Detroit Going Up in Smoke
Detroit city held a primary vote on August 7 for the legalization of recreational cannabis for in-home use. Although the proposal was initially rejected by the city clerk and Detroit Election Commission by a 2-1 vote, the Michigan Supreme Court gave Detroit voters the go ahead to decide for themselves. If the proposal is passed, up to one ounce of marijuana will be legal within the property of anyone who meets the age requirement.
If Detroit becomes Michigan’s first city to legalize cannabis, things might get better for the city. Times are tough due to a high unemployment rate, abandoned streets, hard drugs, and gang violence. By legalizing the substance, Detroit may reduce drug-related violence as it would be pointless to traffic a legal commodity. With all this considered, Detroit has enough problems on its plate and this era of cannabis prohibition may just be a minor problem in comparison.
Although this appeal has been in question since The Coalition for a Safer Detroit held a petition pressing the matter in 2010, it seems there finally may be some results in the near future. The organizers believe if marijuana is decriminalized, it will send a clear message to the police force to focus on more serious crimes and problems in Detroit including violence and prostitution. Others believe giving voters a choice is a step away from voter abuse.
Although many people seem to support this proposal, there is no telling what the outcome will be. Even if the proposition does get passed, there are several unanswered questions relative to its regulation and enforcement of related laws. Detroit may become the prime experiment of how a city operates along with regulated recreational cannabis laws. The big question for the Motor City is, what will legalization of the substance accomplish in the long run? Will it help a struggling city get by or will it only create more problems? Only time will tell.