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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MI: Cox Admits Marijuana Use In Youth But Says Legalization
Title:US MI: Cox Admits Marijuana Use In Youth But Says Legalization
Published On:2012-01-27
Source:Detroit News (MI)
Fetched On:2012-01-28 06:02:10

Detroit- Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox admitted Friday he
smoked pot when he was in high school during the 1970s. But during a
symposium on the impact of marijuana reform, Cox stressed there are
practical problems in legalizing marijuana, and that's why he wouldn't
support changes some activists in Michigan are seeking.

"I am not for it mostly because I don't know how you regulate common,
everyday things such as driving while impaired," said Cox, a
Republican. "If it becomes legal, I don't think I'll ever use it
again. That being said, philosophically I am not against it. They
haven't come up with a good way to regulate in the workplace or
driving to measure it and deal with it."

Cox was the keynote speaker at a daylong symposium held Friday to
explore the social, economic, health and legal impacts of marijuana
reform, held at Wayne State University's Law School.

During his speech, Cox said the Michigan Legislature needs to step up
and address the ambiguities of the 2008 medical marijuana law, provide
for dispensaries and create a registry. He also said there is not
enough honest dialogue about marijuana in the country.

"Intoxicants are hard to talk about," he said.

Many in the audience embraced his comments.

"It was refreshing to hear a realistic perspective," said Jamie
Lowell, who founded 3rd Coast Compassion Center, a dispensary in Ypsilanti.

Friday's symposium was scheduled to include national and local experts
addressing current and proposed laws on marijuana. Panelists will
discuss conflicts between federal and state laws, policy and enforcement.

The event comes as activists have launched a petition drive to collect
signatures to ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment that
would legalize marijuana for residents older than the age of 21. The
drive by the Committee for Safer Michigan will need to collect 322,609
signatures by July 9 to put the question on the November ballot.

Matthew Abel, campaign director, says the effort has recruited nearly
2,000 volunteers across Michigan. He hopes the WSU forum will further
their cause.

"I hope it will educate people how and why prohibition doesn't work,
won't work and needs to be repealed," Abel said.

However, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has depicted the
effort as a way to legalize drugs and expects it will be fought.

"Most responsible statewide leaders will oppose the legalization of
drugs," Schuette said earlier this month. "We are trying to rebuild
Michigan and rebuild the economy. This petition doesn't mean more
jobs, and it doesn't keep our communities safe."

While no state has legalized marijuana, a Gallup Poll in October
showed a record high of support - 50 percent - for legalizing
marijuana. In November, voters will consider the issue in Colorado and

In 2008, Michigan voters approved a law allowing marijuana for
medicinal use. Since then, about 130,000 patients have been registered
with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and
hundreds of dispensaries have opened statewide.
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