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No Decision Yet For Marijuana Decriminalization in Grand Rapids

Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-24 17:39:41-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– No ruling has been made yet on marijuana decriminalization in Grand Rapids.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan heard final arguments in the case on Wednesday, but decided to delay his decision. Instead, he plans to give a written legal opinion in two weeks.

“It’s not an issue on whether I agree or disagree that this charter amendment is a good idea or not, it’s just trying to determine the validity in what the voters have done here,” said Honorable Paul Sullivan.

Back in November, nearly 60 percent of Grand Rapids voters said they wanted to see possession of pot and marijuana use to become a civil infraction, like a parking ticket.

Soon after, Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth filed a lawsuit challenging the city charter amendment, arguing that it was too broad, conflicts with state law, and makes it difficult for him and Grand Rapids police to do their jobs.

Grand Rapids has put the enforcement of the amendment on hold pending the lawsuit. However, city leaders have set a new date for May.

The group called DecriminalizeGR,  a citizen group that put Proposal 2 on the ballot in the first place, recently said the prosecutor and the city attorney are trying to derail the measure by allowing Grand Rapids police to report pot usage to the state, which still considers marijuana possession a felony.

Supporters of the ordinance are worried that even if the judge rules in their favor, the city will prevent any real changes from happening.