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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cannibals of Freedom: Is law enforcement immoral?- by Daniel L. Price, Esq.


I previously wrote about law enforcement hiding evidence and committing fraud/perjury, and the disparate treatment of a crime involving marijuana where no victim existed, and a crime of illegal entry and malicious destruction of property, where it involved a victim. As part of a series addressing law enforcement, this month I point out a couple of other instances to bring to light more issues.


In February, 2015, 17 year old Deven Guilford traveled a road in Eaton County Michigan. He noticed an oncoming vehicle with extremely bright lights, so he flashed his high beams in an attempt to get the other driver to lower his lights. Sheriff Deputy, Sgt. Jonathan Frost decided to pull Deven over for flashing his lights. Deven was shocked, especially after Sgt. Frost stated he knew his lights were too bright. But, as we all know, Sgt. Frost’s main job is generating revenue, and not protecting citizens. Perhaps he had not yet reached his revenue quota for the month? Anyway, Deven, while lying face down on the ground, refused to put his hands behind his back, so Sgt. Frost tased Deven. Then, when Deven rolled over a scuffle ensued, ending with Sgt. Frost shooting Deven 7 times, killing the unarmed teenager.

No charges were brought against Sgt. Frost, as he was, eh um, “cleared” of wrong doing. Still, the citizens of Eaton County and the state of Michigan paid out over $2,000,000.00 because Sgt. Frost was, eh um, “cleared” of any wrongdoing. Maybe if law enforcement’s main goal was to provide safety for citizens, rather than generate revenue for the government, Deven would still be alive today.

In another instance that might sound like pure fantasy, Sheriff Todd Entrekin, in Etowah County, Alabama purchased a $740,000.00 home on the gulf shore coast late last year, after paying himself a $750,000.00 bonus, for saving that amount from feeding his prisoners over 3 years.  Apparently, Alabama allows Sheriffs to keep any money they save in feeding their prisoners. And, rather than giving it back to those people who are forced to pay his salary, or putting it toward his department, or even giving it to charity to feed and clothe the poor, Sheriff Entrekin thought it better to purchase a beach house for himself.
 
Sheriff Entrekin actually stated that the citizens of his county have been targeted with “fake news”
stories about his buying his beach house, when admitting the claims.  And more, that he “can’t change the optics”. Keep in mind, those citizens’ medium income is only $40,000.00 a year.  Sheriff Entrekin then justified his theft by saying it’s the law! One also should keep in mind that the Sheriff proposes their own budget in most counties. Why was it set so high that he could pocket $750,000.00 from only 3 years? Why was the budget not reduced, when it resulted in such a high surplus?
 
The following paragraph is from my November, 2017 article:  “When a law denies freedom, it is immoral. Whether it is based upon racism or bigotry [of any kind], it is still immoral.  Worse, it makes criminals of people who simply wish to be free and labels them immoral. At the same time it protects racist and bigoted lawmakers and law enforcers, and labels them as moral. Thus, the individual is forced to become a law abiding racist and/or bigot, or a criminal, under the laws.”

Sgt. Frost and Sheriff Entrekin are moral, by the standard of laws which deny freedom, as was Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, who were together responsible for over 60 million murders, not including the deaths from combat and/or starvation of displaced civilians in WW II. Indeed, the laws protecting the Judge’s at Nuremberg (Nuremberg 1, as I like to call it), when they sentenced people to death for disobeying Hitler’s immoral laws, were also laws that denied freedom. And, like Hitler and Stalin, the laws protecting Sgt. Frost and Sheriff Entrekin are moral, by the standard of denying freedom.


However, if the standard of the law is freedom, then immoral laws are those which: encourage revenue generating, rather than the protection of citizens; allow a Sheriff to buy a beach house with money taken by force from citizens who can barely feed themselves; make it a crime to be free; and severely punish those who harm none, while treating those who harm others with little concern.

The question is, do you support freedom?  If you wish to be free, then demand it from your legislators, mayors, judges, and your local and county and state police forces.  Do not accept, “I’m only doing my job”, as an excuse to be immoral.  After all, the Nazis used that one too.
Till next month, as always, keep rolling on.

Disclaimer:  This is an informational article only.  It is not to provide individual legal advice.  If you need legal services, feel free to contact me, or any attorney of your choosing.

