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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! - by Daniel L. Price Esq.

It’s that time of year again.  The end, and the beginning meet.   Revenues are higher in Michigan, thanks to efforts to extort more money from hard working citizens for, well, exercising freedom and hurting no one.  The effort to take our freedom is never ending.  First, scientifically unsound roadside tests.  Then breathalyzers, and allegedly fraudulent drug crime reports.  Now mouth swabs.  Is there no end to what the state will do to take our freedom?

It gets depressing just thinking about it, let alone attempting to show others by writing this article.  I will continue to write this article in the future, it is much too important.  Freedom is such a frail thing.  Still, I wanted to do something different this year for the December issue.  Hopefully, it’ll bring a smile to your face that lasts throughout the New Year.  I thought I’d make up a story that is so crazy, that none could believe it to be true.  Yet, I wanted to do it in the fashion of a continuous rhyme, much like Dr. Seuss.  So here it is, my ode to the rhyme Doctor. T’was the night before Christmas, and as he sat dreaming, reflections of the year through his head they were streaming.  Awakened from part fear and part fright.  A story, tell he must, to get his thoughts right.  It’s been one funky year that totally went to dust. 

This past News Years.  A swanky big city hotel, at $550.00 a night.  Way too expensive, but, oh, what the hell.  You only live once, so strike hard that bell.  Dancing and partying with “red”.  The hangover…the banging of the head.  Ended in a manner quite weird he admits.  Tell him again why he keeps doing this shit? 

Super Bowl time, all bling and quite loud.  Laser show, fireworks, and parade, all to get him going for the elaborate charade.  The fascination…preparation…anticipation, all geared toward the ultimate consummation.  The feasting, the party, the half time show.  Scoring and mashing late into the night.  Smoking hot like an old time bulb of light.  The afterglow, OMG what a watery sight!  Seemed floating on clouds was to be done.  Low and behold, not with that one.

Valentines came.  Sushi restaurant at eight.  Roses awaiting his quite fine Norwegian plate.  Devour he did for a good long time.  It ended rather splendid, they busted many a rhyme.  Another Spring was to come, but only went.  He totally forgot, he gave up porn queens for Lent!

Summer oh what fun!  He very fondly remembers why he likes summer best.  Boating and traveling, seemed always on the run.  Trips to the North, the East and the West.  Moonlit dinners on the deck helped slow it down just a tad.  But summer falls forward much too quickly, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Fall shows up and brings a stalker, tried to break in and bring harm to the lad.  No means no, no matter the sex, force is not good, it is, frankly a wreck.  Freedom is not at all within that lass, but plenty of others are with much crass.  Committed a felony, but charged with far less.  Perhaps if she’d had weed, she’d get flogged while undressed.  One wonders if they’ll make her pee in a cup.  No matter the law, you know that’s what’s up.

The last of the games in baseball they are, those wonderful times out in “the yard”.  Positions and play-offs to the end.  Live he must, seeking to play the game till he’s left with no card.  How could he ever get to the Series with a grin, due to the fact that the parasites tax it as a sin?  The pitch, the hit, and sliding in home plate, all in the name of an orgasmic fate.

Winter coming, with it a gem.  Fell quite hard, it is true for him.  A look, a passionate kiss, the embrace of pure bliss.  Alas it may not have been meant to be, for some crazy reason she separates from he.  All is not lost, it could be again.  It just depends.  Can they can find their true Zen?  So he sits by the fire on Christmas Eve with the hope, that she will understand the lovable dope. 

Speaking of which, may your stockings be filled with “green” cheer.  Perhaps you will breed a Christmas strain next year.  “Solstice Glow” could be the name for it, because it must lift us from the Seasonal Adjustment Disorder pit.

I hope this leaves you with a smile, even if for just a while.  Merry Christmas with cheer.  Say hello to next year, while you’re high as a mile, because it just may be another year full of it.
Till next year, 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.

Cover Story: The Reef Detroit - Catering throughout Michigan - by MMM Report


The Reef Detroit is committed to providing Michigan Medical
Marijuana Patients top-shelf medicine at affordable donations,
quality patient care, and excellent service. With an endless menu
of a variety of products and selections at all donations, it’s easy
to see why The Reef has landed on Leafly's
Best in Michigan List 11 times!.

The Reef is located at 6640 E 8 Mile Rd, between Mound and
Van Dyke. Measuring at almost 5,000 sq ft, The Reef is one of
the largest provisioning centers in Michigan. The experience
here is unlike any other establishment of its kind. Their waiting
area is very welcoming, complete with large couches, big screen
tv’s, a fireplace, and their signature 1,200 gallon salt water fish
tank. They also offer complimentary popcorn,
coffee, tea and water to their patients.

The staff members go out of their way to provide patients with
quality medication, personalized for each individual's medical
needs. They are truly passionate about cannabis and believe in
its power to improve the quality of life for their patients. They
are leaders in the industry and always provide safe access for
patients. They pride themselves on having a knowledgeable
staff and in treating all visitors like family.

The Reef offers many promotions including new patient, referral,
and birthday rewards. They also offer discounts for veterans,
military, senior citizens, students, and disabled patients. They
run daily specials with monthly events, vendor spotlights, raffles,
giveaways, and more. They currently have two events this
holiday including their 2017-2018 Holiday Raffle with a Grand
Prize of $500, and their Annual Give & Get Toy
Drive which rewards patients for dropping off a
toy which is donated to Toy’s for Tots.

