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.