MMMR Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Cannabutter

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Peanut butter

1 Large Egg

1/4 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

DIRECTIONS:

Add salt, cannabutter, sugar, and peanut butter into a large bowl and beat till a fluffy consistency is reached. Stir in egg and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour and stir until doughy. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into balls about the size of golf balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart and flatten them with a floured hand or glass jar. I like to wait till they are baking for a minute or so and pull them out, then flatten them with a fork. It gives them those iconic lines without the edges looking like a squished skittle like they do when you press them when they are not warmed up. Bake the cookies until golden brown, usually about 7-9 minutes. After baking, press on them with a spatula to make the cookies chewy if that is your thing and remove to a cooling rack. This recipe yielded about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Cover Story: Horticulture Lighting Group - by MMM Report

If there is one common complaint that most indoor cultivators of cannabis have, it’s their energy bills.  Running enough lights (with adequate wattage) to cover all your plants with enough lumens to produce those beautiful, pungent buds of dank takes a lot of electricity.  A lot.  Many gardeners have tried several tricks to lower their energy costs.
One factor keeping cultivators from turning to LED lighting sources is the uncertain harvest results.  The LED lights on the market have not been able to produce consistent, bountiful results. Horticulture Light Group (HLG) has a solution.

The first ever LED high density modular light for horticulture.

HLG wants to empower growers with the world’s highest efficiency, reliable and affordable LED horticulture lamps.

Northern Grow Lights (NGL) (est. 2015) was the first company to introduce Pin Heatsinks for Horticulture lighting. Pin Heatsinks enabled new lighting designs with less weight and reliable passive cooling. They were also the first company to promote splayed Pin heatsinks, SSTX for superior COB cooling. Eventually NGL introduced Citizen COB to help lower cost for horticulture lighting.

Johnson Grow Lights (JGL) (est. 2015) was the first company to introduce forced Air cooled LED based fixtures called Maximizer. This designed offered the advantage of significantly cutting down the cooling requirements for grow space. JGL was the first company to offer high efficiency COB based LED fixtures at retail locations.

In 2016 JGL and NGL merged together and founded Horticulture Lighting Group. With the combined expertise and experience HLG designed the first high density modular light engine for horticulture. Quantum Boards have created a new revolution in the horticulture lighting industry by not only improving the efficiency standard of white light in horticulture but also by making efficiency affordable.


LED lighting is an industry full of growth and potential and HLG wants to be the manufactures to lead the way.  HLG plans to continue innovating. They plan to launch a newer version of their light modules with an even higher efficiency, with optics and higher levels of production quality.

Let’s make that jump and begin saving on our energy bills.  HLG is shinning its pure white light on the path of saving the green to produce the green.

Grow Tip - Outdoor Grow - by Kathy Hess


It’s that time of year again.  Spring.  It’s when the most dutiful of gardeners will begin prepping for the growing season to come, if said gardeners have not already planted some of their gardens outdoors.  Many cannabis growers will be moving healthy and approved clones to the wilds of outdoor growing.

The savings in energy costs are monumental with outdoor grows.  As long as your cannabis plants are getting 5-6 hours of direct light (absolutely no shade) they can grow to be big and gorgeous, flowering beauties.  Direct sunlight from April through October is the equivalent of using 2000 watt HSP bulbs, without those high electric bills.

Also be sure to enclose your cannabis grow according to local and state laws and ordinances.  You don’t want human like pests damaging/confiscating your harvest.

However growing outdoors does bring about a whole other set of troubles that indoor grow operations are free from worrying about.  You have a lot less (to no) control over all other environmental factors that could affect your girls.
Rogue Pollen (Bursts Pollen sacks) – Pollen from rogue male plants or hemp can pollinate you female flowers. Although this is a difficult problem to avoid, there are measures you can take. June and July are when pollen levels are at their highest, so plant with the intention of flowering in August. Keep a close eye on the wind direction, and read pollen reports that are easily found online.
https://www.pollen.com/forecast/extended/pollen/

Pests – Check your plants regularly for any damage from pests. Caterpillars, slugs and snails can eat away at your plant. Attracting birds to your grow using bird feeders will provide it with some natural caretakers.  You might also consider introducing beneficial bugs to your garden.  Lady bugs (which help keep aphids and mites at bay) and praying mantis (keeping your larger leaf eating pest numbers down) are easy to obtain beneficial bugs, you can locate them at many garden supply shops and online.

