DETROIT (WJBK) - A state lawmaker is creating a buzz by introducing a bill that would make it legal to GET a buzz.
Democratic Senator Coleman A. Young introduced his bill last week that would tax marijuana. The goal, his bill says, is to help pay for things like education or roads - two things the state is in desparate need of funding.
Senator Young says African-American men are twice as likely to get arrested for possession in Wayne County, three times more likely in the rest of the state, and four times more likely in the country. He said his bill would help police tackle that problem and fight crime. better.
"I think this is the first step in stopping that," Young said. "I think we can spend less time locking people up for possession of a plant that you can't overdose from and spend more time going after murderers, more time going after rapists, and more time going after people who are committing through gun violence and other such means."
The city of Detroit ran into problems with medical marijuana shops opening up almost everywhere you turned in local neighborhoods. It got soe bad that an ordinance had to be passed to keep them away from schools and churches.
So what's to stop pot shops from popping up on every corner? Young says that's where the lawmakers come in.
"I think that's through proper regulation. Everybody and their brother's uncle shouldn't be able to step up a marijuana joint. That's not what I'm saying. But I think through proper regulation, oversight, like they have in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, this is something we can do," Young said.
So what do the people Young represents think? We were in Detroit and got some mixed reactions. Some said it's a long time coming but not everyone thinks it's a great idea.
"Liquor is a problem, drugs are a problem - whether it's legal or not - we just don't need any more substances. I mean we got enough," Herman Brown said.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig would not comment on the bill and said he wanted to wait to see how it progressed in the statehouse, first.