The Reef is always looking towards the future, and better
ways to cater to the needs of their patients. Some exciting
new amenities in the works include a Reward Points Program,
Online Registration for New Patients, and Online Ordering for
convenient in-store pickup.

If you’re looking for a new place to call home, stop in and see
why The Reef is considered one of Michigan’s
best provisioning centers.

Grow Tip for December 2017 - by Ben Horner

DIY Pot Cages

 Tomato Cages can be costly and don’t always work for all pots. Good support structures really increases the yields. Unlike with a trellis, cages can move with your individual plants which is preferred by growers that like to rotate their plants as they grow.

Training plants to bush out is a goal of most cultivators. By doing so, one can make more top buds and increase their yields. To make these DIY pot cages all you need is bamboo stakes and gardening twine. Cut four bamboo stakes to the desired height for each plant. Then, cut side

support pieces of four equal sizes. Using the gardening twine, assemble the sidepieces to the lengths to form a square. Make each rung 912 inches apart and make the sidepieces slightly longer as they move up the gage so the top tapers out.

 Another advantage these have is they are fully disassemble during a plants growth and can be enlarged over time. Some people prefer to use rubber tubing to make the sidepieces to make the cages more flexible. 

Dream Pillow The Perfect Stocking Stuffer That No One Has - by Rebecca Veenstra

As the holidays grow near are you stressing over what to get all your great friends? Are you trying to budget for family and drawing blanks? Do you find yourself thinking you wish you could come up with the perfect little gift that no one has?

Ta Dah!...

Let me introduce you to the fabulous, easy to make, super budget friendly stocking stuffer no one has...

The Dream Pillow!

What is a dream pillow you ask?

A dream pillow is a small pouch that contains one of many herbal recipes to induce calm slumber and restful dreams.

Historically dream pillows have been used in many cultures. Folklore from Medieval Europe says that certain herbs placed in a young woman's pillow will induce her to dream of her true love. Many more cynical texts suggest that the practice originated as more of an air freshener in the days before Maytag and Febreeze.

Naturally, the scent of the fresh herbs would make for a more pleasant boudoir but you may find it interesting to note that Native Americans would sleep on pillows with Osha root otherwise known as bear root which has antiseptic properties. Medieval pillow makers often included Myrrh which also is antibacterial and cleansing.

As far as inducing a restful night's sleep though, you might be surprised to learn that there is real science behind the concept.

Humans are extremely responsive to odors. Our first cranial nerve is our olfactory nerve. That means that the first thing our body as an organism identifies in our environment is aromas. This was helpful to us before we became "civilized" because it allowed us to identify danger and decay as well as food, water sources, potential mates, and weather changes. This property of our anatomy still works in our world of air fresheners and disinfectants.

So, the idea that the aromas of herbs in our pillows might induce a nice calm night's rest is not altogether absurd. Many herbs have been studied to have a medicinal property referred to as soporific, or tending to cause sleep. Examples would be herbs like catnip, lavender, hops, chamomile, marijuana, and rose petals.

There are many more herbs and recipes that would have similar effects. Some recipes report that they can enhance dream recall or induce dreaming of one's destiny, or dreaming of one's true love.
Some recipes say they can increase the libido, or relax a stressful person. The folklore behind the recipe can make it more interesting as a gift because you have a little story to go along with it. The general idea is to choose a recipe that the recipient would enjoy. So, if your sister hates licorice don't include anise in her recipe just because it says to.
It is worth noting that hops pillows have traditionally been used to decrease pain and inflammation. Hops is a soporific herb as well. If you are looking to relieve discomfort and induce sleepiness Hops is a wonderful addition to a dream pillow. For pain a person could apply the hops pillow to the affected limb either cool or warm.

So, how do you make a dream pillow you ask?

The first thing you want to do is gather the herbs you wish to put into the pillows. You could gather them yourself from the wild or your garden, buy them from a store, or find them on line.

If you choose to buy the herbs you can purchase them in very small amounts or large depending on the number of pillows you think you will make. The fragrances tend to wear out over time if they are not stored in air tight containers. Even when precautions are taken it is not uncommon for herbs to lose their aromas when stored. You would want to store any excess herbs carefully or just purchase what you will need for this immediate project. In this instance, buying bulk to save money might work against you over time.

The possibilities of combinations are truly endless. You could also use essential oils to create a lovely effect if you don't want to work with dry herbs. Here are some examples of popular recipes that have stood the test of time. That doesn't mean you can't invent the latest and greatest version yourself. Just experiment with what you like.

A popular Native American recipe for sweet dreams
Lavender flowers, mugwort, rose petals, white sage, hops

Yerba Santa, lilac flowers, balsam fir and osha root.

A recipe from medieval times for divining one's true love
Lavender, Dandelion, myrrh, Hibiscus & Rose petals

Insomnia recipe
Hops, rose petals, calendula, catnip, dill & agrimony

Recipe for clarity and lightness in one's dreams
Lemon verbena, Rosemary, peppermint, Hops, mugwort, lavender & rose petals

Recipe for enhancing one's libido and promoting sensual dreams
Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, hops, catnip and rose petals

A popular pet recipe for calming and also repelling pesky bugs
Eucalyptus, lavender, pennyroyal, rosemary, thyme & wormwood.

