BY BILL LAITNER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A proposal to legalize small amounts of marijuana in Detroit is headed to Detroit City Council.

The council is likely to have the issue on its June 15 agenda, a spokeswoman for Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said today. If council members decline to approve the proposal, it automatically will appear on the November ballot, Brown’s public affairs director Stacie Clayton said.

Leaving it up to voters is “actually what I expect will happen,” Clayton said. The subject was twice postponed by the city council’s Internal Operations Committee — last week for the visit to Detroit of first lady Michelle Obama last week and this week so that council members could attend the statewide conference of government officials on Mackinac Island, Clayton said. The committee now is planning to discuss the proposal at 10 a.m. June 9, she said.

The full council’s consideration would follow Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey’s decision May 19 to certify more than 6,000 petition signatures in favor of the proposal, which would allow Detroiters who are 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana on private property, petition organizer Tim Beck said.

“We’re thrilled” that the petitions were certified because “we could’ve had one paragraph misnumbered and they could keep us off the ballot,” Beck, 58, the owner of a health-insurance firm and a Detroit resident, said today.

"These things have to be absolutely perfect,” said Beck, a veteran of successful drives to approve medical marijuana in five Michigan cities and ultimately statewide.

SOURCE: Detroit Free Press

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