.

Pot Champion Says He’ll Roll with Charges, Keep Campaign Active ‘Even if I’m in Jail’

Man who led petition drive for successful pot decriminalization measure on Ferndale ballot was sentenced to probation on an election law violation and he faces additional drug charges, but his campaign for House District 27 remains active.

Ferndale City Clerk J. Cherilynn Brown shakes hands with resident Andrew Cissell after he submited a petition asking for a vote on marijuana decriminalization. Cissell was recently convicted on election violations. (Patch file photo)
Ferndale City Clerk J. Cherilynn Brown shakes hands with resident Andrew Cissell after he submited a petition asking for a vote on marijuana decriminalization. Cissell was recently convicted on election violations. (Patch file photo)

The Oak Park man who gathered signatures to put an ultimately successful marijuana decriminalization question on Ferndale’s November ballot has been sentenced to probation for violating election laws.

An Oakland County Circuit Court jury found Andrew Cissell, 26, guilty falsely claimed that he lived in Ferndale when he turned in the petitions that included enough signatures to get the proposal on the ballot, The Oakland Press reports. He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation on the misdemeanor Tuesday.

The jury’s finding doesn’t invalidate the election results. Voters spoke loudly last fall, voting 2-to-1 to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for persons 21 and older.

Cissell’s legal troubles aren’t over. Next month, he’ll go before Oakland County Circuit Judge Rudy Nichols on charges on several counts of illegal delivery and manufacture of marijuana.

He was charged in September with allegedly manufacturing, delivering and selling marijuana to an undercover police officer, all felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.

The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, acting on information from a confidential informant, reportedly recovered about four ounces of marijuana and $405 from Cissell’s vehicle during the sting operation last summer. He reportedly was in possession of four medical marijuana caregiver cards and another card that identified him as a medical marijuana patient.

In the sting operation, authorities also served search warrants at what was believed to be Cissell’s residence in Oak Park, where they allegedly recovered 47 marijuana plants, growing equipment, two small safes containing 838 grams of high-grade marijuana, and other items related to the distribution and use of marijuana.

Cissell said the outcome of that proceeding won’t affect is candidacy as a Democrat for the House District 27 seat, which includes Royal Oak Township, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Ferndale, Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge.

“Even if I’m in jail I’m going to be on the ballot in the August primary,” he told the newspaper.

Racer Boy April 09, 2014 at 07:29 AM
Perfect!!! I am sure those communities will be very excited to elect a drug dealer as their representative...especially Ferndale.
RON Ostrodamus April 09, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Between the Ferns I am not surprised. This is Oak Park where the proprietary names for an Oak Park of commerce was falsely registered by a malcontent with a business in West Bloomfield who wants to stop any merging of Oak Park's chamber with the chamber of the perceived city of Sodom. You do not know the half of what is going on in what is now a poor dry community divided by intra religious, ethnic and racial interests. They need to chill out and get along and maybe allow their oldest and largest restaurant/catering/entertainment venue to have the same opportunity to serve wine and beer at a wedding as their insular non profits have. I am talking about the Sahara Restaurant at ten mile and Coolidge where unlike RO there is free parking so you can totally relax and enjoy your hummus in peace no matter what your persuasion.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »