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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hide and Convict - by Daniel L. Price Esq.

Is Michigan law enforcement Criminal Racketeering?  I recently read an article about an Ottawa County officer who turned off his dash and body cams during the search of a motor vehicle.  A search is a critical point of the invasion of the motorist’s privacy, and in generating revenue for the state.  The federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against this defendant essentially stating that turning cameras off did not amount to hiding evidence.

As an attorney, and a citizen, I want mandatory body and dash cams for all law enforcement.  I believe they protect all concerned, as they provide evidence that can either support a conviction, or dismissal of false charges.  They can also exonerate an officer accused of excessive force, or show officer and/or department fraud and misconduct.

I’ve watched footage of dash cams since 2000.  It’s often disturbing to watch.  For instance, I represented a DUI defendant in Van Buren Twp., MI in the mid-2000’s.  The officer stated on dash cam that he “radar timed” the Defendant speeding.  Interestingly, the camera also showed the officer attempting to obtain a breath sample while the EMS technician administered breathing treatments on the driver as she suffered a severe asthma attack.  The EMS technician rightly told the officer to back off.

Even more, the camera showed the radar unit was not on at any time.  But worse, the officer had no training to use a radar device.  It gets much worse.  Turns out the local newspaper reported that the minutes of township meetings stated a group of officers were hired to generate traffic ticket revenue, and if they did not generate a minimum amount they would be fired after one year.  Ironically, I later observed a Van Buren TWP Police car traveling in excess of 90 mph as it traveled eastbound on I-96 from Grand Rapids, after officers received awards for traffic safety from then Governor Granholm. 

Another example is in early 2017, a Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy pulled me over.  His first question was, “how long has it been since you had a speeding ticket”?  Interesting!?!?  In any event, he cited me for going 5 mph over the speed limit.  Before my hearing the prosecutor told me that if I did not admit guilt she would have the officer write another ticket for driving 68 mph, instead of the 5 mph over, which he did.
I viewed the dash cam footage prior to entering the courtroom and it showed the radar unit was not on at any time.  Moreover, the deputy testified to having over 10 years in law enforcement, and had been fully trained in traffic safety and in the use of radar units.  Yet, the deputy testified he could not state the manufacturer’s name for the unit, or the manufacturer itself.  He further testified that it is the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s policy to have radar units turned off at all times.
Let that sink in.  The department takes from us hundreds of thousands of dollars for radar units, officer training, and officer salaries for traffic patrol.  Yet, the department’s policy is to not use the radar units, and the so called “training” results in an over 10 year veteran not knowing the radar unit which he is commanded not to use.

Warrants and tickets in Michigan state that the officer swears under penalty of perjury that the statements he/she writes on these are true.  In both cases above, the officers knowingly committed fraud/perjury themselves in writing the citations.  Moreover, their respective departments did as well, when they took money from us to pay for salaries, training, radar units, and patrol vehicles.  And, it is only due to the word count limitation in this article that I cannot show many more instances of this kind of practice.

Black’s Law Dictionary states, “Fraud consists of some deceitful practice or willful device, resorted to with intent to deprive another of his right, or in some manner to do him an injury.”  In Merriam Webster’s dictionary it is defined as, “Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain”.  Further, that one who engages in this is a, “racketeer”, “cheat”, and “charlatan”, among others.

There are laws against quotas, fraud/perjury, and racketeering.  One must wonder, is the primary purpose of the state to deny citizens’ rights, or protect these rights?
How many have paid fines, suffered convictions, jail time, or job loss, because of this racket?  How many can’t pay for kids’ braces, school clothes, or a decent meal because of this? 

Fight those tickets!  There is a good chance there is no evidence against you.  Isn’t it cheaper than allowing your freedom and your wallet to be robbed from you with your consent?  Freedom is not free!  Giving up the fight costs you your money and freedom.

Till next month, 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.

MMMR RECIPE: Canna Cinnamon Rolls - by Annette Nay Nay


The Dough:
•2 cups cannabis flour
 •2 tbsp. granulated sugar
 •4 tsp. baking powder
 •1 tsp. salt
 •3 tbsp. canna butter
 •3/4 canna milk

The Filling:
•4 tbsp. canna butter
 •1 cup brown sugar
 •3 tsp. cinnamon

The Glaze:
•1/2 cup powdered sugar
 •1/4 cup canna milk


First of all, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a small to medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until it forms a crumbly, but well blended mixture (hint: it helps to soften the canna butter first). Next, spread half of this mixture over the bottom of a 9" x 9" pan, or closest size you have. Now, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cannabis flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix together thoroughly. Slowly begin to add in more softened canna butter a little at a time until well blended and subsequently mix in the milk. Spread some canna flour on a cutting board or similar surface and roll into a 1/4" thick rectangle. With the other half of your filling, spread it on top of the rolled rectangle of dough. Next, roll the rectangle up into a log and slice into 18 equal segments or 12 if you prefer bigger rolls. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is baking, combine the canna milk (or regular milk) and powdered sugar in a bowl and spread on top of the rolls once out of the oven. Let cool a minute or two and prepare to get really really medicated.

Cover Story: Dream Detroit-Detroit's Finest Dispensary - by Dolan Frick

Dream Detroit is celebrating 2 years of business this February! Dream Detroit is truly Detroit's Finest Dispensary. We are conveniently located at 15670 East 8 Mile.

With friendly staff and a clean professional environment we stand out above the rest! We are proud residents of Detroit and want to offer the people of the area a high quality experience when entering Dream Detroit Dispensary.

Let us help make your cannabis dreams come true

It's not just our unique name, helpful and friendly staff, or professional environment that makes us stand out. We also have one of Detroit's best and largest selections of concentrates and flower.

At Dream Detroit we specialize in concentrates! We offer at least 10 different strains of concentrates. Among those is one of our best sellers, the OG Cookie Shatter. Another favorite strain is our very own house brand shatter!

We also have our very own house brand of vape cartridges.

Dream Detroit has $20 daily deals on a gram of shatter or a $20 Distillate Vape Cartridge!

We're not just all about the concentrates, we've got it all! Now I'm talkin' Flower! We carry over 40 different strains of it! Among these strains is our best seller the Gelato Flower.

With over 40 strains of flower we are sure to have the one that's just right for you!

Dream Detroit is Licensed and here to stay!

- The dream at Dream Detroit is to offer the most exclusive flower and concentrates at the absolute lowest prices!

Grow Tip for February 2018 - by Ben Horner

Deep Water Culture

There are many variations of the deep water culture
hydroponic systems used by indoor cannabis gardeners. My
favorite is the tote system.

     The first reason I favor this version of the DWC is the low cost, each tote can be produced for under seventy-five bucks. Secondly, the totes can be customizable for different sizes, each tote can hold anywhere from one to a dozen pots. Of course, the bigger plant limits the size verse amount of plants per tote ratio. Third, each tote is contained and has its own water culture, which compartmentalizes problems typically associated with hydroponics, such as pH and nutrient balance. Finally, the system is crazy easy; just about anyone can make these. If you can follow any basic food recipe and/or build a Lego Star Wars x-wing fighter using the provided instructions, then you can probably handle this.


• 30 Gallon Plastic Tote with Lid
• Timer (15 minute interval analogue)
• ¼ inch Black Plastic Tubing (15 inches per pot)
• ¼ inch Barbed Plastic T’s (1 for every 2 pots)
• 1 foot ½ inch Tubing
• ½ inch Barbed Plug
• ½ inch Ring Clamp
• 1 Water Pump 200-300gph Submersible Pump
• Net Pots
• Hydroton
• Label Stakes
• Air Pump
• Air Stone
• Twist Tie
• 3 Foot Air Line (1/4 inch standard) Nutrients


1. First step is to determine how many pots and what size you are going to use.
2. Use the tape measure and compass to map out your cuts in the lid.
3. Cut out pot hole using utility knife.
4. The next step is to assemble the irrigation system.
5. Attach ¼ inch hose to pump.
6. Insert plug and secure with clamp.
7. Make holes for T’s.
8. Insert T’s into pilot hole.
9. Attach ¼ inch hoses to the ends of the T’s.
10. Insert pump into the tote.
11. Drill pilot hole for hoses through the top of the lid.
12. Fill tote with 5 gallons of water.
13. Test the irrigation lines.
14. Add nutrients. Test the water.
15. Load plants into pots. Fill baskets with Hydroton.
16. Insert pots into the lid of the tote.
17. Secure water lines to the baskets, using the twist ties, ensuring that the water will be flowing close to the plant.
18. Attach air-line to pump, fish the line through the handle point on tote. Attach air stone.
19. Set timer. Connect pump and time and raise the power supply off the ground.

