A tiny Joplin, Mo., suburb has rolled itself a fat one.
Cliff Village – population 34 or 55, depending on who does the counting – weighed in on the national debate about medical marijuana by passing its own go-ahead earlier this month.
But before you bring your bong to town, consider that Cliff Village has no illusion that it has become a doobie sanctuary.
"This is symbolism, pure and simple," said Mayor Joe Blundell. "I would like to be the brave one who grows the first plant, but they've built a lot of cages for the people who stick their necks out."
Rather, his ordinance was intended to show grassroots support for a measure that has been repeatedly introduced – and consistently doomed – in the Missouri General Assembly.
Like that bill, Cliff Village's ordinance allows someone with a physician's approval to possess a few ounces of marijuana and grow a few plants.
Even as federal agents make arrests and seizures in states where marijuana has been made legal for the sick, the number of states moving toward legalization has only increased.
In November, Michigan voters made their state the 13th to allow relatively small amounts of marijuana for personal medical use. The Cliff Village ordinance takes the same approach.
"The pattern across the country is for cities to pass these things as a resolution or some toothless statement," said Allen St. Pierre of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or NORML. "This is usually a precursor to the state action."
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