OAK PARK (WWJ/AP) – Supporters of marijuana decriminalization have submitted petitions to place the issue before voters in two northern Detroit suburbs.

Earlier this week, the group Safer Michigan submitted petitions with 1,600 signatures to the Oak Park city clerk. Only 1,100 valid signatures are needed to put the issue on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. A similar proposal was also submitted in Hazel Park.

If passed, the proposals would let anyone 21 or older possess and transport up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use.

“People believe that we have more important problems to deal with than small-time marijuana use,” Safer Michigan’s Tim Beck told WWJ Newsradio 950. “Somebody smoking or using marijuana on their own private property, that should not be a crime punishable by jail time. We need to move on and reorder our priorities.”

Organizers have targeted 11 Michigan cities, along with Benzie County, for decriminalization proposals this year.

“We feel if we can legalize city, by city, by city, sooner or later in Lansing they are going to have to step up and pay attention to what we’re doing,” Safer Michigan’s Debra Young told Mlive.com.

Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing voters approved similar proposals last year.

Opponents to the laws say the decriminalization is an attempt to overrule state and federal law by legalizing marijuana use and possession.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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