.

The initiative was opposed by law enforcement and medical organizations that claimed medical marijuana in other states, especially California, led to widespread abuse, criminal drug trafficking and easy access for young people.

The coalition formed just two months ago and raised only $125,000 to spread its message, producing a single TV commercial that aired in the campaign's closing days.

"The opposing argument was so blatantly dishonest, we hoped voters would see through it. And it appears they did," Mirken said.

Patients would be limited to growing 12 marijuana plants and possessing 2.5 ounces at a time.

Newshawk: Ohio Patient Network
Pubdate: Wed, 5 Nov 2008
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2008 Detroit Free Press
Author: Dawson Bell, Free Press Staff Writer
Referenced: Proposal 1
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)

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