Pubdate: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 Source: Tuscola County Advertiser (Caro, MI) Copyright: 2011 Michigan Media, a division of the Edwards Group Contact: http://www.tuscolatoday.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4678 Author: Bob Wood REPEAL OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION Editor, Advertiser: A coalition of Michigan parents, teachers, attorneys, physicians, health professionals, former law enforcers and many other people from all walks of life are putting together a voter ballot initiative to repeal marijuana prohibition in Michigan. The 2012 Michigan Ballot Initiative to End Marijuana Prohibition will give Michigan citizens the opportunity to vote on the repeal of Marijuana Prohibition. We enacted the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) in 2008 to protect patients from criminal prosecutions. Instead of regulating the medical marijuana industry (like Colorado did) our State Attorney General, law enforcement, activist judges and our state legislators have done everything they can think of to destroy the new law. State registered patients and caregivers have been viciously attacked and prosecuted by the state. The voters did not intend for the state to spend millions of tax dollars to prosecute patients and caregivers and attempt to destroy the new law. This coalition examined all the options. They thought about strengthening our current Medical Marijuana law. They discussed decriminalization and concluded that whatever they did the state would try to destroy our new effort the same way that they did with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Thanks to the current effort by AG Bill Schuette and company to destroy the MMMA, Michigan could be the first state to repeal marijuana prohibition. Michigan prohibited alcohol in 1919. In 1933 the U.S. Government recognized the connection between high crime rates and prohibition. A state convention with one delegate from each state house district voted 99-1 to repeal alcohol prohibition. The following year Michigan had a 70 percent drop in homicides. The violence carried out by the likes of Al Capone was minor compared to the violence that is created by marijuana prohibition. As soon as we enacted marijuana prohibition the murder rates skyrocketed the same way they did when we tried to prohibit alcohol. Crime rates will drop if we succeed in our effort to right a very serious wrong by repealing marijuana prohibition. The repeal of marijuana prohibition in Michigan will reduce criminal gang activity, reduce access of marijuana by minors. It will promote agriculture and create jobs by creating a new hemp industry and reduce the burdens of an overpopulated prison system, increase better relations between people and law enforcement and law enforcement will have more time and resources to focus on real crime where there are actual victims. We've spent over one trillion tax dollars and arrested over 20 million people for marijuana. Drug use with school children and adults has increased every year along with our drug war budget. Our school budgets have been gutted to the point that there is no more room to cut. Repealing marijuana prohibition will free up millions of tax dollars to help shore up our school finances. Colorado Representative Jared Polis recently called on Congress to end the prohibition on marijuana. Rep. Polis said "We've seen the benefits across the board, as a job creation engine in Colorado". Polis predicted that national legislation was on the horizon, but said "states must lead the charge". "It's a critical and important time for advocacy at the national stage," he said. "The more states that create a regulatory structure around marijuana production and sales, the more pressure there will be on Congress nationally". The undertaking by the coalition working to repeal marijuana prohibition will be an enormous undertaking. We need thousands of volunteers to circulate petitions in order for this to become a reality. The 30-year- old and younger crowds are being targeted in this war and they are the ones that will have to step up to the plate to help make this happen. You need to volunteer to help collect signatures and to recruit other volunteers. My generation brought an end to the Viet Nam war through peaceful demonstrations and your generation will bring an end to the war being carried out against you under the disguise of marijuana law. Bill Schuette has many prohibition allies with very deep pockets. Bill Schuette and company will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on negative and dishonest ads against the repeal of marijuana prohibition. We do not have financial backing to counter their ads, so we will need donations to combat the negative and false advertising that will surely come from our opponents. Go to repealtoday.org now and volunteer to help collect signatures or to donate money for this effort, because if we fail with this effort the violent and unprovoked attacks against innocent people who choose a safer alternative (marijuana) to alcohol, will continue. Bob Wood - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.