Court decision coming sooner than expected on legality of decriminalizing marijuana
Caroline MacGregor February 22, 2013 | WGVU
The City of
Grand Rapids hopes for a decision sooner than expected from Circuit Court Judge
Sullivan following a hearing in two months.
“The city expects a decision shortly thereafter that hearing, I would say between April 24th and May 1st, a much faster time frame than we were expecting.”
Attorney Catherine Mish - who says in light of the short time frame until a
court decision, commissioners have agreed to hold off on implementing any changes
in the current law.
“The city has decided at this time not to begin implementing the new civil infraction offense that was created in the charter amendment but wait another two months for a firm decision from the local Circuit Court to determining the legality of the amendment."
If the City is
successful in fighting the lawsuit filed by Kent Co Prosecutor William Forsyth,
City Manager Greg Sundstrom says they will respect the wishes of citizens who
voted to decriminalize marijuana and quickly move toward enforcement of
Court Judge Sullivan does not issue a
ruling by May 1st, Mayor Heartwell has stated he will
aggressively defend the wishes of voters and ask commissioners to begin immediate
enforcement of issuing civil infraction tickets for particular marijuiana
offenses. While Heartwell is confident of winning, Mish is a
little more conservative in expressing her expectations of the court outcome.
“The city will be there arguing that the amendment is valid and the will of the voters should be upheld, we're in a very grey zone right now as to whether the charter amendment is legal or not legal, whether it's legal in part or in whole - the court decision will give us all clarity - for all citizens of Grand Rapids, city leaders and its police department.”
last week planned to implement marijuana decriminalization by March 1st. But that
apparently changed after a scheduling meeting Monday with Sullivan.
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