Monday, March 30, 2015
The Macpodz have been Michigan’s answer to Psychedelic Jazz Jam since forming in 2006. My first Macpodz experience was in 2008. The scene was Hoxeyville Music Festival nestled in the woods of the Manistee National Forest just outside of Cadillac. It was the first year at a new site and the buzz was all about the headliners the Macpodz from Ann Arbor, a groovy jam band with high energy and a hard jazz influence. As they played to please that Hoxeyville night, I fell in love with their psychedelic jazzy sounds, funky drums and amazing horn driven by trumpeter Ross Huff. What a tasty music treat....The Macpodz, lead by bassist Brennan Ducan-Andres gave a high energy performance that can’t be beat. Amazing jazz piano played by Jesse Clayton twinkled through the dusk as they set the sun at Hoxeyville that year.
Michigan has a long history of being the birthplace of new ideas and useful inventions. Cannabis cultivation is not a new thing per se, but indoor cultivation has only been mainstream here in Michigan since 2009 when the medical marijuana laws came into effect. Chris Atkinson is full of that entrepreneurial spirit and has taken his recent experiences from disaster clean up in Mississippi. In the vacuum of the dismal Michigan economy, bright minds turn to cannabis as the new frontier of growth. The Grow Rite botanical solution is a perfect example of this phenomenon.
I suppose it’s like a double edged sword. On the one hand, the fact that our Federal Government is actually taking cannabis research seriously is astounding. No, seriously, it’s just inconceivable. It’s a huge step. Just the mere fact that our representatives in Congress are actually talking about cannabis in any way other than a prohibitory fashion is beyond remarkable. On the other hand, a rescheduling of cannabis is not exactly what the community was hoping for…at least not the “Cannabis Community.”
April is a good time to sprout seeds of your favorite strains. Outdoor growers that are not using feminized seeds need the time prior to planting to sex their plants by sprouting some potential mothers plants. Indoor growers also find that spring-cleaning means cleaning out old genetics that have been stressed from a long winter.
I was thinking about something that I heard on the television when I was half-paying attention during the administration of my Iguana, Wolfgang’s, meal in the living room. I heard a reporter say that a member of a professional sports team was “under the influence of the performance-enhancing drug marijuana.”
I thought to myself:
“Did I really just hear him say performing enhancing drug and then the word marijuana?”
Lately there seems to be what can only be termed as a “culture of debt dependency” taking root with the students and staff of Mott Community College. The dynamic has become as follows, MCC claims that due to (what could only be the less than scrutinous manner in which eligibility for student loans was determined and disbursed initially) “too many students cutting and running when funds are dispersed” (MCC phone conversation) Mott will now be holding financial aid in the form of loans for 60 percent of the semester, and an additional 14 days to verify attendance and ensure that students are fulfilling their academic responsibilities with regard to said funds.
There are a few things that are truly crucial in the first few weeks of life for a new plant. Seeds and clones both require consistent temperatures and closely regulated environments to grow well. The better life a plant has the first few weeks when it is really establishing itself as a plant, the better the outcome will be in the end.
America after World War II was well on its way to becoming the kind of ugly, spiritually desolate world it is today. The dehumanization of American civilization began in earnest when they dropped Fat Man and Little Boy on the people of Japan and flew smugly away, back to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Spending an afternoon in Detroit with my good friend John Sinclair is always a treat. No GPS required with Mr. Sinclair when traveling in the “D”. He always directs us down one backstreet after another, reminiscing about the old days before medical marijuana, when all marijuana consumers were just common criminals. After running a few errands, John and I found our cannabis supply low and decided to take a stop at one of my favorite provisioning centers, the Green Room on Mack Avenue.
Government actors constantly attempt to violate your right to self-determination. I hear almost daily about caregivers who experience a knock at their door and open it to find their house surrounded by police. Often, the police do not have a warrant. Maybe they got their name and address from the back of one of their patient’s LARA cards. Their ultimate purpose is to arrest the caregiver, and seize as much property and money so police can continue to fund further attempts to violate your right to self-determination.