Animals – Look out for any animals that may cause your outdoor marijuana grow some damage. Keep animals away from your plants with wire mesh.  You might be able to avoid most of these issues if you’ve enclosed your complete garden.  Avoid picking a place that is inhabited by many deer and/or rabbits, as both like a nibble on growing marijuana.

Frost (Frost Damage) – Although marijuana is a hardy plant, it cannot survive long spells of temperatures that are below freezing. Leaves will begin to curl when temperatures are not to the cannabis plants liking. Avoid frosts by planting in late April.  Most strains will go through a full growing cycle before the first frost comes. Indica strains generally have a shorter cycle than sativas
strains, if your local frosts come early.

Mould – As you can’t maintain the humidity or the amount of rain supplied by Mother Nature, keep a close eye on your buds for any mold growth, or bud rot. You can reduce the risk of mould by shaking your flowers out after any large rain falls. Remove moldy buds before they spread. 

Growing cannabis outdoors can be fun and rewarding.  Maybe not less work than an indoor grow, just a different type of work.  Growing outdoors can certainly save you money, as all that lovely light from the sun is free.  Let your girls soak it up and produce some wonderful and beautiful buds for you.

Adventures of Marijuana Jones - Kathy Hess - Episode 1: Eastern Cannabis Origins

August 3, 2009 -- Nanjing

My travels have recently carried me to China.  My research tells me the ancient people of the region used cannabis for several applications, and that they could be the first group of humans to cultivate cannabis and subsequently teach the rest of the world about its benefits.

It is important to note that my experiences in China thus far have been partially shaped by my citizenship: I am a “foreigner” (waiguo ren). After combing through the Shanghai Library, I gradually made my way west, library by library to the Second Historical Archives of China.  Although archival research is by no means easy for Chinese nationals, non-Chinese citizens are required to satisfy more legal and administrative demands in order to gain entry into an archive.  I spend days scouring the surrounding libraries and talking to the folks at the local open markets, waiting for granted access.

Yet everyone who has researched the history of China in China would probably admit that it is not an easy enterprise. Although the archives in China are technically open, the barriers to entry are many, entree is often conditional or only temporary, and the holdings are sometimes slim. But discovering the ancient origins of the wondrous plant, marijuana, is important, and if we’re going to understand how we manipulated the cannabis plant (or perhaps how cannabis has manipulated us), starting at the beginning, or as close to its origins itself, seems like the best place to start.

And with my hired guide Li Jie, recommended expert of the rural hills and mountains of China, I’m sure to succeed.

October 25th 2010 -- Beijing

My research, as daunting and restricted as its been at times, has revealed some interesting finds, but it’s the people of China I find the most interesting.  A humble and modest people, who are thankfully diligent in their record keeping.  Getting access to many archives has taken a great deal of diplomacy, and even more money in bribes. Li Jie has been a cooperative escort.

Some of the earliest archeological hemp evidence (from what I have read), dating about 10,000 B.C., comes from rope imprints on broken Chinese pottery. Fragments of hemp cloth have also been found in Chinese burial chambers dating from the Chou Dynasty (1122-249 B.C.). In addition to archeological evidence, written documents refer to hemp as a source of clothing. For example, The Shu King, a book dating to about 2350 B.C., refers to the soil in Shantung as rich with silk and hemp while ancient poetry mentions young girls weaving hemp into clothing.

I’ve also discovered through the archives the Chinese relied on hemp for warfare. Due to its strength and durability Chinese archers made their bowstrings from hemp. Because these hemp bowstrings were stronger than the enemy's bamboo ones, the Chinese arrows could fly further. This was a large advantage in war. In fact, hemp was so important that Chinese monarchs allocated large portions of land specifically for growing hemp - the first war crop.

Then, there is paper, probably one of the most significant Chinese inventions. It has contributed to the archives and libraries I comb through.  Fragments of paper containing hemp fiber have been found in Chinese graves dating to the first century B.C. The Chinese made paper by crushing hemp fibers and mulberry tree bark into a pulp and putting the mixture into a tank of water. The tangled fibers rose to the top of the water, were removed, and placed in a mold. After drying, the fibers formed sheets that could be written on. The Chinese kept paper making a secret for many centuries.

Thus far however, documents pertaining to cannabis’ medicinal properties have proven to be more difficult to come by.


