How would city vote?
Published: May 30, 2012
"Police don't even protect the information which protects the person who gave it to them," says LEAP's Franklin. "They end up being victims of retaliation. In addition they don't trust because police go into these communities and are constantly searching everything that moves. Citizens see the police pulling down the pants of guys in the street. They see all these arrests for frivolous reasons – failure to obey a police officer when what the police are doing is not lawful. … Citizens don't trust the police any more. You can't be effective in solving crime in that community if you don't have the buy in of the people."
Maybe people aren't buying into the drug war when they see the biggest harms being caused by the people who are supposed to be upholding the law. The law does not stop the demand, and where there is a demand someone will provide the supply.
So while folks are trying to fix Detroit, maybe the trust of the people could use a little shoring up. Maybe the relationship between the police and the community needs to be fixed. Stopping the penny ante marijuana busts would help. And if the police won't stop it, give the people a choice and they probably will.
The campaign to put the question of legalizing marijuana in Michigan on the fall ballot soldiers on. Whenever I ask folks from the Coalition for a Safer Michigan how its going, they talk about the many volunteers they have out there – about 2,500. However, they don't brag about how many signatures they have. They need some 322,000-plus valid signatures by July 9 in order to make the fall ballot. A few publications have published numbers that have leaked from CSM show that the organization has well below 100,000 in hand. The drive could still be successful, but it's not looking good right now.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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