Group pushes for eased marijuana laws in Oak Park

Safer Michigan Coalition plans to have marijuana proposals in at least 9 additional cities

OAK PARK, Mich. - On Tuesday, organizers in Oak Park turned in petitions with 1,600 signatures to the city clerk's office for a city-wide ballot proposal aimed at decriminalizing marijuana.

The goal of the proposal -- organized by the Safer Michigan Coalition -- is to stop the city from enforcing civil and criminal punishment for adults who possess less than an ounce of marijuana on private property.

The city says 1,100 valid signatures are needed to put the issue on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. If the signatures for the proposal are approved it will be the first certified marijuana proposal for the August primary.

Activists also are seeking a similar ballot proposal for Hazel Park. The Safer Michigan Coalition plans to have marijuana proposals in at least nine additional cities for the general election in November.

The other cities include Saginaw, Mt. Pleasant, East Lansing, Utica, Port Huron, Lapeer, Clare, Harrison, and Onaway.

The coalition believes communities would be safer if police were able to focus on more serious crimes.  

Last year, voters in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing approved such proposals.

Read: Relaxed marijuana laws pass in 5 Michigan cities including Detroit

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