The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
N ewTshmWednesday, November 5, 2008 - 7A
U' scientists get win
with Prop 2 passage
stem cell proposal
By EMILY BARTON
Daily News Editor
After the passage yesterday
of Proposal 2, which amended
the state's constitution to loosen
restrictions on embryonic stem cell
research, University researchers
will now be able to derive their own
embryonic stem cell lines.
The ballot initiative passed nar-
rowly with 52 percent of the vote,,
with 91 percent of the precincts
reporting as of 2:30 a.m. Wednes-
day. It overturns a 1978 Michigan
law banning the destruction of
human embryos. Michigan's ban on
cloning remains intact.
Scientists at the University have
been conducting embryonic stem
cell research with lines derived in
other states, but the new amend-
ment will allow them to start
deriving lines from fertility clinic
embryos that would otherwise be
Opponents of the initiative have
cited precedent from other states to
argue that the new law could lead
lawmakers to spend public money on
stem cell research, and argued that
the ballot language is vague enough
that it would not adequately prohibit
the misuse of human embryos.
Proponents of the measure say
the initiative will enable research
in Michigan that could lead to cures
for diseases like Juvenile Diabetes
and Parkinson's Disease.
"We're very pleased with the
vote today," said Chris DeWitt,
spokesman for Cure Michigan, the
campaign advocating the ballot ini-
tiative. "This has helped bring our
state in line with 45 other states for
stem cell research."
Cure Michigan started its cam-
paigninitiative over ayear ago when
Rick Johnson, former speaker of
the state House of Representatives,
Detroit Attorney Linda Bloch, for-
mer U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz(R-Battle
Creek) and Richard Whitmer, a for-
mer chief executive officer of Blue
Cross Blue Shield formed a com-
mittee to push for a ballot initiative.
Previous legislation introduced to
state Congress failed to pass, and
the committee members decided to
leave the decision up to voters.
Crowds celebrated after Obama's victory was announced at the Michigan Denocratic Party's victory party in the
Eated U celebrates Obama win
Mich. becomes 13th state
to legalize medicinal pot
general had opposed
By EMILY BARTON
Michigan became the thir-
teenth state to allow the use of
marijuana for medicinal purposes
yesterday after Proposal 1 passed
with 63 percent of the vote in the
91 percent of precincts reported by
early this morning.
The ballot initiative allows
patients with severe medical con-
ditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS,
glaucoma and hepatitis C to legal-
ly use marijuana to treat pain and
other symptoms. Patients would
be able to own 12 marijuana plants
and 2.5 ounces ofusable marijuana
once they've been granted permis-
sion by a doctor, registered with
the Department of Community
Health and been issued a program
The initiative was proposed by
the Michigan Coalition for Com-
passionate Care, a Ferndale-based
is a solid victory for the patients
and their families who desire to
use medical marijuana when other
treatments aren't working for
them," said Diane Byrum, spokes-
woman for the coalition.
opponents of the initiative,
including Gov. Jennifer Granholm
and Attorney General Mike Cox,
said the ballot language doesn't
clearly stipulate how patients
would obtain marijuana and
voiced concern that a change in
the law would cause an increase in
crime and violence.
The opposing campaign was led
by Citizens Protecting Michigan's
Kids, a coalition of anti-drug orga-
The passing of asimilar proposalin
California led to the creation of thou-
sellingmarijuana to people with pre-
scriptions. Proponents of Proposal 1
have insisted that Michigan's law will
guard against those problems. The
ballot language provides penalties for
anyone who illegally sells marijuana
but doesn't explain how patients
should obtain it.
"The ballot initiative is silent on
how you get the first seed, because
the reality is that patients are
getting that today and using it,"
OBAMA, From Page 1A
14 percent increase from the
number of people who cast bal-
lots at student dominated polling
places of 2004.
Eighty-three percent of voters
at 14 student-heavy Ann Arbor
precincts supported Obama.
Obama, whose victory in the
Electoral College entered land-
slide territory, began the race two
years ago as the underdog. He had
to defeat the favored Sen. Hillary
Clinton of New York to win the
Democratic Party's nomination.
In doing so, he defied historical
precedent to become the first black
man to earn a major party's nod.
The Democratic nominee once
again defied political paradigm in his
campaign strategy. He energized an
entire generation of young Americans
withhis message ofhope and change.
During his acceptance speech
last night, given before a crowd
of more than 240,000, Obama
implored Americans to support
him as he carries out his progres-
"I will ask you to join in the work of
remaking this nation,the only way it's
been done in America for 221 years --
block by block,brick by brick, calloused
Obama's platform, which cen-
ters on tax breaks for middle-
income families, health care
policy reforms, withdrawal from
Iraq and developing alternative
energy technology, has resonated
overwhelmingly with young vot-
ers. About two-thirds of voters
under the age of 30 supported
Obama, representing 17 percent of
the national electorate.