Nice Dreams
Your favorite Indica Cannabis strain, Catnip & hops.

Ok, so now you have your herbs chosen. The next thing to do is to pick out some fabric. Most any fabric will work. Popular types of material to use would be flannel, cotton, satin, or silk. It would be very resourceful and eco-friendly to cut up some remnants you have at home, things like skirts, shirts, pillow cases, sheets... if it's fabric it has potential. If you head out to the fabric store or buy on line you may find it easier to determine the number of pillows you are going to make by choosing a specific size piece of material.

For example, if you buy a yard of fabric that is 60 inches wide you can cut thirty 6 inch by 6 inch square pillows out of that.  Dream pillows are traditionally very small. They are put into the pillow case of the larger pillow you sleep on or else hung from the head board. It would be unusual to see one bigger than eight to ten inches. Square is the most common
shape but that doesn't mean you can't get creative.

Once you have cut your shapes out of the fabric you will need a needle and thread, a sewing machine, or a handy friend or relative willing to stitch the pockets together.
You want to have the pillow sewn together on all sides but leave a small opening on one side to allow you to insert the herbs and stuffing.
Once you have the pillows sewn the next step is to add the herbs and stuffing. You could use just about anything to stuff the pillows from buckwheat shells, cannabis seeds, polyester pillow filling, cotton (cotton balls work well), shredded fabric, straw, feathers, rice, beans, popcorn, etc.

To include the herbs there are several ways you can choose to add them. One way is to put the herbs into a muslin bag and then incorporate that into the pillow filling. This method is nice because it contains the herbs so that they don't poke out through the fabric or shift around in the pillow. You basically fluff the polyfil or whatever you stuff the pillow with around the satchel of herbs until you have a smooth shape. The scent will come through the fabrics.

You can also incorporate the loose herbs right into the stuffing. It helps to grind up larger pieces and seeds into powder with a coffee bean grinder or a blender. The aroma will be stronger and there won’t be any hard pellets or sticks to make the pillow uncomfortable.

If essential oils are more your style you would want to put several drops of your oil combination on a few cotton balls. Then, add those to the pillow before you stitch it shut.

The best way to stitch the pillows shut after you add the herbs is by hand. Use a needle and thread to carefully slip stitch the hole closed. This part is tedious but the devil is in the details. You want to make sure you take your time with this step so that the pillow holds up over time and the herbs don't leak out with use. Once the pillows are completely assembled it is advisable to store them in separate zip lock baggies until the holidays arrive. That way when you gift them the scent will be fresh. Most pillows if made with strongly scented herbs will last a year or more.

A nice way to make a more complete gift is to include a blank dream journal and a novelty ink pen to go with it. Bundle it with a nice bow and you will have an elegant unique present that anyone would appreciate.

So as the holidays sneak up on you don't panic. There's still plenty of time to gather up some herbs and nice fabric. Your friends and family will be so impressed with your thoughtfulness and creativity.

Rebecca Veenstra
Chartered Herbalist  New World Seeds, Traverse City, MI

Free the Weed 82 - by John Sinclair


    Highest greetings from Detroit, where I’m recovering from remedial surgery early in November and celebrating the latest electoral victory of the pro-marijuana forces in the City in our struggle to secure adequate provisioning for the area’s medical marijuana patients and keep our rabid foes on the Detroit City Council from shutting everything down.

   First, though, I’d like to take a few minutes to commemorate the life and aborted presidency of John F. Kennedy, murdered on this day in 1963 by an unholy alliance of CIA hitmen and their gangster allies who had come together in their violent mutual opposition to the Cuban Revolution. JFK’s assassination also came about one week before he had planned to end the U.S. commitment to the burgeoning war in Vietnam, an evil enterprise also conceived and directed by the CIA.

     With the ascension of Ronald Reagan and his V-P, Director of the CIA George H.W. Bush, the so-called Central Intelligence Agency cemented its hold on American life and has reigned supreme ever since—never more so than today, with Resident Rump running interference on all fronts.

     It’s Thanksgiving Day tomorrow as I write, and I’m going to forget about the Rump and give thanks for being alive and in control of my meager faculties at the age of 76. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve suffered from a variety of physical problems this entire year and am just now recovering from a pretty heavy operation, but my doctor has given me a clean bill of health and I’m hoping for the best as I look forward to the new year.

       We also have quite a bit to be thankful for in terms of the progress of the marijuana legalization movement. The MILegalize group and its affiliate, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, have submitted about 300,000 voters’ signatures on petitions to legalize marijuana in the state of Michigan next year, and while I personally have absolutely no desire to regulate marijuana like alcohol—one of the most idiotic ideas I’ve ever heard!—if this will liberate the weed from the forces of law and order once and for all, I’m all for it.

     Once the proposal is on the 2018 ballot, it’s comforting to note that every time Michigan voters have been presented with a chance to cast their ballots for any form of liberalization of the marijuana laws, at least 60% have voted yes. With respect to total legalization as is being proposed now, we’ve waited more than 50 years for this opportunity, and I’m hoping and praying that this long nightmare will finally be over just one more year from now.

     Here in the City of Detroit we’re celebrating the latest manifestation of this positive tendency since about 60% of Detroit voters approved two ballot initiatives that will reform the current city ordinance governing dispensaries. In fact, as we’ve reported more than once, since this ordinance took effect in March 2016, the city has shut down 186 of the city’s 283 medical marijuana dispensaries and has issued only 10 licenses for dispensaries to operate in the city.

