All smoked up 

If you believe its opponents, the medical marijuana initiative on the Aug. 3 ballot is going to get smoked. You know, man, like in defeated.

Proposal M, which would allow Detroit residents with a doctor’s note to get cannabis-relief from maladies such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, is opposed by slightly more than 52 percent of the city’s voters, according to a poll of 222 people taken by groups opposed to the measure. Just more than 33 percent are in favor. Fourteen percent are either undecided or didn’t bother to answer the question.

Spearheaded by City Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, the poll was conducted by several nonprofit groups including the Empowerment Zone Coalition and the Partnership for a Drug-Free Detroit.

Jeez. Think maybe with a group named that involved in taking the poll, that the results might be a little, uh, biased?

Neil Bush, campaign coordinator for the Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care — the group pushing the initiative — certainly thinks so. He said as much when the so-called poll results were presented to the Detroit City Council during a discussion of the issue on July 23.

“That’s not a poll,” alleged Bush. “They basically had this anti-drug meeting and gave out this questionnaire.”

Empowerment Zone Coalition Executive Director Doreen Turk-White said about one-third of the survey was taken at a workshop dealing with the effects of marijuana, but that pollsters were careful not to “contaminate” the survey results. Right.

Proposal M’s opponents aren’t the only ones who might be suspected of blowing a little smoke.

Bush says he has polling results from a survey taken by a national nonprofit called the Marijuana Policy Project, but that he’s not free to provide any details because the information is “proprietary.”

So, non-numbers from another group that is anything but unbiased.

Who are we to believe?

It doesn’t matter. The only survey that really counts will be taken at the polls Aug. 3.

And even that won’t count all that much because even if it passes and the city charter is changed, county sheriff’s deputies, the Michigan state police and federal narcs will still be able to bust any toker they want, no matter how many doctors’ notes the smoker has rolled up in his or her pocket.

Even if it is purely symbolic, News Hits recommends a “yes” vote. Any adult should have the right to puff a little weed without fear of winding up in the slammer. That is even truer if said weed helps a cancer chemo patient hold down their lunch or makes it a little easier for a glaucoma patient to make it through the day.

Contact News Hits at 313-202-8004 or

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