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Michigan: Three Cities Vote To Depenalize Marijuana Possession

Lansing, MI: Voters in the city of Lansing (population 114,000) decided in favor of a municipal initiative amending the city charter to repeal criminal and civil penalties involving the adult possession of cannabis by adults on private property.

An estimated 63 percent of city voters on Tuesday endorsed the measure, which read, “Shall the Charter of the City of Lansing, Michigan be amended such that nothing in the Code of Ordinances shall apply to the use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years?”

michigan marijuana voters possession jackson ferndale Voters in two additional Michigan cities, Jackson (population 33,000) and Ferndale (population 20,000) approved similar measures on Election Day.

In Jackson, an estimated 60 percent of voters decided in favor of changing the city code to eliminate criminal and civil penalties regarding the “possession or transfer of less than one ounce of marijuana on private property by a person who has attained the age of 21 years.” In Ferndale, approximately 70 percent of voters approved similar depenalization language.

Under present state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis for non-medical purposes is a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Last year, voters in four Michigan cities – Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Ypsilanti – all voted overwhelmingly in favor of municipal measures to depenalize minor marijuana offenses involving adults.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.