April 28th, 2011 -- Pingjang

I’m thankful for my hired guide, Li Jie.  After gaining his trust, which took much longer than I had hoped, he has introduced me to many rural medicine men, or wu, who have passed down their knowledge and traditions generation after generation, for more than 3000 years.  Many of them have kept ancient archives that have finally offered the information I was truly looking for.

Yes, the Chinese used the hemp plant for rope, clothing, bowstrings, paper and of course, medicine.  The ancient emperor, Shen-Nung (c.2700 B.C.), is known as the Father of Chinese Medicine. Because he was a good farmer and worried about his suffering subjects, he looked to plants for cures. According to legend, Shen-Nung tried poisons and their antidotes on himself and then compiled the medical encyclopedia called, Pen Ts'ao. The Pen Ts'ao list hundreds of drugs derived from vegetable, animal and mineral sources. Among these drugs is the plant cannabis, "ma."

According to the Wu, ma is a unique drug because it is both feminine, or yin, and masculine, or yang. Yin represented the weak, passive, and negative female influence in nature while yang represented the strong, active, and positive male force. When yin and yang were in balance, the body was in harmony and healthy. When yin and yang were out of balance, the body was in a state of disequilibrium and ill. Realizing that the female plant produced more medicine, the Chinese cultivated it instead of the male plant. Ma was used to treat absences of yin, such as: female menstruation, gout, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, and absentmindedness.

Archives also revealed during the second century A.D., the Chinese surgeon, Hua T'o, began to use cannabis as an anesthesia. He mixed cannabis resin with wine (ma-yo) and used it to diminish pain during surgery. He performed painful organ drafts, re-sectioning of the intestines, loin incisions, and chest incisions while the patient was anesthetized with ma-yo.


December 5th, 2011 -- Haikou

I’ve fallen in love with the island, but I’m not alone. I’m afraid I’ve lost Li Jie to it forever.  Not only is the island beautiful, it’s wise wu, Huidai, has helped by filling in many of the gaps I needed for my research, as well as given me hints to how the silk road lead the way for marijuana’s migration.

The earliest recorded use of cannabis dates back 10,000 years to an ancient village in the island of Taiwan.  As hemp and marijuana became more integrated into Chinese culture the use of this plant spread. Cannabis was a multipurpose plant to the ancient Chinese. It has been cultivated and used for over 4000 years. It was used for war, writing, food, and medicine but, overall, there is very little mention of its psychoactive properties by the Chinese.  Huidai hints that It wasn't until the people of India were introduced to cannabis that it became a widespread religious and medicinal intoxicant.

So that is where my travels will take me next.  What additions the history and culture the people of India could make to cannabis’ story intrigues me. 
I do hope that I am able to find a guide as skilled
and helpful as Li Jie has been.

Free the Weed 86 - by John Sinclair

Hi everybody, welcome to Opening day, the Hash Bash, 4/20 and the other wonders of April in Michigan when we celebrate the herb and renew our intentions to Free The Weed once and for all. We’re still waiting for the State of Michigan to certify the signatures submitted by MILegalize and its allies and admit that our proposition is on the ballot for November, and we fully expect the citizens’ initiative to pass with votes in excess of 60% of the voting public.

Looking forward to the 47th occurrence of the Hash Bash on the first Saturday in April, first I must chastise the committee of students, dispensary owners and lawyers in Ann Arbor who decided to refuse my friend and comrade Adam Brook his rightful opportunity to speak on the Diag on April 7. No one is more responsible for the continued success and longevity of the Hash Bash than Adam Brook, and it’s a shame that he has been removed from the official Hash Bash that he kept alive for more than 20 years until he was sent to prison and others took over.

And speaking of Hash Bash, a whole lotta people don’t know that we put on the first one on April Fool’s Day in 1972 to inform the public and the State of Michigan that we would be continuing to smoke marijuana publicly whether or not there was a law against it and would not stop until we could Free The Weed forever.

Recently an Ann Arbor journalist named Ryan Huey published an account in the Lansing State Journal(February 11, 2018) that detailed the early days of the struggle for marijuana legalization in Michigan. This fine story resulted from a series of interviews between Ryan and myself, and I’d like to share the story up to the inception of the Hash Bash with you here in my column, thanks to Ryan’s cooperation and permission.

In the 1950s, Michigan implemented some of the harshest penalties for marijuana in the country. Legislators worried publicly that “dope peddlers” and “bad associates”—which their listeners would have understood as code for black and working class—were manipulating white youth to smoke marijuana.

