“Residents approved a proposal Tuesday [Aug. 3, 2004] to legalize medical marijuana use in a largely symbolic victory for those who hope to rewrite the state’s drug laws. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent, or 38,604 votes, were in favor of Proposal M, while 41 percent, or 26,497 votes, were against.
The vote changes the city code, creating an exception to the marijuana ban for people who use the drug for medical purposes under a doctor’s direction. But the change has no effect on federal and state laws that allow prosecution of those possessing or using marijuana.
The initiative’s backers acknowledge that there will be little practical effect from the change and view the measure as a step toward rewriting the state’s drug laws.
Timothy Beck, founder of the Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care, which collected the necessary signatures to put the measure on the ballot, said his group will work to change state laws following the Detroit vote and a similar one scheduled for November in Ann Arbor.
Beck said the group will work with lawmakers to put the issue before the state Legislature or push for a statewide ballot initiative in 2006.”
Aug. 3, 2004 Associated Press