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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MI: McKinnon: Drop Marijuana Laws
Title:US MI: McKinnon: Drop Marijuana Laws
Published On:2011-12-11
Source:Birmingham Eccentric (MI)
Fetched On:2011-12-16 06:01:12
MCKINNON: DROP MARIJUANA LAWS

Former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon believes decriminalizing
marijuana completely is the best route.

Speaking to an audience of about 70 people at the Baldwin Public
Library on Dec. 6, McKinnon said in his 33 years as a police officer,
drunks were always a bigger problem to deal with than marijuana users.
Legalizing the drug would free up police resources for more important
cases, he said.

Birmingham resident Mike Whitty, an adjunct professor at the
University of Detroit Mercy and a vocal advocate on reforming
marijuana laws, organized the event as part of the library's lecture
series.

"It's very exciting when someone of his stature and credibility will
speak up publicly on this topic," said Whitty, 69. "More dialogue,
more education -- all of that is certainly something the public wants
to see happen."

Whitty said he's convinced that a growing number of Democrats and
Republicans alike can see the benefits of legalizing marijuana and
making it a product to tax and regulate -- just like a bottle of wine.

"It's happening," he said. "I can list local Republicans and
conservatives who concluded we have to approach the laws differently
. so there is a crack in that wall of hesitancy and fear."

The courts throughout Michigan and other parts of the country still
maintain marijuana is a controlled substance and that medical
marijuana card holders are not immune to federal prosecution.

At the same time, Michigan lawmakers are trying to clarify the state's
medical marijuana act passed by the voters in 2008.

Whitty said McKinnon taught in the past at U-D Mercy and that's how
the two became friends.
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