    The Detroit voters’ initiative, organized by Citizens for Sensible Cannabis, a group of dispensary owners, will eliminate the city Board of Zoning Appeals' authority to review dispensary applications. Dispensaries will be allowed to open within 500 feet of another dispensaryor religious institutions, and the requirement that the city hold public hearings on proposals to open dispensaries will be eliminated.

     The new law will also establish a licensing process that bypasses the Detroit City Council and conforms to the licensing regulations issued by the state that take place starting December 15th. Under its provisions, the city must also expand the hours dispensaries are allowed to operate from 8:00 pmto 9:00 pm.

     Several city council members and ministers came out against both proposals, and since their passage in the November election the Detroit City Council is pushing the city's legal department to challenge the new medical marijuana initiatives, saying both measures contain improper and potentially illegal zoning language. But the city's Corporation Counsel, Melvin "Butch" Hollowell, toldKatrease Staffordof theDetroit Free Press that the city was not planning a legal challenge to the medical marijuana ballot proposals.

     “I have no plans to challenge the will of the voters on this matter,” Hollowell told The Detroit News. “My position is that the voters have spoken and so what we should be focusing on is how do we make the regulatory framework adopted by the voters work.”

     In another small bit of serendipity, Butch then announced that he will be leaving the City’s legal department to join a prominent local law firm in the private sector. Since Butch is the guy who has led the assault on the city’s provisioning centers for the past several years, this has got to be good news in and of itself.
     The Free Press reported that Citizens for Sensible Cannabis is going to wait and see what the city does next. CSC spokesman Jonathan Barlow commented that "We are totally flabbergasted by the amount of resources and time they're spending to circumvent the voters on the decision they made Nov. 7.” He said CSC is prepared to "mobilize and galvanize" resources to fight the city and added, “We don’t understand why they are looking to waste more city dollars on challenging us in court.”

     A closer look at the makeup of the Detroit City Council is revealing in terms of its opposition to the eminently reasonable marijuana laws ordained by popular vote in successive city elections. The leading opponent of a sensible medical marijuana distribution system, James Tate, is a former police officer, as is newly-elected councilman Roy McAllister, who beat out the leading proponent of marijuana legalization on the council, former State Rep. George Cushingberry. Councilman Scott Benson is a former U.S. Coast Guard lifer. Andre Spivey and Mary Sheffield are ordained ministers.

     That’s the majority. Of the remainder, Raquel Castenada-Lopez is a social worker, Brenda Jones was with the Communications Workers of America, Janee Ayres was with the Detroit Department of Recreation and also worked as a teacher, and Gabe Leland—son of my old friend, former State Rep. Burton Leland, is a fledgling professional politician.

     Cushingberry offered some interesting comments on his recent loss, claiming that an "unholy trinity" formed against him."What happened to Cush?" he said. "The anti-weed people ganged up on him." Cushingberry has consistently spoken of his support for the medical marijuana industry in Detroit and supported the two ballot questions relaxing restrictions on medical marijuana facilities.
      In the age of Resident Rump, who took the presidency of the United States despite finishing more than 3,000,000 votes behind his Democratic opponent, we are accustomed to the elected authorities ignoring or attempting to contravene the expressed will of the electorate, but it will never be acceptable. These creeps are just trying to hold back the inevitable, and it is surely coming. Free The Weed!

November 22, 2017

© 2017 John Sinclair.  All Rights Reserved.

Tails Wagging the Dog in Detroit - by Tim Beck - Chairman of the Safer Michigan Coalition

By Tim Beck
Chairman of the Safer
Michigan Coalition

                                                    Tails Wagging the Dog in Detroit

Election day November 7th was a stunning, bombshell win for medical cannabis businesses and patients in Motown.

By a wide margin, Detroit voters gave the proverbial middle finger to the City Council, prominent ministers, a corrupt zoning board and hysterical neighborhood association "leaders." In the finest tradition of direct democracy; the voters approved two measures which would ease harsh zoning laws against dispensaries and allow for state licensed grow operations, processors and secure transporters.

Proposal A passed with 60% of the vote and would allow for more dispensaries. Proposal B eased zoning laws and took power from the Board of Zoning Appeals, which arbitrarily and capriciously denied variances and allegedly engaged in 'pay to play' scams with members of their special inner circle. Proposal B passed with a 58% margin.

How could such a thing happen? Why were experts from the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, eight members of the City Council and the Detroit Planning Commission so dead wrong? What about big time preachers like gospel music entertainer Rev. Marvin Winans, pastor of the "Perfecting Detroit" mega church, political pundit Steve Hood and a myriad of self anointed "neighborhood" spokespersons and their amen chorus be so off the track?

"The answer is simple," explained former State Representative LaMar Lemmons, (who was term limited out of the Legislature) a member of the Detroit School Board and founder of the powerful "East Side Slate."
 With the exception of the "Michigan Chronicle" newspaper, the Slate was the only community organization of its kind to endorse both proposals.

"Detroit voters understand the way African Americans are dis-proportionally targeted for drug crimes" said Mr. Lemmons. "Just as many white people use marijuana as blacks, but black people take the hit. People underestimate that fact, even the pro (marijuana) side."

