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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, June 9, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
Jeopardizedo pf laws
could prod state acio~n
rdHE ANN ARBOR and Ypsilanti "five dollar pot laws"
may soon be listed with other endangered species-
but probably only temporarily, if at all.
Tuesday's State Court of Appeals decision putting
local ordinances clearly subordinate to state law could
initially wreak enforcement of the state marijuana laws
in heavy grass using areas, such as Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.
But the ruling will most likely serve as a prod to state
legislators, carrying the message of decriminalization of
marijuana in Michigan, now.
Lawyers, police officers, judges, legislators, and citi-
zens have long known active prosecution of marijuana
cases would be a fruitless and futile effort to curb mari-
juana use, and could only further clog ou' judicial system
and court dockets.
AS JUSTICE THOMAS BURNS, one of three judges on
the appeals court panel, writes in his opinion concur-
ring with the court, "Marijuana use should not be a
criminal problem. The costs of making it such are just
too great. The waste of time, money and other resources
of the criminal justice system on enforcement of mari-
juana laws can no longer be justified."
The rationalization of state marijuana laws is long
overdue. That users in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti face
lighter prosecution than in other parts of this state is
simply not fair. But stricter prosecution and enforcement
of state laws is clearly not practical.
The current laws include: 90 days in a county jail and
$100 fine as the maximum penalty for marijuana use; one
year and $1000 fine as the maximum penalty for posses-
sion; and up to four years in the state prison and a $2000
fine for "delivery" withiintent to sell marijuana..
Enforcement of such laws could empty schools of all
levels, and a large part of the rest of our cities as well.
Decriminalization would not 4 include state approval for
possession, use or sale of grass, but would merely reflect
the state's acknowledgement of the impossibility of using
the law and the courts to eliminate marijuana use.
This ruling just could be the key to sane legislation.
News: Lisa Fisher, Stu McConnell, Ken Parsigian, Sue
Warner, Linda Willcox letters should be typed
Editorial: Linda Willcox and limited to 400 words.
Photo: Christina Schneider The Daily reserves the
Arts: Dpvid Keeps right to edit letters -for
Sps: Tm Cern length and grammar.
Sports: Tom Cameron
Pullout from S. Korea
a promise, not a threat
By WALTER R. MEARS
He may not be the administra-
tion's model of a modern major
general, but John K. Singlaub
did what the politicians could
not. He stirred national debate
on the withdrawal of American
troops from South Korea.
That is useful, whatever the
impropriety of Maj. Gen. Sing-'
laub's public challenge to the ad-
ministration's Korean p oIi c y.
For debate is a step toward con-
sensus, or at least understand-
ing, of what had been a back-
President Carter's plan for
phased withdrawal of ground
combat forces was a promise
long before it became a policy,
and anyone who was surprised
at what he is doing just wasn't
There is ample attention now,
in the tardy discussion stirred
by Singlaub's assertion the pull-
out would lead to a new Korean
Carter treated that as insub-
ordination, "a very s e r i o u s
breach of the propriety that
ought to eixst among military
officers after a policy has been
made." He caled the general on
the carpet, relieved him of his
post in Korea, and then insisted
Singlaub was not being chas-
tised or punished.
As if to prove it, the Pentagon
assigned the general to a new
post as good as the one he lost.
He did not, after all, defy any
order from his civilian bosses.
And, ironically, he may have
done the administration a favor.
Carter's plan to w i t h d r a w
about 33,9110, ground forces over
the next four or five years now
is under inspection, by Congress
and the country. The House
armed services and international
relations committees plan in-
There are complaints in Con-
gress, particularly among con-
servatives, based, as was Sing-
laub's dissent, on the contention
withdrawal would invite a North
Korean attack on the South.
Carter says it would not, be-
cause the South Koreans are
able to take care of themselves.
He says the ground forces no
longer are needed, and adequate
air, naval and intelligence units
will remain to underscore a
staunch U.S. commitment to
The withdrawal will not save
money. By congressional esti-
mate, it would be more expen-
sive to bring the Army's 2nd
Division home than to leave it
in South Korea.
Singlaub complained military
leaders couldn't get an explana-
tion of the policy. Now they will,
alongwith the rest of the nation.
Whatever problems the debate
may cause the administration, it
-is better they be confronted now,
rather than later, when a pullout
There are other items to be
discussed, including the future
of the tactical nuclear weapons
now deployed in South Korea.
Carter said in an interview
with U.S. News & World Report
the continued presence of ground
troops is not advisable, and im-
plied nuclear weapons could be
used if necessary after the
ground combat forces are gone.
There reportedly are about 700
tactical nuclear weapons there.
Carter said during the cam-
paign the n u c l e a r weapons
shouldbe withdrawn along with
the troops, but the .administra-
tion plan on that point is not yet
What is clear is that Carter
began talking about the with-
drawal of troops from Korea 30
months ago, and raised the issue
almost every time he discussed
foreign policy. "It was part of
our thinking from the earliest
days of the campaign," said
Stuart E i z e n s t a t, the White
House assistant who was Car
ter's chief adviser on isue.
It is on the record, again anJ
again, in almost the same ,vw ds
Carter is using now to describe
his policy. Within two weeks ol
the inauguration, Vice President
Walter F. Mondale said in Tokyo
there would indeed be US. wth-
drawals. On March f, Carter re-
affirmed his plan for a pultwi of
OLtP SOL iES O ~E'iEM EN,..
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