PHO­TOS OF THE DAY

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The Detroit News - - Front Page -

at a protest rally for him in Ann Ar­bor that at­tracted thou­sands in De­cem­ber 1971.

Three days later, he was re­leased when the Michi­gan Supreme Court ruled the state mar­i­juana rules were un­con­sti­tu­tional.

“It was re­ward­ing,” Sin­clair said of the sup­port. “How do you think I felt? I felt like I vin­di­cated my po­si­tion, that I was right.”

The fol­low­ing March in 1972, Michi­gan was with­out any mar­i­juana laws, ef­fec­tively le­gal­iz­ing it for 22 days.

Bills in the state Leg­is­la­ture have been in­tro­duced to al­low peo­ple con­victed of mul­ti­ple vi­o­la­tions of pos­sess­ing a con­trolled sub­stance to ap­ply to have their records cleared of those crimes. Gov.-elect Gretchen Whit­mer also has said she is in fa­vor of for­giv­ing mar­i­juana crimes.

Sin­clair has no re­grets about start­ing on the drug in 1962 as a col­lege stu­dent. He be­gan car­ry­ing a med­i­cal mar­i­juana card when it be­came le­gal in Michi­gan in 2008. He says he al­ways had be­lieved mar­i­juana is safe and that the work is not fin­ished yet.

“It’s never com­pleted,” he said. “It’s a good step for­ward, but they’re still go­ing to mess with it. The po­lice forces were in­sti­tu­tion­ally lob­by­ing the pub­lic against the le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana. They’re deeply com­mit­ted. It’s their liveli­hood. They won’t just stop.”

Detroit po­lice Chief James Craig said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day that the depart­ment had is­sued a frame­work to of­fi­cers on how to en­force the law and a full train­ing di­rec­tive will be is­sued over the next month.

Young said said de­spite le­gal­iza­tion, she’ll con­tinue to be a mar­i­juana care­giver. She’s one of the most re­spected grow­ers in Metro Detroit with a clien­tele of hun­dreds, she said.

“I feel like it helps peo­ple and right now peo­ple are in a dif­fi­cult spot be­cause there’s a short­age of cannabis with an in­crease in prices,” she said. “The state is tak­ing so long to is­sue li­censes and it takes about five months to grow a sin­gle crop ... it’ll take months for peo­ple to have enough to is­sue. I’m a grower and have been for five years. My pa­tients don’t have to worry.”

Down­town, next door to Nino’s Ital­ian Bak­ery advertising a dozen dough­nuts for $7.99, the yet-to-be-open Green­house pro­vi­sion­ing cen­ter was host­ing guests and ed­u­cat­ing them on the new rules.

“We don’t want this place to be in the dark or a se­cret,” said Millen, the owner. “I want that stigma to be gone.”

Rex Sh­ef­ferly said he be­lieves recre­ational le­gal­iza­tion will help to keep peo­ple out of jail.

“Peo­ple were call­ing for it,” said the 28-year-old engi­neer from Farm­ing­ton Hills. “It’s a good thing that we’re go­ing to get rid of the war on drugs. We have so many non­vi­o­lent of­fend­ers in our pris­ons.”

Oth­ers, such as Michelle Thurston, 39, said they hope it will help with sub­stance abuse. Thurston said sev­eral of her rel­a­tives have died from al­co­hol.

“I couldn’t vote (the pro­posal) down,” said the for­mer Pfizer em­ployee from Com­merce Town­ship said. “It’s bet­ter than al­co­hol.”

An­thony Lanzilote / Spe­cial to The Detroit News

De­bra Young, 61, of Fern­dale, smokes at a party cel­e­brat­ing the first day of le­gal recre­ational mar­i­juana use at the Cannabis Coun­sel in Detroit.

Mohd Ras­fan / AFP/Getty Im­ages

A hang­ing restau­rant sus­pended by a crane — in­spired by Santa’s sleigh — over­looks the sky­line of Kuala Lumpur.

Michael Probst / AP

Elvis Pres­ley now ap­pears on a traf­fic light in Fried­berg, Ger­many, where Pres­ley served from 1958 to 1960 as a sol­dier.

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