Local city looks to decriminalize marijuana - WNEM TV 5

Local city looks to decriminalize marijuana

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This November, voters in a local city will be asked to take a stance on marijuana. A ballot initiative is looking to decriminalize the drugs in small amounts.

Governor Rick Snyder is weighing on that initiative and he's not exactly voicing his support. In a letter sent to leaders of Saginaw, Snyder makes it clear that he does not approve of the proposed initiative.

But supporters say it's about what the people want and they are eager to cast their votes.

Saginaw residents are divided when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana.

The Coalition For a Safer Saginaw collected thousands of signatures to get a proposed amendment on the November ballot.

If passed, it would amend Saginaw's city charter so nothing in the code of ordinances would apply to the use, possession or transfer of less than one ounce of marijuana on private property by a person 21 and older.

"If you're an adult and it's on private property, I think you should have the choice. Alcohol is legal and I would say there's a lot more problems and a lot more deaths related to alcohol than ever marijuana," says Saginaw resident Matt Keating.

Even though residents will get to vote whether or not to change the city charter, Governor Snyder recently sent local leaders a letter reminding them of that possessing marijuana is still illegal under state and federal law.

In his letter, Snyder says even if Saginaw voters pass the amendment, the drug remains a controlled substance. Police will be required to enforce the state's laws on marijuana.

Despite the opposition and the laws that will prohibit much from changing, supporters say decriminalizing marijuana in Saginaw could be the first step that leads to legalizing the drug statewide.

Voters decide the measure on November 4.

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