"I don't smoke anything, but as a public official I have always resented government imposition on my freedom of choice" Lemmons continued. "Most prescription drugs are more dangerous then marijuana. No one has ever died of an overdose of marijuana...and people know that."

"What about Hash Bash in Ann Arbor?," Mr. Lemmons continued. "Everyone is smoking weed out there and nothing ever happens. You can't do it like that in Detroit," he asserted.

So what happens next?

The answer to that question was made brutally clear by the Mayor Mike Duggan administration.

In a statement to the Detroit News on November 22, Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin 'Butch' Hollowell declared: "I have no plans to challenge the will of the voters on this matter. My position is the voters have spoken and so what we now should be focusing on is how we make the regulatory framework adopted by the voters work." Mr. Hollowell went on to say that
the Mayors office is in alignment with his decision.

The failure of the losers smoke and mirrors crusade, was not for lack of trying. They fought until the bitter end.
Their usual advocacy method on the marijuana issue, was to pack public meetings with loud, angry, fear mongering persons, in order to get what they want through mob style intimidation. Their goal was to shut down all cannabis businesses in Detroit and for a time they seemed to be succeeding.

That was until a consortium of dispensary owners called "Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform" (CSCR) decided to run a ballot initiative to take control of the situation and preserve their rights.

When CSRC secured the signatures they needed to make the ballot, the opposition pressured the Detroit Election Commission to keep the measures off the ballot. The Commission capitulated to their demands, forcing the CSRC to go to Court. As a result, Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert J. Colombo Jr. ruled against the Election Commission, forcing the Detroit government to put the measures on the November 7th ballot.

On November 16th the City Planning Commission held a public hearing at Cobo Hall regarding the November 7th election results. The disgruntled were once again out in force, albeit more subdued. No hooping and hollering this time. The Commission members however, knew who they were. By a vote of 8-1, they recommended to the Mayor and City Council, that the election results be challenged in Court by the City Law Department.
On November 21, the City Council fell into line. They voted 7-1 to challenge the election results. Fortunately, neither the City Planning Commission or the City Council are running the show. The Mayor's office is in charge of the Law Department and calls the shots on who gets sued.

Coming fresh off a massive victory at the polls in the November election; Mayor Mike Duggan and his man Melvin Hollowell did the right thing. They stood firm for voter rights, even though many experts suspect the Mayor was not exactly pleased by the peoples decision.

In the end game, the curtains fell on mob rule in Detroit this November.

For now anyway, in this instant case, the tails did not wag the dog.

V.G.I.P. Update for December 2017 - by Kathy Hess


Organizers have finally gathered and submitted the needed signatures to the State last month, to qualify the initiative to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes! It would appear that registered residences’ will get their chance to vote, November 2018, to make Michigan the ninth state to legalize the herb for recreational use, or not.

If the initiative passes, people 21 and older could possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.

State officials are expected to take about two months to review the submitted signatures. If they determine that at least 252,000 are valid, the bill would go to the State Legislature. Lawmakers would then have 40 days to adopt the measure into law, or it will be placed on the November 2018 ballot. Legislators could propose an alternative marijuana bill to put before voters alongside the initiative.

Organizers do not expect the Republic heavy Legislature to consider their proposal, meaning we’ll likely get the opportunity to vote on the measure. But the war isn’t over, yet. Organizers also expect opioid makers to heavily fund opposition to the measure because they have done so in other states with marijuana ballot drives.

Organizers are hoping to raise $8 million to thwart any “anti” measures.  Almost all of the money raised to gather signatures, $600k, has been spent, and coffers are too low to fund the battle through November.

World news for December 2017 - by Kathy Hess

Malta Improves Medicinal Access to Mary Jane

VALLETTA, Malta — Malta’s government has proposed allowing all doctors in the country to prescribe medical marijuana.  Current legislation does allow for medical cannabis to be prescribed, but only from certain
medical specialists. The new law would allow for any general practitioner to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

The government published draft legislation recently which would loosen an existing regulation with so many restrictions that not a single Maltese had ever been treated legally with marijuana or a cannabis based product.

The legislation requires approval from the Malta Parliament before it becomes law.  But passage is expected in the coming weeks.

Malta’s prime minister suggested last month that recreational use of marijuana might be legalized after the medical marijuana law is passed and Malta has time to assess the effects  of it being more available medicinally.

The proposal is the latest evidence of sweeping social change in Malta, a European Union member where divorce was not legalized until 2011.


Jamaican Farmers Grow the Green, but Don’t Earn the Green
Jamaica- The international market for marijuana is booming. It’s set to reach $50 billion within a decade. And after spending millions to crack down on the drug, Jamaica’s government has decided it wants to cash in. It legalized medical marijuana and created a new licensing system to allow farmers to legally grow cannabis for medical, scientific or therapeutic purposes. But the fees are expensive and small farmers say they’re being left by the wayside. 

“It’s not easy, lots of money to get the license,” one (anonymous) farmer says. “Lots of thousands of dollars.”

The application for the license alone costs $300. Then the actual licenses can cost farmers thousands of dollars per acre they designate for cannabis.  Then there are processing fees, transportation fees and more.  Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority says some of these other expensive requirements, like fencing and surveillance cameras, are dictated by international drug laws.