A 1952 bill made the punishment for narcotics possession anything between probation and 10 years in prison, and the law treated marijuana as a narcotic. A second offense could mean 20 years behind bars. A conviction for selling carried a mandatory minimum of 20 years inprison with no parole.
By 1956, the Detroit Narcotics Bureau estimated that 89% of people arrested for narcotics were black, although they were only 20% of the city’s population. The conviction rate was a staggering 90%.

White and college-educated John Sinclair was first arrested for “sales and possession” of marijuana in October of 1964, he got a slap on the wrist. The judge dropped the sales charge, put him on two years’ probation and fined him $250.

While on probation, Sinclair started a Detroit chapter of LEMAR (Legalize Marijuana), the first group dedicated to legalization in the U.S. John Sinclair and his companion (later his first wife), Magdalene “Leni” Arndt, had recently founded a beatnik artist collective called the Detroit Artists Workshop that became a home base for artists, musicians,, activists, and entrepreneurs.

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) assigned an undercover agent to infiltrate the collective to keep tabs on Sinclair and

the anti-Vietnam War activists who lived in the same building, which led to Sinclair’s second arrest. He pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and, this time, was sentenced to six months in the Detroit House of Correction.

Detroit’s Red Squad, a special police unit of the DPD that investigated suspected communists, started compiling a detailed file on Sinclair for “possible narcotics and subversive activity.”

Sinclair’s third arrest came on January 24, 1967 under the auspices of a drug raid targeting narcotics traffic near Wayne State University’s campus. A month prior, he had given two joints to undercover police officers who had volunteered to work at the Artists Workshop in order to build a case against Sinclair.

John challenged the constitutionality of the state marijuana laws on a pre-trial basis all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court, but his case was remanded for trial in July 1969 and he was convicted in a jury trial of possession of two marijuana cigarettes.

Judge Robert J. Columbo of Detroit Recorders Court sentenced John Sinclair to 9-1/2 to 10 years in prison. He also denied bond, which would have allowed Sinclair to stay out of prison during the appeal process, a move usually reserved for the most dangerous offenders.

“The law means nothing to him and to his ilk,” Colombo said.

Sinclair’s wife Leni, his brother David and their comrades in the White Panther Party (later the Rainbow Peoples Party) responded with the Free John Sinclair campaign and organized demonstrations, petition drives and hundreds of benefit concerts and rallies over the next 2-1/2 years, culminating in the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor that drew 15,000 to hear John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Phil Ochs, Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale and fellow musicians and activists demand “Free John Now!”
Three days later, John was free.

His case convinced the Michigan Supreme Court that marijuana and heroin were not equally dangerous, though state law had treated them that way, misclassifying cannabis as a narcotic and imposing long prison sentences for possession and sales. The Court released Sinclair from prison and, three months later, on March 9, 1972, declared the state’s marijuana laws unconstitutional.
There were no new marijuana laws in place, and so, in March of 1972, marijuana was effectively legalized in Michigan for about three weeks. To celebrate, several Ann Arborites half-jokingly advertised a “hash festival” to take place on the University of Michigan’s Diag the day the new marijuana law was to go into effect—April Fool’s Day.

Hundreds of people showed up on the snowy Saturday to puff joints in public, the origin of what would become Hash Bash. In fact, the name was dreamed up by Rainbow Peoples Party artist Walden Simper, who applied the name to the poster she was creating for the April 1 event.
No one was arrested. A few days later, the Supreme Court ordered the release of 128 people in Michigan prisons for marijuana offenses.

In the spring of 1972 the Rainbow Peoples Party joined with other progressive sectors of the Ann Arbor community to form the local chapter of the Human Rights Party, a left-wing electoral party headed by former Lt. Gov. Zoltan Ferenczy.

Following a massive voter registration movement spearheaded by the Rainbow Peoples Party to enroll 18-to-21-year-olds previously denied the right to vote, the HRP elected two members to the Ann Arbor City Council who immediately introduced a city ordinance that would downgrade possession, use and sale of marijuana to a $5 civil infraction within Ann Arbor.

The ordinance passed, making Ann Arbor the first city in the United States to implement a “traffic-ticket” marijuana ordinance and earning its nickname as “The Dope Capital of the Midwest.” East Lansing and Ypsilanti soon adopted similar ordinances.

From that time virtually nothing changed in the state’s marijuana legal system until the citizens passed the Medical Marijuana Act in 2008. The other thing that has never changed is our cry: Free The Weed! Do It Now!

