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Friday, November 1, 2013

VGIP- Election Time

Ben Horner

This November voters in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing will have a chance to vote on changes to their local marijuana laws. The Vote Green Initiative Project (VGIP) has played a big part in helping these local campaigns, including last years decriminalization of Flint, Detroit, Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Under the tutelage of political masterminds Chuck Ream and Tim Beck, we seek to undo these draconian marijuana laws in Michigan.

To pull these off, first a perfect petition must drafted. To change laws the wording is very important, and a simple mistake can cost you time, money and support. Then you need a campaign team to gather the signatures needed to place the petition question on the ballot. If you think you have what it takes, next year we will be looking at more local communities and you could be a campaigns leader. Just contact us through the magazine and we will see if your community is ripe for decriminalization. By working with the experts you can win, just like we will win in Ferndale, Jackson, and Lansing.

The VGIP has been working in Lansing, with the Michigan Cannabis Industry Stakeholders Group to find out what is cooking regarding marijuana. Multiple lawmakers have participated and we have gained significant support for HB 4271, the Provisioning Center Bill. Unfortunately the folks from the NPRA (the Nation Patients Rights Association.) have been unwilling to share information about the bill, and the new restrictions that have been negotiated behind the scenes make this bill more restrictive then expected. NPRA is a small group of dispensary owners and industry professionals, similar to the now demised Michigan Association of Compassion Centers. Why the NPRA choose not to work with and for the interests the majority of patients and caregivers is confusing until you follow the money. It seems the NPRA is more concerned with protecting themselves then the MMJ patients. Why else would they support cutting the number of dispensaries and compassion clubs by at least half?

Why would the NPRA support over-reaching regulations that would empower the state to close any dispensary or compassion club on a whim? Again follow the money. The director and principle investor of NPRA is Adam Macdonald from Natures Alterative in Detroit, and he controls Robin Schneider who has been working with MACC, NPRA and McKinney and Associates on legislation in Lansing. Although they pretend to work with all of the patients and caregivers in Michigan, I can testify to the fact that they do not care about how you feel about “their” bills and will attempt to tear down anyone that stands in their way.

The last two Michigan Cannabis Industry Stakeholders meetings in Lansing have provided access to lawmakers like Mike Callton, Jon Bumstead and many others that have been working on these bills. Unfortunately the NPRA, closed the door on any further discussion on the Provisioning Center bill, until it comes back to committee. The bill has many great things in it, but could be better and at this point it is very hard to make any changes while HB 4271 is in the house and we need this bill to move forward regardless of its shortcomings. Everyone that has an interest in cannabis in Michigan needs to go to one of the two next stakeholders meeting in November and December and find out how we can have a real voice in Lansing in the future. By doing so you can stay informed and make a difference.  Please see the invite to The Michigan Cannabis Industry Stakeholders meeting on November 13th and December 3rd in Lansing. For more info, please call 810.820.8953.

You can make a difference, and with the VGIP’s help the difference you make will be greater. Join the team, and VOTE GREEN! 

1 comment:

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