Tools Required:

• Drill & Drill Bits
• Utility Knife
• Compass
• Sharpie
• Tape Measure
• Scissors

Treasury Demands 6% Use-Tax- by Kathy Hess

Michigan Department of Treasury Demands Patients Pay 6% Use-Tax on ALL Patient-Caregiver Transactions

     Due to a directive from the states treasury department on January 18th, Michigan medical marijuana patients are now expected to pay a 3% MMFLA tax and a 6% sales tax on purchases from dispensaries under Michigan’s new cannabis distribution program as required by law, but a reversal of policy from the Department of Treasury requires patients not using dispensaries to pay a 6% penalty, too, and that has the patient services community up in arms.

     In Revenue Administration Bulletin 2018-2, issued January 18, the Department of Treasury has decided to re-interpret the MMMA language and reverse their previous position on the taxation of cannabis sales. Every time a patient purchases cannabis from their registered caregiver the patient must log the sale and self-report a 6% use tax on the transaction, per the new directive.

     “The Michigan Department of Treasury is exceeding its authority by implementing a new “PATIENT TAX” that requires registered patients to pay a 6% use tax on medical cannabis purchased  from their caregiver,” wrote Matthew Abel, founding partner of the law firm Cannabis Counsel PLC and the Executive Director of MINORML.

     The policy change arrives without any connected change in MMMA language or court result, leaving the state’s 300,000 plus patients questioning the reasoning for the sudden policy change.

     “This new tax structure puts significant additional legal burden on caregivers operating in an already murky area of law,” said attorney Bruce Leach. “It signals the state’s clear intent to make caregiving as difficult as possible while the state moves to eventually eliminate caregivers altogether in favor of the regulated commercial market.  If the state is going to implement this tax system then it is only fair that caregivers be allowed to have their goods properly enter into the regulated market.”

     Under MMMA, caregivers are prevented from selling their goods through the state’s new dispensary system. Previously, patients purchasing meds directly from a caregiver did so as a tax-free transaction under the MMMA.  Now the definition of what is medicine and what is not seems to have mutated into a new phase which effectively allows the state to make people pay a tax for medicinal goods.

     “Michigan doesn’t tax medicine and we shouldn’t tax medical cannabis,” said Jeff Irwin, current candidate running for State Senate and a former House Representative, “especially when it is a critical tool in the fight against opioid abuse.”

     In their attempts to legitimize the taxing of medicinal cannabis the Treasury Bulletin distinguishes marijuana and marijuana-infused products as non-medicines because their use is not governed by a prescription written by a physician, but rather is derived from a ‘recommendation’ written by a physician. However, in denying the tax-exempt status of cannabis foods, their own Bulletin identifies cannabis products as medicinal in this statement:

     “Marihuana-infused products are not eligible for this exemption because they are consumed for their medicinal value rather than for their taste or nutrition.”

     This certainly has a lot of patients and caregivers scratching their heads.
MINORML, the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws,  sent a letter to every state legislator on January 25th, opposing the change in how patients are treated by the state.

      The Department of Treasury took a hands-off approach to cannabis sales and tax assessment back in April of 2011, when Director of Bureau Tax Policy, Glenn White wrote; The MMA re-characterizes what otherwise might be a taxable sale of tangible personal property as a non-taxable caregiver service, and that The MMA does not authorize either a regulatory or enforcement role for the Department of Treasury.

      MINORML references the MMMA and identifies the new decision to issue a use tax on patients as a penalty which violates the 2008 voter-directed initiative. Advocates and attorneys’ seem to be in agreement on the issue.

     “There is no basis or precedent for this ruling,” said Mathew Abel. “It seems entirely constructed from some type of wishful thinking on the part of the government.”

      When asked what impact this new policy would have on patients, MINORML board member Brad Forrester responded, “The patients who comply with this new policy will place themselves and their caregivers at a higher risk for arrest and prosecution, simply by identifying themselves. Patients and caregivers now face a brand new risk, arrest and prosecution for income tax evasion, and conversely by complying, they are forced to divulge personal information that is confidential under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, but not confidential on the open records of our tax system.”

     “As a criminal defense lawyer who represents patients and their caregivers, I’m concerned that tax rules could be used by law enforcement as another tool to violate privacy rights and to prosecute those who are doing their best to follow the Medical Marihuana Act,” said Southwest Michigan attorney Daniel Grow, past Chair of the Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar Association.