The anonymous farmer states that despite having his illegal crops destroyed by the government in the past, he’ll still continue to farm his illegal cannabis.  With little opportunity to earn an income otherwise, he lives in a lean-to near his crops, hidden in the forest, to tend to and keep an eye on the plants, and the little income he does earns from selling his cannabis keeps him clothed and fed.  And he is not alone.

Traditionally, it’s Jamaica’s Rastafarians who’ve embraced the marijuana — for spiritual reasons. And the push to legalize ganja has made things better for them. Police are no longer allowed to arrest anyone carrying less than two ounces. Last year the Rastafarian community held a three-day cultural celebration during which participants were legally able to use the drug. They plan to have another celebration in December.

The licensing board says it’s aware of the concerns. It’ll waive fees for small farmers until the end of the year after their crops are sold. It’s also working on a pilot project to let farmers share costs.

Hindus Propose Reform on Hashish

INDIA- A private member’s bill to legalize marijuana in India will be introduced to its Parliament during the winter session this year. MP Dharamvira Gandhi, the politician behind the bill, is a retired cardiologist and longtime supporter of both the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis.

Gandhi has argued that India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 (NDPS)was a failure, as the demand for drugs remains the same. This bill is intended to modify how India handles the issue by eliminating criminal penalties and regulating a legal cannabis market for medical and recreational use.

Gandhi’s bill seeks to discern between hard and soft drugs to build a legal landscape for the latter. Gandhi’s not new to cause. He has been a vocal supporter of medical marijuana for many years.

“The 30 years’ period of enactment and implementation of NDPS Act has produced results contrary to the desired results,” said Gandhi in November.  “Thirty years down the line, where do we stand? The fact of the matter is that the NDPS Act has not only failed in achieving its professed goals, but this war on drugs has delivered results directly opposite to what it aimed to achieve. There can be no better verdict and/or evaluation of such punitive drug laws than frank admission statement of the United Nations Conference on 12th March 2009, admitting that the war on drugs has failed,” he said.

The legalization of cannabis in India has a significant show of support in government. In 2013, a petition was presented to India’s constitutional court to remove cannabis from the NDPS.

More recently in August 2017, India’s Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, called for the legalization of medical marijuana. Also in August, the government issued a license to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to cultivate cannabis in order to study its applications for the treatment of epilepsy and chemotherapy-induced side effects. Even India’s former commissioner of the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Romesh Bhattacharji, has spoken in favor of cannabis reform. It is too early to tell how this new legislation will perform during the parliamentary process in December. If the support behind the bill is any indication, India could join a rapidly expanding group of countries that have come to the conclusion that marijuana prohibition has been an abject failure.

 Canada's Legalization Efforts Face Opposition

The Canadian House of Commons held a very heated debate over the legalization of cannabis on November 21st as the Liberal government presented a second reading of Bill C-45.

Justice and Attorney General Marco Mendicino presented the government’s report and pushed for the passing of the legislation. He also made it a point to mention the  “thousands of Canadians” who have been charged, convicted, and gone to jail for “small amounts of cannabis.”

“Canada is more than ready for a new approach,” said Mendicino.
But not all Canadians agree with the Liberal’s approach. Over the course of three hours, Conservative Party members of Parliament questioned Liberal Party representatives on the timing and content of the bill.

Conservative MP Peter Kent of Ontario, expressed his displeasure as he referred to the bill as a “wacky campaign promise” and a “misguided crusade.” The Liberal government is “determined to force this bill” on the police and people of Canadian, he said, “whatever the cost to Canadian society.”

Kelly McCauley, Conservative from Alberta, criticized the “nonsensical, arbitrary deadline” of July 1. He conjured up the image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the head of the Liberal Party, joining a Canadian Day party on July 1, 2018, “pulling up his pants to show his marijuana socks” and sparking the “first ceremonial doob on Parliament Hill.”

Stephanie Kusie, a Conservative from Alberta, called for the House to reject the bill. She noted that the Canadian Association of Chief of Police have asked government to extend the implementation date past July 1, 2018.

Kusie also stated that there is no reliable roadside measurement for driving under the influence of marijuana. She cited a recent study, saying Colorado experienced “drastic increases in deaths” caused by driving under the influence of marijuana. She also claimed that places that have legalized cannabis have seen increases in homelessness and crime, and that, “Smoking marijuana doubles the risk of developing schizophrenia.”

National news for December 2017 - by Dolan Frick


LAS VEGAS - Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks in the world.  And with your jolt of caffeine, you can also get a little buzz. As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states, the cannabis industry is looking for new ways to cash in.

You can't find these coffee pods at the grocery store.
Brew Budz makes k-cups filled with coffee, cocoa, and teas infused with cannabis oil out of a factory in Las Vegas.

"People are very ritualistic about their cannabis consumption, they can bring them together in a very discreet easy form to consume cannabis."

Recreational and medicinal marijuana is now legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. That's led to a billion dollar market, including edibles. A variety of companies are now offering cannabis coffee or tea that fits right into your keurig or traditional coffee maker.

In Orange County, California, Gangja Grindz makes cannabis-laced coffee filters, k-cups and cold coffee and tea drinks.

CEO Chris Haze says the business has grown 600 percent in the last year.

"When you put the product into things they are familiar with, you remove the smell, you remove the visual representation of cannabis, it takes a lot of fear out of using a cannabis product."

"It gives me some focus when I go to sleep. It really helps settle my mind and relax my body."

But enjoying a cup isn't cheap.
Brew Budz's k-cups cost seven dollars a piece.