This year has seen a particular shift in cannabis law reform here in Michigan. In previous years, most of our state’s lawmaker were very uncomfortable about both medical marijuana and the decriminalization of cannabis for adult use. The paradigm is shifting as more states legalize marijuana. No longer is the question, will we tax and regulate marijuana in Michigan, but how.
Since the 1970s marijuana has been classified as a schedule I drug, but a new bill put before the senate this month could change that. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (or CARERS) Act is meant to encourage more research into the plant while reducing the federal government’s ability to interfere in state-legal medical marijuana programs. The bill was introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-Ky), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). According to the Huffington Post Booker says, “This bill seeks to right decades of wrong.”
A routine stop at a check point revealed €50 worth of cannabis in a mug. The owner of the vehicle was 22 year old Ciaran Borgan who appeared in court this month with his parents regarding the charge. The court was informed that this was Borgan’s first offense and asked him if they would be seeing him again in the future on related charges. He assured them he would not, so the judge agreed to strike the charge from Borgan’s record so long as he made a donation of €150 to Donegal Youth Services.
A bill that has passed in the Senate and is heading to the House this week would allow landlords to ban smoking and growing marijuana in their rental units. The bill doesn’t include marijuana edibles, which may or may not be legal under the fuzzy, current marijuana laws anyway. President of the Port Huron Area Landlords Association, Mike Bodeis, agrees with the bill stating, “If you’re allowed to have a smoke-free building, you should be allowed to have a marijuana-free building.”
The legislation was proposed by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, after receiving complaints from his district about rental houses being damaged from grow operations. He says “I’m simply clarifying the medical marijuana law. This will make sure it is very clear for everyone – from a judge to police to the property owner to the renter.” Careless grows have led to mold, water damage, or fires started by grow lights, costing property owners money. Laura Rigby, director of the Coalition for a Safer Port Huron, believes the bill is unnecessary as it relates to smoking marijuana; landlords already have the right and power to ban smoking, in all forms, in their building. She does, however, understand the need to control growing in rentals stating, “There are some bad growers…They [landlords] already have issues with bad tenants, let alone bad growers.” If passed, caregivers and patients in rental houses may need to find other options for their grow operations.
The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative is preparing to collect signatures to get marijuana legalization on the state ballot for 2016. Jeffrey Hank, the chairman for the initiative, told FOX 17 that the proposal will aim to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana growth and use. The proposal would also preserve existing policies on medical marijuana use and keep medical cannabis tax free. The goal is to end criminal punishment for any sort of marijuana possession or use, except for distributing to minors.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Over the years we have seen many vaporizers come onto the market, but few that are very impressive. Many medical marijuana patients need smokeless alternatives. Edibles are great, but only vaping can deliver THC and the rest of the medicine in the plant as fast as smoking.
Driving the Pineapple Express: Criminalizing Your Right to Transport Medical Marihuana -by Daniel L. Price, Esq.
As I said in the February 2015 issue, government actors constantly attempt to violate your right to self-determination. Consider the attempts by government actors to persecute people who use medical marihuana. You must fight for your rights, simply because people who desire to violate your rights, in order to control you, exist.
Contemplating the 50th anniversary of my joining the marijuana legalization movement in January 1965, it’s sobering to note that the movement’s vivid origins in the beatnik poetry community have been nearly obliterated by the passage of time and the process of NORMLization that took effect in the 1970s.
Phillip K. Dick, author of Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly, in 1962 published his Hugo award winning novel, Man in the High Castle, which depicted packs of marijuana cigarettes for sale at the corner store like any other branded consumer product. Decades later, Dick’s vision of decriminalized mainstream sales and production of cannabis is a very real possibility. As states legalize adult use of marijuana, existing medical marijuana providers fear that the emergence of state regulated commercial growing companies will force them out of the market and the state and federal government will regulate away their rights to grow.