Ferndale voters to consider easing marijuana laws

Ferndale voters to consider easing marijuana laws

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FERNDALE, Mich. (WJBK) -- Voters in Ferndale have a chance to give some legal protection to users of small amounts of marijuana.

Ferndale would ignore possession of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property. People must be at least 21 years old. The question is on the ballot Tuesday.

But even if voters approve, it still wouldn't offer complete protection. State law still bars marijuana use and possession unless it's medical marijuana.

"Whether it wins or loses, it's not going to work in Ferndale," said Mayor Dave Coulter. "This is largely a symbolic ordinance. You can't really change the state drug laws a the local level. I think this was an effort by folks in town to try to send a message, both to Lansing and Washington, that they'd like to see the drug laws change."

"(People) will come to Ferndale thinking pot is legal and they'll find out otherwise that it's not because state laws prevail," said resident Dave Cottrill. "I think it will be really confusing and not beneficial to Ferndale."

Voters will decide the same legal protection in Jackson and Lansing as well.

In 2012, Grand Rapids voters chose to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil violation instead of a misdemeanor crime.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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