The federal government still says marijuana is illegal. These products are only available in some states where cannabis
is legal.


SAN JOSE, California -- Two churches in San Jose that offer its members marijuana are being scrutinized by the city. Authorities say the churches are fronts for illegal dispensaries.
Inside Coachella Valley Church you'll find pews, an altar and pictures of Jesus. But you'll also find lighting up is encouraged.
We asked volunteer Sebastian Grey if it was a dispensary. He replied, "We're a church."
Coachella Valley treats cannabis as a sacrament and says it is used here for religious purposes.

"It's just a $10 donation to be part of the church and then you're a lifetime member... you're able to show your ID, we'll get you checked in, and you can go in the back, purchase products," said Grey.

Inside, there's a lobby with a receptionist who is checking people in. They must be at least 18 years old. After paying a donation, they are ushered into a chapel with pews where a video of a sermon is playing. We were not allowed into the room where marijuana products were being offered.

We spoke to a woman visiting from Colorado who just signed up to be a member. She bought two bottles of cannabis labeled as "sativa." We asked how much they cost. She told us it cost $100 for a quarter of sativa.

City officials have been investigating Coachella Valley Church as well as Oklevueha Native American Church, also known as ONAC. No one would talk to us there, but it also offers cannabis. City officials say it's illegal to sell or distribute cannabis without proper permits.

"Whatever their followers want to smoke, that's not the issue. It's the distribution and sale coming from the dispensary. The church issue just doesn't fly," said Rick Doyle, the city attorney for San Jose.

The city only allows 16 marijuana dispensaries to operate. Each pays 10 percent of its gross sales. Since neither church is permitted, it's not paying taxes to the city.

Doyle said a judge just signed an injunction to stop operating within the next 10 days. He said the city also plans on doing the same with the Coachella
Valley church.


LARKSPUR, Colo. -- Alexis Bortell is hardly the first child whose family moved to Colorado for access to medical marijuana.
But the 12-year-old is the first Colorado kid to sue U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions over the nation's official marijuana policy.

"As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it's illegal in

Shortly after moving to Larkspur, Bortell's family began using a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope. A drop of liquid THC in the morning and at night has kept her seizure-free for 2 1/2 years.

"I'd say it's a lot better than brain surgery," Bortell said. But Bortell said the federal prohibition on marijuana prevents her from returning to Texas. "I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home," Bortell said on why

How could you possibly look at someone who's benefiting from this as a medicine and threaten to take it away?" Bortell said. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Alexis' New York attorney Michael Hiller argues it should be legal nationwide. "As it pertains to cannabis, the (Controlled Substances Act) is irrational and thus unconstitutional," said Heller, who added the U.S. government "made a representation that cannabis has medical application for the treatments of Parkinson's Disease, HIV-induced dementia and Alzheimer's disease and yet at the same time the United States government maintains that there is absolutely no medical benefit for the use of cannabis. That is of course absurd."

"Whenever you sue the government, the deck is really stacked against you," Foster said. But he added the federal government might have a hard time arguing medical marijuana has no known medical benefits.

"We now live in an era where 62 percent of Americans live in a state where the medical use of cannabis is legal at the state level," he said. Alexis Bortell said she hopes her lawsuit will normalize medical marijuana but also legalize it.
"We'll be able to be treated like what you call 'normal' families," she said. Bortell is joined in the lawsuit by another child, a military veteran, a marijuana advocacy group and former Broncos player Marvin Washington, who played on the 1998 Super Bowl-winning team.
The federal government has already lost its first motion to have the case dismissed.

she's joined a lawsuit that seeks to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level.
Texas," Bortell, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child, told KDVR. The sixth-grader said traditional medicine wasn't helping her seizures and doctors in her home state were recommending invasive brain surgery. But a pediatrician did mention an out-of-state option – medical marijuana.


Marijuana Policy Project’s announcement that Rob Kampia will be moving from executive director into a more supporting role with the organization is another sign that 2017 likely will be the year a new generation of cannabis legalization activists take the baton from those who began the modern movement.

Earlier this year, Ethan Nadelmann announced his retirement as executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

“This is certainly going to be seen as the year where the guard changed,” said Kris Krane, managing partner of Boston-based 4Front Ventures. “If you had to look at who were the two most influential people in the movement over the last 20 years, it’s probably Rob and Ethan.”

While Krane said he wasn’t surprised to hear Kampia is relinquishing his leadership position at MPP, he also wasn’t expecting it.

But, Krane added, it’s worth noting the changing dynamics between the burgeoning cannabis industry and the activist-driven legalization movement.

“Twenty-two years ago, we hadn’t won anything. We didn’t even have any medical marijuana laws on the books, and now we have a massive industry,” Krane said.

Kampia was much more willing “to play give-and-take” with business interests than was Nadelmann, Krane noted, and that was one of the things that made him such an effective fundraiser for legalization campaigns.

“At this point, to give these organizations an opportunity to bring in folks who can view these questions with a fresh set of eyes is, I think, not necessarily a bad thing,” Krane said.

What the changing of the guard means for the future of the legalization movement, however, very much remains to be seen.

