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Elden Puts The Douse On $5 Weed Fine!!

Elden Puts The Douse On $5 Weed Fine!! image
Parent Issue
Day
5
Month
October
Year
1972
OCR Text

Recently Ann Arbor's $5 fine for being busted with reefer in any shape, form, or quantity- for any reason- was sacfed at by District Court Judge S. J. Elden, in an 8page decisión of legal gibberish signifying nothing. The legal questions presented, and the trival attempt to answer them, were supposedly resolved a year ago when Attorney General Frank Kelley offered up his opinión on the city of Ann Arbor's right to lower the penalty for the "marijuana crime." Kelley's opinión held that city council had the right to reduce the penalty for the "crime", irregardless of state law, so long as there was a unique problem (not necesarily indigenous to Ann Arbor) thatdidn't exist in most of the state and that problem could be resolved by passing legislation preempting state law. Kelley also said that council could indícate the minimum and maximum penalty for the offense. Elden's ruling occured as the result of the bust of Glen Fuqua for possession of the benevolent herb as he was being shaken down on an arrest warrent for a traffic violation. When Glenn appeared before Judge Elden to pay his five bucks he was rudely told that he wasn't going to be allowed to pay no five dollars, and ir fact, he was being fronted off with the old 90-days-in-the-hole-jive. "I don't see how he can get by with dictating to the people what he's going to impose on them- whether they like it or not- and that's what it looks like he's doing to me. He's saying piss on you all, you're not going to teil ME what I can do to you," Glen paraphrased. Elden offered Glen a chance to reverse his guilty plea, but there's little to be said to EJden after 'I did t.' Glen's lawyer is expected to appeal the decisión. And speaking of getting shit on, the city administration ain't too buzzed by the whole thing itself. City Attorney Jerald Lac is in the process or preparing an appeal, saying ",,,we simply don't think he (Elden) reached the correct legal conclusions, nor do we think that he used appropriate procedures for getting to those conclusions. Much of what he said, I don't think touched upon the interesting legal áreas, but dealt with legal áreas that I had thought were fairly well settled long ago in favor of the city." So did we, Jer, so did we ... "You know, when you get to this particular offense, the whole reason the city has been dealing with it is an attempt to trivialize the penalty because we basically disagree with the state on the question of treating sale and possession of marijuana as a crime. It really makes no sense for us to make marijuana possession an offense unless we can attach to it a very, very slight penalty. I think that the Council was serious when it passed the law and it would be foolish not to appeal it," said Ann Arbor's Mayor, Robert Harris, of the council's detestation of Elden's sovereign word. You speak well, mayor, but unfortunetly, not for the entire council. . . City Councilman, John McCormick (R) recently made plans to set-up a bust in order to test the constitutionality of the entire ordinance because "this ordinance is a farce!" The ordinance draws undesirable groups to the city. The kids think about it, and they're going to put a sack on their back V and start walking. Where are they going to? Well, they say, wow, heh, Ann Arbor has the name of being the most liberal community in the United States, let's go there- and in they come. I don't think it's fair to the local people to créate a potpocket within the state," said McCormick. But McCormick doesn't want his test case connected with the present ruling Elden muddleheadedly carne up with, which doesn't attack the ordinance tself, but only the city's right to fix a lower penalty to the offense than already laid down under state law. Elden's ruling is apparently worthless to the Republican sector of the City Council Also. (Nrce try, huh, S. J., but so far your visions of glory and the ultímate grandstand play of pre-electiorT days seems to have put the douse on just about everybody, ceptin' maybe yourself . . .) If not everybody, then at least Ann Arbor's unique problem- you remember, the one that got the $5 fine passed in the first place-has been doused. The community certainly be having a problem with three-quarters of the population turned into crimináis overnight- for taking tokes right here in the dope fiend capital of the planet. It all started way back last spring when we all decided we were tired of all this wierdness surrounding us smoking a little taste of weed now and then. We banded together to support the HRP proposal on behalf of the people making reefer sale and possession a $5 fine. And now, a half a year later, we still don't take too kindly to damn near the whole community being called crimináis. When the people and HRP noticed that Elden, or some other chomp, could When the HRP noticed that Elden, or some other chomp, could possibly put the clamps on us snipping the chains a bit, they proposed an amendent to the historie ordinance that made the sentence of $5 the absolute maximum the courts could shackle the people with. This is what Elden purportly spoke to, or at-to be more precise! Generally (quotes are a waste of space) what Elden is running idown is that the City Council, even though it has the power to enact legislation -and indícate a minimum and maximum penalty for the does not have the right to do so in this case. "He wanted to enhance his position with the conservative f orces n this town. In this way he places himself in the role as a kind of protector to keep Ann Arbor f rom becoming the dope capital of the mid-west, which is of course absurd because his ruling is going to mean absolutely nothing," notes Jerry DeGrieck, HRP. "I am very confident that, in the appeals, the city will win the case." A favorable ruling is possible with the support of the community, and f speculation can be made as to the absence of any more fossilized magistrates in the court such as Elden. This is extremely difficult if not impossible due to the unpredictability of what the people's rights are going to be in any given court. We all have to rememb ber that Elden is attempting to snake his way into a circuit court coronation this coming November 7. The most immediate question that needs to be answered is: what are the pólice going to be doing about the absence of the $5 fine? Ironically, Chief -of-Police, Walter Krasny, was the one that was in a meeting that seemingly had no ending sighted in the near future. But all the while he be slippin in and out of crooks and cranies waiting to pounce on all the mysteriously ominous dope fiends permeating the community. That's the rumors at any rate... But Mayor Harris wistfully assumes that the pólice department isn't going to be doing anything about themselves being cut loose from the righteous people's conscription. "I think that the pólice have been backing into marijuana cases instead of searching for them. I think typically that when they've got somebody on a car stop and the warrant check turns out affirmative, and they're patting them down to arrest themthey bump into marijuana! I don't think they are going out looking for marijuana, in this town. I mean, you can imagine how much marijuana possession, in this town, you could turn up if you did nothing but chase it. I don't think they are going to do that," said Harris. That's pretty much where things are at this time: Elduffo cut the fooi in a bumbling attempt to cop the reactionary vote; McCormick hidrng under all that publicity of Elden's dribble, scheming away and waiting for his turn to shine; Harris idealistically gazing upon his boys in blue, Ann Arbor. s finest themselves; HRP confident that the Appellate court Judge .ain't gonna be another buffoon up for election. Oh, and start check ing out who you be standing next to because Ann Arbor's unique problem has slithered right back on the streets -every 1 % people out of 2 that you be passing on the streets is a criminal, those impervious arch fiends of the mystical herb--waiting to set fire to the city.