Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SSDP Chapter Gets Marijuana Reform to the Ballot!

Voters in the city of Kalamazoo [MI] are one step closer to deciding whether to liberalize the way law enforcement deals with the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city.

The Kalamazoo Coalition for Pragmatic Cannabis Laws turned in 4,776 signatures to the City Clerk's Office on Monday - 2,000 more than required - seeking to amend the city charter to state that the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana by those 21 and older should be the "lowest possible priority" for law enforcement.

The clerk's office has 45 days to certify the signatures, but they are expected to be certified by some time mid to late next week, office officials said. The coalition needs at least 2,752 signatures of registered voters to get the issue on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Click Here to Read the Initiative
The SSDP chapter at Western Michigan University took the lead on collecting signatures for this ballot initiative early in the summer. Chapter President Alexander Lanning worked countless hours with his chapter and the Kalamazoo Coalition for Pragmatic Cannabis Laws in order to make this happen. SSDP board member and University of Michigan alum Chris Chiles also helped significantly in these efforts. While the signatures haven't been certified yet, by collecting 2,000 more than they needed, it's almost guaranteed to make the ballot.

Congratulations go out to all who worked on making this happen. Lowest law enforcement priority campaigns can be launched in many cities and provide a great way to inspire your chapter members and build coalitions in your communities. If your chapter is interested in running one, contact your outreach director.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Unfortunately, the minimum number of valid signatures required was still not met:

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/08/marijuana-enforcement_measure.html

There were most certainly mistakes made in this campaign, but those who were a part of it have gained the insight to improve their organizing in future efforts. I still think the efforts were remarkable.