The City of Grand Rapids is waiting before it implements a charter amendment that decriminalizes marijuana possession. Voters passed the initiative last November.
But the Kent County prosecutor is suing the city to prevent it from taking effect. The prosecutor argues it’s against state and federal laws for Grand Rapids police officers to issue only a civil infraction for marijuana possession. It would be sort of like a parking ticket. Ann Arbor has had similar rules for decades.
The prosecutor tried to get a restraining order to stop the city’s administration from implementing the charter, while the judge heard the merits of the case.
But Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan said it was okay for the city to make the change before he decides the case. Sullivan declined the restraining order because he said the prosecutor couldn’t prove it would cause any immediate harm.
Mayor George Heartwell, one of a few elected city leaders who supported the charter change, said he was “pleased” by that ruling. In late January, Heartwell said the city would implement the change within about a month.
But now, Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom says the city will wait for a decision on the actual merits of the case.