Group urges GR to act on marijuana amendment

5:01 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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File image of marijuana from the Associated Press.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The group behind the effort to decriminalize marijuana in Grand Rapids says the city is completely reversing itself and attempting to stop a voter approved charter amendment. Meantime, the city says that's not the case and is simply asking a judge to clarify the language on the amendment.

Proposal 2 amends the city charter so that smoking or possessing marijuana is no longer a misdemeanor offense. Instead, marijuana violations will be civil infractions punishable by a fine of $25 for a first offense.

Today Decriminalize Grand Rapids urged city attorney Catherine Mish to withdraw a legal motion opposing the amendment. "The voters voted yes," said DCGR Legal Counsel Jack Hoffman. "Unfortunately the City Attorney's latest legal maneuvers amount to a strategy to undermine the result of the election and deny Grand Rapidians their basic democratic right."

Hoffman is encouraging citizens to contact city leaders and encourage them to withdraw their opposition.

On Monday, City Attorney Catherine Mich said the city is not reversing its position, but asking a judge to clarify the language in the amendment. She says the city still plans to implement the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, but the city wants to make sure the Grand Rapids Police Department can still report felony cases to the Prosecutor.

In January the State Supreme Court denied the Kent County Prosecutor's request for a preliminary injunction, and lifted a temporary restraining order on Charter Amendment implementation.

The new amendment is scheduled to take effect on May 1. The next hearing on the issue is April 24.

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