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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Michigan News for October 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Medical Marijuana Reformed
LANSING: The long confusing, unclear Michigan Medical Marijuana Act has taken its first steps to reformation. The Senate approved a package of bills last month that would regulate and tax dispensaries while dealing with transportation and a tracking database. The bills will also set new rules for where and how dispensaries can be opened. Many people involved in the vote believe this set of bills will allow patients and caregivers more security when transferring or buying their medication. The vague laws have confused both patients and law enforcement officers, causing many patients to get in trouble due to the ambiguous wording in the original bills. If passed by the Governor, the new bills would put a new 3% tax on the “gross retail income” of every provision center, as well as requiring all dispensaries, growers, and transporters to apply for an annually renewed state license to stay in business. Dispensaries will have to get written approval from the area before being able to open their stores, while limiting the number of dispensaries allowed in certain areas. Edibles would be allowed in the new revisions but will have a THC limit. The package of bills will be heading to the Governor, who is expected to sign them.

Search for Body Leads to Marijuana Bust
EAST LANSING: Police and fire officials had nearly two dozen personnel searching an area off I-496 near I-96 for a body related to an anonymous tip earlier in the day. The tip stated that someone thought they had seen a white male carrying a body into the wooded area. The body has not been found, but several small marijuana fields were discovered. There were 5 gallon water jugs scattered around the nearly 4ft tall, neatly trimmed plants. There were only about a dozen or so plants in this area but officials expect there are more nearby and are waiting on a helicopter and drug dogs to further investigate the surrounding land. 

New Legalization Drive Planned for 2018
STATEWIDE: After losing their fight in court, though still trying to overturn their loss, MI Legalize has begun planning their next attempt to get marijuana legalization on the ballot. MLive reports that Jeffery Hank, Chairman of the group, has stated, “The MI Legalize movement remains united and focused on planning over the next few months.” Adding that the board is discussing reorganizations and an advisory committee. The organization has taken their arguments to the federal court, though it is long past the deadline to make the ballot in November. “We know we have a popular plan and will do whatever we can to ensure Michigan voters have a chance to be heard,” Hank said. 

Praise Cheeba
LANSING: The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason has come to Michigan. The church is mostly comprised of atheists and agnostics and gives thanks to the cannabis plant for the healing effects it produces. The ordained minister of the church, Jeremy Hall, is hopeful the members of the church will change the stigma surrounding the plant by doing service projects around Lansing.

If You Call 911, Police Will Show Up
BIG RAPIDS: Police arrested 4 men in Big Rapids after receiving a 911 call from an intoxicated woman who neglected to hang up the phone after dialing. While dispatchers were listening they heard a man discuss a gun in the apartment. Officers arrived at the apartment connected to the phone number and convinced the owner to let them in and search the premises. They found the fire arm, 2.5 pounds of marijuana, 7 grams of cocaine, various pills and nearly $45,000 in cash. Two men arrested are being charged with possession with intent to distribute while the other two were arrested for parole and probation violations.

Know Your Grow, Save Your Home
NILES TOWNSHIP: Luther Dale Borders was injured when a fire broke out in his home that police believe was caused by equipment he was using in his medical marijuana grow operation. Nearly 1/3 of the home was destroyed, and fire investigators believe there is $60,000-$80,000 worth of damage. While putting out the fire, officers noticed marijuana manufacturing equipment and obtained a search warrant. Narcotics officers seized cured marijuana, plants, and evidence of manufacturing. After receiving medical help for minor injuries, Boarders was taken to Berrien County Jail for probation violation and pending drug charges. There were two minor children in the home when the fire began, they have been taken into the custody of child protective services. 

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