This group of young, primarily
first-time voters, who formed their
political opinions under a president
with some of the worst approval
ratings in the history of approval
ratings, voted for the young first-
term senator whose eloquent rhet-
oric promised them a change from
the only administration they'd
known since middle school.
Many of these people not only
voted for him, but they dedicated
themselves to getting him elected.
Membership in the University's
chapter of College Democrats qua-
drupled in size when the school
year began. At the group's first
mass meeting, they turned away
more than100 people because they
couldn't fit the 300 people wanted
to help elect Obama in one room.
Collectively, the group commit-
ted tens of thousands of man-hours
to canvassing and phone-banking
for the candidate. More than 30
College Democrats members con-
sidered the mission a full-time job.
Inhis acceptance speech,Obama
thanked them for their efforts..
"It grew strength from the
young people who rejected the
myth of their generation's apathy
who left their homes and their
families for jobs that offered little
pay and less sleep," he said of those
who worked for his campaign.
College-aged supporters across
the nation contributed to the largest
volunteer base of any political cam-
paign. The Obama campaign also
ing to build a registration, outreach
and turnout machine the likes of
which no democracy has ever seen.
These grassroots efforts mobilized
entire blocsof first-time voters.
The 18- to 24-year-old demo-
graphic has never played such an
influential role in the election of a
president. Historically, young vot-
ers haven't shown up to the polls.'
Voter turnout among those aged
18-24 has trailed that of voters aged
25 years and older by about20 percent
forthepast 30years, accordingtoThe
Center for Information and Research
HOW THE COUNTRY VOTED
But to combat this group's infa-
mous apathy, Obama's campaign,
armed with record-shattering
fundraising totals, poured money
into courting the youth vote. His
campaign produced and distrib-
uted youth-specific literature,,
which listed his pledges to make
college more affordable and acces-
sible. He used text messaging and
viral videos to get his message out
to a group of people whose lives
revolve around blogging, instant
messaging and social networking.
On a campus scattered with
Obama campaign literature and
plastered with the president-
elect's likeness, students celebrat-
ed throughout the streets of Ann
Arbor in droves. Their chants and
yells could be heard for hours after
the major news networks called
the race for Obama.
Before flooding the streets, stu-
dents gathered at campus bars and
residence hall lounges to watch
results trickle in.
Just before 11 p.m., the election-
watching crowds at Good Time
Charley's braced themselves for the
closing of polls in California. They
began counting down from ten.
As they cried one, the television
screens displayed the CNN projec-
tion, "Barack Obama elected presi-
As students embraced and took
photos of the screen, they lined
up at the bar to order blue-colored
"Obama shots." Others simply
stared at the screen, their eyes
transfixed and welling with tears.
- Daily Staff Reporters Jillian
Berman, Kelly Fraser, Charles
Gregg-Geist, Andrew Grossman,
Elaine La Fay, Katherine Mitchell,
Nate Sandals, Caitlin Schneider,
Kyle Swanson and Sara Lynne
Thelen contributed to this report.
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was not authorized to talk to the
press, held up a bundle of5oo votes
from one of the three precincts
inside the high school and smiled.
"It's been crazy," he said of the
Hood said the only problem
at Warren Woods Tower was
confusion between the three
precincts all housed in the same
building. But he said those prob-
lems subsided as the number
of people voting at once dimin-
A precinct supervisor at a War-
ren middle school, who wouldn't
give her name because she didn't
have the authority to talk to the
press, said there were long lines
but that isn't necessarily a bad
"The lines are long - people are
coming out to vote for the presi-
dency," she said. "Lines are good
because they mean people are.
coming to vote."
Karen Amato, a poll observer
for the Michigan Election Com-
mission, said there has been an
astounding level of turnout in
"At the 3 different Warren
Woods sites I've been to, of the
1,200 people expected to vote,
already 400 had voted before
1:00," she said.
She said the only problem she
saw was a lack of supplies at some
of the polling places.
Meanwhile in Detroit, poll
workers also experienced long
lines, but with relatively few other
Poll workers at Central United
Methodist Church, which houses
two precincts, said the biggest
rush was from 7 a.m.,to 9 a.m. as
people tried to vote before heading
to work. After that, there contin-
ued to be a steady trickle of voters
throughout the day, the poll work-
Alfred Kirkland, a poll work-
er at Central United Method-
ist Church, said the only real
problem was people showing up
at the wrong precinct. But Kirk-
land said the church shuttled
those people to their correct
- Daily Staff Reporter Trevor
Calero contributed to this report.