State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) said he plans to introduce a bill in the Michigan House of Representatives which would lessen the penalty for possessing cannabis, reports Joseph Lichterman at the Michigan Radio Newsroom. According to Irwin the state wastes millions of dollars by “running marijuana users through the court system and doing so at great cost to our state and at great cost to those individuals and their futures.”
Many legislators are already privately supportive of decriminalization, Irwin said, but they shy away from publicly supporting such a proposal.
Michigan voters are just about evenly split on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, according to a poll released last year by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ.
Several cities in the state, including Detroit and Grand Rapids, have already decriminalized pot in their municipal ordinances.
“(We must” take those policies that are already governing a good percentage of people in Michigan, and are working just fine, and apply those policies statewide,” Irwin said. “And by doing so, we will free up a lot of law enforcement resources.”