—Detroit
March 25, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair All Rights Reserved.

Is the end in sight, for unlicensed canna businesses in Michigan? - Tim Beck

On Thursday March 15, officials from the "Michigan Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation" (BMMR), accompanied by Michigan State Police officers, paid a visit to 40 medical marijuana businesses across Michigan bearing 'cease and desist' orders. The Bureau said these entities did not comply with administrative rules requiring them to file a pre-qualification application for state licensing by the mandated deadline of February 15, 2018

A copy of the order was obtained by MMM Report Magazine. The order states in part the "BMMR demands that you immediately cease and desist from any activity in violation of Rule 19 and the MMFLA. Failure to comply with this notice may result in the denial of a license; referral to local, state, or federal law enforcement; and other penalties or sanctions provided in the MMFLA and Emergency Rules."

It should be no surprise the Bureau shoe has dropped. It has happened in other places.

In response to an "overproduction" crisis in Oregon, which caused a steep drop in cannabis wholesale prices and diminishing tax revenue; the State Legislature has stepped in. Caps are being placed on the amount of immature plants that persons responsible for small grow sites can possess. $1.25 million has been allocated to "address and prosecute unlawful marijuana cultivation and distribution operations." In addition, industrial hemp products sold by OLCC retailers must now contain labels that clearly identify whether their products are derived from hemp or marijuana.

Since the implementation of full blown cannabis legalization in California in January, the market is in chaos. Prices are dropping and a virtual war has broken out among licensed and unlicensed producers. In spite of devastating wild fires which swept through California last fall, destroying large numbers of cannabis grows, prices according to the "Cannabis Benchmarks Index" "were not enough to impact supply dynamics state wide, especially in a year that saw bounteous production otherwise." The report went on to say production in the "Emerald Triangle" in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties made 2017 "the most favorable harvest season in years."

In an effort to cull the herd of unlicensed producers and vendors, California state government officials have demanded that "Weedmaps" stop publishing the names of unlicensed retail facilities. Beginning July 1st, all cannabis grown and sold in the state will have to conform to much stricter regulations, and the authorities have vowed to enforce the rules.


In an interview on March 21 with MMM Report, BMMR media spokesman David Harns said there will be "hundreds more businesses" receiving similar notices down the road. Mr Harns explained the Bureau will not be announcing who the targets are in advance, or "discussing the geography or time table" for their cease and desist campaign. However, he did acknowledge Detroit is not presently in the loop, given the convoluted politics in that City.

Mr. Harns went on to say the Bureau will eventually publish a list of the illegal businesses, for the entire world to view.

Reaction from the cannabis reform community to the BMMR action has been muted. No owner or employee of a facility facing problems with the Bureau, was interested in talking on record.

Jamie Lowell, co-founder of the very first medical marijuana dispensary in Michigan in 2009, and whose facility "Third Coast" in Ypsilanti is in compliance with the Bureau, said "this is not a big surprise. The State was very clear there would be a time frame. Perhaps they could have been more tolerant to give patients a greater time to adjust, but we all knew this day was coming."
Canna business entrepreneur Wes Crumby from Pinconning, who owns a number of facilities and ancillary cannabis business operations, explained that "LARA has been very fair" in how they have handled the matter. "Everyone knew how to qualify, and they (the Bureau) did not come in with swat teams" referring to the way state authorities were going about putting non compliant businesses on notice that their days are numbered.

In the final analysis, the illegal market for marijuana will not be going away, anymore than the moonshine industry in deep south USA will ever disappear. However, most adult beverage aficionados prefer the safety and convenience of a licensed liquor store to quench their thirst.

When full legalization becomes the norm in Michigan next year, the multitude of casual, recreational users, who just want to get high once in awhile, will not be going to illegal dealers. They will be patronizing the closest, safe, legitimate dispensary, hopefully in their own town or village.

In retrospect, I took my first toke of herb in September 1970, in a dorm room at the University of Detroit. Unlike some others of my generation, I never stopped using cannabis after all those years.

In the bad ole days of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's "just say no to drugs" campaign in the 1980's; stuff got real tough for some of us. Back then, I had to meet my connection in the "Mickey D's" parking lot somewhere in the hood in Detroit. I got out of there as fast as possible after I scored. That was the only alternative for some of us.

It is nice to see that day and age quickly receding in the rear view mirror.