Thursday, September 10, 2015

Motor City Marijuana

Motor City Weed Warrior
Richard Clement
Looking West to Colorado, the Motor City's weed warrior, Richard Clement, a staffer to Detroit City Councilman George Cushingberry, Jr., is pushing a proposal for the 2016 ballot to legalize marijuana in Detroit. Clement sees the profits being earned and the commerce being generated in Colorado as possible here in Detroit; he claims that pot legalization could be another girder in the rebuilding of the Motor City.

Clement, a medical marijuana card holder, believes that many of his fellow Detroiters have a strong desire to, "fire-up a big fat one" once they retire and no longer face employers' drug tests. For Clement, he sees legalization as a win-on-weed, both for the sensory experience and for the byproducts of hemp. He said as much in this recent WDIV interview.

To get on the ballot for 2016, the proposal needs 250,000 signatures; that's about a quarter of the city's population. There are two other state-wide proposals floating around these days that are trying to garner enough support to make the ballot.

We here at the Motor City Law Blog believe that legalization is inevitable, especially in light of the obvious failure of the "war-on-drugs". But the legalization process is arduous to be sure.

For starters, marijuana needs to be removed from Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act; only Congress can do that and so far, there has been no will in that august body to do so. Second, the Justice Department needs to continue its policy, started under President Obama, of forgoing prosecutions for low-level dispensaries.

As long as the delivery and manufacture of marijuana remains a federal crime, insurance companies and banks will forever be on the sidelines of the industry's development. Marijuana will continue to be a "cottage industry" only.  Perhaps that is as it should be.

It's a fact that the DPD has its hands full with homicides and robberies and the like. Not having to keep track of the weed man will come as much needed relief to Detroit's finest.

So it's cool with us if Clement's proposal gets some legs; can't hurt. But we don't think legalization of weed will have too much to do with Detroit's inevitable come-back.

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