Ann Arbor voters face three important
county- and city-level ballot initiatives at the voting booths on
Tuesday.

Angela Cesere

Proposal C amends the Ann Arbor City Charter to allow the use of
medicinal marijuana. If passed, those with permission from health
care professionals will not be levied a fine by the city for the
possession of marijuana. Marijuana possession would remain illegal
according to both state and federal laws. Currently, a fine of $25
is issued for the possession of marijuana in Ann Arbor. The
proposal will also decrease the fine for repeat offenders to $100
for a third infraction. Voters should grant this proposal their
approval.

This ballot initiative continues in the tradition of Ann
Arbor’s enthusiasm for accepting the medical benefits of
marijuana. In 1972, a similar ballot initiative lessened the cost
of possession to a civil infraction and a fine of $5. The passage
of this ballot initiative should be backed with similar
legalization throughout the state. The state should also regulate
and provide medicinal marijuana. This would ensure that people who
use marijuana for medicinal purposes would be able to obtain safe
and efficient cannabis and not that which is sold by illegal
dealers.

Residents’ progressive thinking is also apparent in the
importance they place on the city’s surroundings. The
area’s beauty and charm are a direct result of the
city’s commitment to maintain the natural beauty of Washtenaw
County. Proposal A extends this dedication for the next 10 years by
continuing the current tax of 25 cents for every $1,000 of personal
property. This tax provides more than $3.5 million dollars annually
for the parks and recreational facilities in Washtenaw County.
Preserving our parks and providing clean and accessible
recreational facilities is of great importance. Not only will the
passage of this proposal continue our responsibility for
maintaining the beauty of our surroundings, it will also ensure
clean and accessible parks and facilities for generations to
come.

Similar to residents’ commitment to Washtenaw
County’s environment is their continued support of local
universities and colleges. The Washtenaw Community College is an
acclaimed college that provides a unique and vital service to the
community. County residents reap the benefits of reduced rates for
tuition, preference in popular courses and free tuition for senior
citizens. The college has established a General Education
Development test preparation program for the thousands who have yet
to complete a high school curriculum. In January 2005, the college
will become the GED service center for the county when it assumes
GED testing from the Wash- tenaw Intermediate School District.
Faced with stringent budget cuts, WCC initiated inventive
fund-raising projects such as a Mardi Gras Ball.

Community colleges are especially necessary because they serve
older students who are already a part of the work force. WCC is no
exception, as the average age for students is 28.7 years.
WCC’s emphasis on novel concepts and technologies allows
these students to be forerunners in their fields. Proposal B renews
the current millage to fund Washtenaw Community College. This is an
especially important proposal, for it provides $12.7 million of the
college’s budget. WCC’s essential role it plays in the
community makes these funds well worth the investment.

The Daily emphatically encourages readers to vote YES on
Proposals A, B and C.

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