Police Chief Says Voters Should Not Ease Up on Pot Law

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- The police chief in Michigan's second-largest city opposes a ballot question that would make marijuana possession a civil infraction in Grand Rapids, not a misdemeanor crime.

Grand Rapids Chief Kevin Belk says young people won't benefit by making it easier to use marijuana. He compares it to the new Michigan law allowing fireworks, a law that boosted demand -- and complaints.

Grand Rapids voters will decide in November whether to make marijuana possession akin to a traffic ticket. Mayor George Heartwell and former Mayor John Logie are in favor.

Belk says marijuana use can eliminate job opportunities. He says easing the penalty for marijuana possession won't ease the workload of his officers. Belk says marijuana often is discovered during investigations of other crimes.

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