Thursday, June 1, 2017
V.G.I.P. UPDATE - by Ben Horner
Directly after the announcement was made by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), that the Board of Canvassers approved petition language for the new Michigan legalization petition, Governor Snyder announced appointments to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Board. Last year Snyder signed the Michigan Marihuana Facilities Act, allowing the state to work with local municipalities under new state regulations, to tax and regulate medical marijuana.
Many MMJ Patients, Caregivers and small business owners are extremely concerned about some of the folks appointed to the board. Recently retired MSP Sergeant Bailey has drawn the most criticism from medical marijuana advocates. St. Bailey was an outspoken opponent of dispensaries and was involved in many raids on medical marijuana facilities and caregiver homes over the last six years.
Other appointees include: Nichole Cover, who represents the Controlled Substance Advisory Commission, Republican Rick Johnson, Republican and former law enforcement officer David LaMontaine, and independent corporate executive Vivian Pickard, from West Bloomfield.
It should be noted that not a single one of these appointees has any real understanding of how medical marijuana helps people.
In Colorado, when the MMJ board was assembled there was a balance of LEO and Cannabis supporters on their team. In the end the LEO appointees became very understanding, and many pro patient compromises where made. Many of the businesses that existed prior to the Colorado board, found a place in the new system. Unfortunately, Michigan is less progressive as these appointees prove.
Don Koshmider has had several negative experiences with former MSP Sergeant Bailey, when his home was raided and during protests in Wexford County. Don reports that “Bailey has shown up at every court hearing and raid on Medical marijuana patients in northern Michigan. He put his hands on me at the Wexford County Court House on March third, because I had a sign saying, TNT (Thumb Area Narcotics Taskforce) cuts deals with Heroin Dealers. He grabbed my arm and yanked me while trying to grab my sign. I filed an official complaint with the Wexford County Sheriff’s department, then he retires and gets on the Board? Something is rotting in Lansing”
Don Koshmider is an outspoken medical marijuana activists who shows up for most of the important protests and court hearings pertaining to medical marijuana.