News Release: Libertarian Party Endorses Ballot Drive

Libertarian Party Endorses Ballot Drive
Tim O’Brien
CONTACT: Tim O’Brien
(313) 562-5778

DEARBORN. The Libertarian Party of Michigan announced today its official endorsement of the Personal Responsibility Amendment initiative (PRA2000) to amend the Michigan constitution and effectively eliminate marijuana prohibition in the state.

The ballot proposal would make it legal under state law for any adult resident of Michigan to privately possess up to three ounces of marijuana for personal and/or medicinal use. However, both commercial transactions and operation of a motor vehicle or other machinery while under the influence would still be prohibited under the amendment.

“Libertarians have always advocated repealing drug prohibition,” said Tim O’Brien, the party’s executive director. “All drugs,” he emphasized — noting that marijuana is so mild a drug that there has never been a recorded case of a fatal overdose and that it is the black market in cocaine in its various forms and the opiate derivatives that causes the vast majority of prohibition-related crime.

“The Libertarian view is stated very succinctly in the part of the PRA2000 amendment that reads: ‘It is not the proper role of a limited government to interfere with the discretion of adults exercising informed personal judgment, but only to prevent and redress acts of injustice to others.’ Why should this reasoning be limited to marijuana?” he asked.

“Still, we have been around politics long enough to appreciate the practical difficulties of persuading our fellow citizens to restore overnight the freedom that was our heritage until early in the twentieth century when government nannyism came into vogue. We recognize that this Personal Responsibility Amendment is an excellent step in the right direction,” he said.

“It is especially important that individuals who are suffering from chronic diseases and the side effects of AIDS and cancer treatments be permitted the freedom to ameliorate those symptoms with marijuana — if they feel it is the most effective medicine for them,” he concluded. “It is unconscionable that government bureaucrats should interject their own prejudices into so critically important and intensely personal a decision.”

Endorsement by the 1600 member Libertarian Party of Michigan has provided a tremendous boost to PRA2000 organizers who must collect over 300,000 signatures by mid-summer to get their proposal on the November ballot.

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