Monday, July 06, 2015

Michigan Greens Endorse MILegalize Marijuana Initiative Petition

The Green Party of Michigan notes the following:

Ecological Wisdom      *  Social Justice
Grassroots Democracy  *  Non-Violence

Green Party of Michigan

**  News Release  **
**  ------------  **
    July 5, 2015

For More Information, Contact:
Chris Silva, GPMI Chair
    (313) 815-2025

John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI Media Committee

Michigan Greens Endorse MILegalize
Marijuana Initiative Petition
    The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) has endorsed MILegalize, the
more grassroots of two officially approved initiative petitions on
legalizing marijuana in Michigan.

    GPMI chair Chris Silva of East Lansing is personally working with
MILegalize's sponsors, officially known as the Comprehensive Cannabis
Law Reform Initiative Committee, to put the measure on the November 8,
2016 ballot.  He has described the petition's proposal as a "craft beer"
model of growing and production, in contrast with the "industrialized"
approach taken in some other states and by a competing petition.

    GPMI Elections Co-ordinator John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall
notes that MILegalize would let adults grow up to 12 marijuana plants;
allow cultivation, possession, and processing of hemp and hemp products;
give local governments power to regulate the "time, place, manner, type,
and number" of marijuana establishments; and let local voters petition
to allow or prohibit those establishments if their government doesn't
make the decision promptly.  "That approach is in line with three of the
Ten Key Values of Greens nationwide -- Grassroots Democracy,
Community-Based Economics, and Decentralization."

    Ferndale attorney Sherry A. Wells points out that marijuana
legalization is also consistent with the Green value of Social Justice.
  "During my third year of law school, in the 1970s, many students were
scurrying to get their single criminal offense -- one for marijuana --
erased from their records so they could pass the Bar character and
fitness procedure.  A parent of a recent law school grad told me his son
did the same.  However, one issue is the inequality, in which young
black males are incarcerated for this offense (those white boys were
not), and generally do not have the wherewithal to get that offense so
easily erased."

    MILegalize would allow civil infractions for violations of the law,
but remove remove criminal penalties for possessing, growing, or
distributing marijuana -- except for sale to minors -- and protect
consumers from search, seizure, and investigation by law enforcement for
marijuana-related offenses.  It would also put an excise tax of at most
10% on all marijuana products sold to consumers for purposes other than
medical marijuana.  40% of the money brought in would support the state
transportation fund, 40% would go to the school-aid fund, and the local
government where the sale took place would get the other 20%.

    La Pietra says that registered Michigan voters may legally sign
different petitions once each for proposals on the same subject.  But if
two or more conflicting proposals get on the ballot, and pass, the state
Constitution says the proposal that gets the most "yes" votes will be
the one that takes effect.  "We urge the people to vote for MILegalize
over all competing proposals."

    To read the official language on the MILegalize petition or a
summary description of what the proposal will do, and to find out more
about activities in your area, visit the initiative's Website:

    For more information about GPMI, its values, and its platform, visit

You can also “like” the Green Party of Michigan US Facebook page

and follow GPMI's Twitter feed @MIGreenParty

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Green Party of Michigan
PO Box 504
Warren, MI  48090-0504

    GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental
issues in Michigan politics.  Greens are organized
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Each
state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its
own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

    Ecological Wisdom
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Community Economics
    Respect for Diversity
    Personal/Global Responsibility
    Future Focus/Sustainability