Police Target Marijuana Legalization Supporter in Michigan Town, November Ballot Measure May Be Invalidated

targetCBSOver the summer, twenty five year old Andrew Cissell gathered the petitions to get an ordinance legalizing marijuana on the ballot in Ferndale, Michigan in November. The measure would legalize the possession, transfer, or use of marijuana of up to an ounce on private property by anyone over the age of 21. Now, though the ballots have already been printed, the results may not be accepted by authorities—Cissell was arrested on “marijuana delivery” charges, with multiple homes in nearby Oak Park and Ferndale raided. The city clerk now says she doesn’t know whether Cissell lived in Ferndale when he collected the petitions.

The measure has been opposed by almost the entire city council, who met to consider the ordinance, which was then still scheduled for a November vote, in August. At that meeting, the city attorney to object to the use of the term “private property” because it could mean the sale of marijuana in bars or, seriously, day care centers. The schools superintendent came out at the council meeting to oppose the measure too, for the children. It could “indirectly” affect students, the superintendent claimed as he explained he’d never before in his 14 years in the position taken a stance on a local political issue.

The town’s police chief, meanwhile, insisted that his department had never arrested someone 21 or older for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana in his home. The county narcotics team sent an informant to make three marijuana purchases from Cissell, who is licensed as a medical marijuana user and care-giver. Authorities say he had too much weed.

Tim Beck of the Safer Michigan Coalition, which backed the Ferndale measure (and similar ones in Lansing and Jackson), called the police targeting of Cissell “bullying” that wouldn’t’ have happened had Cissell not been involved in legalization efforts. Cissell had been considering running for state representative next year.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's what he gets for trying to legalize that which has been previously deemed illegal... and messing with the po-po's bread and butter.

  • SomeGuy||

    but he even broke the law under his petitions

  • Square||

    People get so weird about this. I had a conversation with my grandfather about 20 years ago in which he actually argued that it should be illegal to advocate marijuana legalization because it is analogous to yelling "fire!" in crowded theater.

    His basis for feeling so strongly? When he was kid in the 30s some older kids told him "hey, kid, you know what marijuana is" "No." "Stay away from that stuff, or we'll kick your ass."

    He still respected those guys sixty years later.

  • General Butt Naked||

    When he was kid in the 30s some older kids told him "hey, kid, you know what marijuana is" "No." "Stay away from that stuff, or we'll kick your ass."

    That's an odd story. I want to ask him questions about it.

    The only story regarding my pap and weed was when he found that my mom was growing some in the back of the field when she was a teen. He told her that he took some because he wanted to know what it felt like and she never heard about it again. Not surprising for a guy that drank gin & tonics for lunch.

  • Square||

    I wanted to ask questions, too, but his stories were extremely rambling and he tolerated no interruption. For some reason these kids just really knew what was what in the world.

    I think it was some sort of deep-sown need for a feeling of group membership, and I think that's what's really behind most prohibitionism.

  • SweatingGin||

    We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
  • Almanian!||

    Fuck Michigan. Especially Fernfuckingdale.

  • SweatingGin||

    I always figured Ferndale would be one of the earlier ones in the Detroit area to legalize.

  • Chuck Baggett||

    A bar seems like a sensible place to sell marijuana to me. A smoking pot and drinking bar. Should be a hit.

  • Chuck Baggett||

    Is it normal for the petition signature gatherers to have to live in the place they gather petitions signatures for? I know in presidential campaigns they fly people all around the country getting signatures. Roger MacBride gave me a ride on his Gooney bird to get signatures for him.

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