Michigan news for December 2017 - by Kathy Hess

Perdition by Police

Last year in the state of Michigan, 523 people had seized property forfeited without being charged with a crime. In May, two Michigan State Police troopers conducted a traffic stop in Flint where they suspected a man had made a drug-related transaction at a nearby fast food restaurant. After searching his SUV they found no illegal drugs or drug-related materials, But the police seized $2,035 from him anyway and did not charge him with any crime.

In Michigan, one out of every 10 citizens whose property is seized and then kept by police through a legal process called civil asset forfeiture are never charged with a crime. More than $15.3 million in cash and property was forfeited last year according to a state report. $15 million taken from Michigan residences. Simply taken.

According to Kahryn Riley, policy analyst in the criminal justice initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the troopers’ actions weren’t illegal because Michigan doesn’t currently have a law requiring a conviction or even an arrest before pursuing a forfeiture action in court. Riley though, said this process violates the spirit of the maxim “innocent until proven guilty.” However, Michigan law enforcement agencies have a strong incentive to pursue forfeiture because they get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds.

“We want to give police with reasonable suspicion and probable cause the authority to follow up in those instances. But carrying a large amount of cash doesn’t amount to either one of those,” Riley said. “The police can seize it if they’re suspicious. But to forfeit it? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t need to get a conviction before transferring ownership of thousands of dollars.”

Peter Lucido introduced House Bill 4158, back in February 2017, to establish that property seized from a person because it may be associated with a suspected crime is not subject to forfeiture unless an individual is actually convicted. The bill would also prohibit officials from requiring a person to negotiate for return of their property.

Contact your local representative and urge them to vote yes on HB 4158.

Just Say NO, to Drug ScreensFive counties were selected to be the testing model for road side saliva drug screening.  In November, Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair, and Washtenaw counties began the role out of a year long program designed to screen for six different types of substances; amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates, and THC.

Police will have to detect drivers who are under the influence the way they always have. But if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs, they can request assistance from 27 “drug recognition experts” on the staff of state and local police contingents or with program-affiliated sheriff’s offices.
However, several Michigan attorneys have objected to the project, and some have told reporters that anybody asked by police if they’d care to have their saliva tested should refuse the offer.

Bloomfield Hills attorney Neil Rockind told MLive, "The legal system and law enforcement wants it to be fast and perfect. Science is not fast. Developing scientific techniques and perfecting those techniques typically takes years and years, and science is never perfect."

Attorney Bruce Block told a Grand Rapids TV channel, those asked about taking the test should say no. “You have someone who is a so-called ‘expert’ who has 72 hours essentially of classroom and about three or four days of testing their theories,” Block said. “Now whether you’re impaired or not, why, I suppose that’s up to this so-called expert. The problem is he’s not an expert — in his mind, everybody’s impaired.”
“If you don’t agree to it, it’s a civil infraction with a $200 fine,” Block said, presenting the “significant possibility” that legal drugs can result in a false positive. “If you voluntarily agree to this saliva test, you’ve just waived your right to get a speeding ticket and be on your way,”

East Lansing attorney Mike Nichols called the testing technology “risky” in an interview with TV news and suggested drivers take the $200 civil infraction instead of the swab test. Nichols referred to a news report which pointed out a field evaluation of the device in The Journal of Analytical Toxicology that found a 24 percent failure rate. […] false positives can be caused by such innocuous and legal substances as ibuprofen, nasal decongestants, sleep aids, and even poppy-seed bagels. Nichols, who is also certified as a “drug recognition expert,” advises drivers to take the $200 civil infraction rather than submit to this oral fluid roadside test.

The State Needs More Time

Most of those involved in the cannabis industry one way or another are patiently waiting for the state to list the official rules to get a license to grow, sell or transport medical marijuana.

LARA has already released tentative rules, including regulations on letting businesses grow, process and sell marijuana all in one facility.

“The department has been working diligently over the last several months to promulgate emergency administrative rules which are needed to enable us to fully implement the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act,” said Andrew Brisbo of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation.
Other potential regulations involve the cost of getting into the business and maintaining annual license renewals.  Applications are expected to cost $6k.  Depending on the type and size of the license, owners will have to show that they have anywhere from $150k to $300k in liquid assets.  And it appears that LARA will require a $500k annual, yes $500k every year, license renewal fee.

“These rules are intended to ensure a fair and efficient regulatory structure for Michigan businesses as well as access to safety tested, medical marijuana qualifying patients,” said Brisbo.

These are provisional rules, meaning that the current listed fees and proof of assets could change, but they are the regulations that will be used December 15th, when the application process begins.

Planning Staff Plots to Sue Detroit

Two proposals that ease restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries in Detroit were approved by voters last month.
Proposal A requires Detroit to opt into the state law that recognizes the five licenses the state will offer, growing, testing, processing, transporting and provisioning centers (dispensaries). Detroiters voted 60% in favor of Proposal A.

Proposal B expands the zones for medical marijuana facilities to operate and eliminates zoning board appeal application reviews and public nuisance regulations. Detroiters voted 58% in favor of Proposal B.

Yet the city’s Planning Commission, voted 7-1 last month, to urge Mayor Mike Duggan to spend tax dollars to file a lawsuit over a pair of voter-approved medical marijuana laws which it claims will illegally impair the city’s zoning powers and that the challenge of the proposals is to “preserve the integrity of the city’s zoning ordinance.”

Detroit’s Law Department, nor the Mayors office want to move in the same direction of the Planning Commission. Rather they want to uphold the proposals Detroiters voted in.