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East Lansing Decides

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This resolution was passed Monday, December 6, by the last Lansing City Council voting 4-1. RESOLUTION CONCERNING JOHN SINCLAIR Offered by Councilman George Colburn Supported by Councilman George Griffiths December 6, 1971 East Lansing, Michigan

WHEREAS John Sinclair was arrested in the City of Detroit on January 24, 1967, for "dispensing and possessing" 2 marijuana cigarettes in the presence of undercover police agents on December 22, 1966; and

WHEREAS Judge Robert Colombo of Detroit Recorders court invalidated the charge of "dispensing" on June 20, 1969, because of police "entrapment", but retained the charge of possession based on the same evidence; and

WHEREAS A jury on July 25, 1969, found John Sinclair guilty of possession of 2 marijuana cigarettes; and

WHEREAS Judge Colombo, who treated John Sinclair's case as a first offense, sentenced John Sinclair to 9.5 to 10 years in prison for the crime of possessing 2 marijuana cigarettes; and

WHEREAS Judge Colombo immediately revoked John Sinclair's bail, claiming the defendant showed "a propensity for committing the same type of offense while out on bond;" and

WHEREAS The record shows that for the 2.5 years between arrest and conviction John Sinclair was not charged with any marijuana offenses; and

WHEREAS John Sinclair's request for an appeal bond was denied by Judge Colombo, the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court during the past 28 months; and

WHEREAS John Sinclair has been imprisoned in the State of Michigan for the past 28 months for the crime of possessing 2 marijuana cigarettes; and

WHEREAS For 15 months of his imprisonment, John Sinclair has been subject to "maximum security" conditions at Jackson State Prison; and

WHEREAS A growing number of medical authorities, educators, legal experts, mental health professionals and public officials.are agreed that marijuana should not be classified as a hard drug in the same category with drugs such as heroin; and

WHEREAS At least 28 state legislatures and the Federal Government have already acted to reclassify marijuana and to reduce penalties attached to the possession and use of same; and

WHEREAS The City of East Lansing and several other Michigan communities have adopted local ordinances which provide penalties for possession and use of marijuana which are significantly lower than those provided for same under present state law; and

WHEREAS The Michigan Legislature will soon amend its laws regarding marijuana to provide that a person convicted for possession and or use of marijuana would be punished by a maximum misdemeanor sentence of 90 days; now therefore be it

RESOLVED By the people's representatives in East Lansing that they advocate an immediate granting of an appeal bond to John Sinclair by the Michigan State Supreme Court; and be it further

RESOLVED That the City Council of East Lansing recommends John Sinclair's sentence be immediately commuted on the occasion of the passage of a state drug reform measure; and be it further

RESOLVED That the City Council of East Lansing recommends to the Michigan State Supreme Court, the Michigan Legislature and the Governor that upon the passage of drug reform legislation the State free all those in prison for the crime of marijuana possession and or use who were convicted prior to the passage of such legislation if they have served at least the maximum sentence as provided in such legislation.