      Forrester echoed that sentiment. “I can only imagine how overzealous cops and prosecutors will leverage this new law to help them squeeze patients and caregivers for some kind of lopsided plea agreement,” he said.

Free the Weed 84 - by John Sinclair

     Highest greetings from the Motor City, where I’m continuing to recover from the physical issues that plagued me all last year and are now beginning to recede somewhat as I get ready to travel south to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras this coming month—no better healing atmosphere to be had in these States.

     I’m talking about February, but as I write this it’s the 24th of January, a momentous date for me because that’s the day my serious troubles with the law started when I was arrested in 1967 and charged with dispensing marijuana to a police agent 33 days previously: To wit, on the 21st of December, 1966 I had given two marijuana cigarettes to an undercover policewoman attached to the Detroit Narcotics Squad.
I know it’s hard to understand, but marijuana was labeled a narcotic under the state drug laws—actually, much as it is still classified by the federal government today, over 50 years later!—and marijuana offenders were formally charged with V.S.N.L.: Violation of State Narcotics Laws. The penalties provided by these laws were a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of marijuana and a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years with a maximum of life imprisonment for selling, distributing, or giving away marijuana.

     My first marijuana arrest was in the fall of 1964 for selling a dime bag of weed to an undercover State Police officer. I was a graduate student in American Literature at Wayne State University and was allowed to plead guilty to possession, the sales charge was dropped, and I was sentenced to a modest fine and two years’ probation.

     The next year I was the victim of an elaborate set-up by the Detroit Narcotics Bureau when I was convinced to obtain a dime bag of weed from a friend of mine for a guy who turned out to be an undercover policeman. He drove me to my friend’s house, paid for the weed, and then had me arrested on a sales of narcotics charge.

     By this time I was not only a confirmed marijuana smoker and former weed dealer but also a budding marijuana legalization activist—the first in the state of Michigan. With the help of my parents I engaged an attorney not only to defend me on this trumped-up charge but also to challenge the constitutionality of the Michigan marijuana laws.

     Since I was charged with sales of narcotics I was facing a mandatory-minimum 20-year prison sentence if convicted of copping the dime bag for the undercover cop. After thoroughly studying the issue—then a new concept—my attorney let me know that we couldn’t possibly go up against the law itself because of the terrible consequences of a loss in the courtroom. He confessed that he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if we lost the case and I was sent to prison for more than 20 years.

     So once again I pled guilty to a reduced charge of possession of narcotics, the sales charge was dropped, and I was sentenced to another three years’ probation—with the first six months to be spent incarcerated at the Detroit House of Correction. I did my time between February 24 and August 5, 1966, a period during which very few citizens of any sort were locked up for marijuana possession.

     In fact, at the time the concept of an alternate way of life in America was just beginning to surface in different parts of the country, emanating from San Francisco and the West Coast and based in music, marijuana, non-conformity, and the idea of sharing. This was a beautiful thing, but it was just beginning to catch on, and the authorities were determined to do everything they could to stamp it out before it could take hold in he general populace.

     As Richard Nixon’s former policy aide John Ehrlichman confessed to Harper’s magazine in 2016, "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

     While I was a prisoner at DeHoCo I seriously considered the idea of rejecting marijuana and the legal nightmares it had brought into my life as a poet, alternative journalist and community arts organizer. I spent five months and 18 days without a single toke and I thought I could live like this if I had to in order to escape being locked up again.

      But when I was released in August 1966 I was welcomed back into my neighborhood west of the WSU campus with a big party at the Detroit Artists Workshop called The Festival of People. Everyone was smoking weed, and the idea of doing without was absurd.

     Two months later the Grande Ballroom opened with the MC-5 as its house band, I became close friends with the band’s lead singer, Rob Tyner, and the Grande’s poster artist, Gary Grimshaw, and with some other friends we began scheming up an organization called Trans-Love Energies, a hippie music and arts collective which first emerged as something called The 1967 Steering committee.

     From this point legalization of marijuana became an important focal point of our activities simply because marijuana smoking was such an essential part of our lives. At the time, there weren’t so many people like the readers of this publication: our numbers were very small, but constantly growing. Very few people exposed to the practice of marijuana smoking were not immediately attracted to its wondrous rewards, and the community of pot smokers expanded with each joint passed from one hippie to another.

     As the nation of dope smokers grew, the government’s commitment to the War on Drugs intensified commensurately. The lies got bigger and bigger, more and more smokers were arrested and jailed, assets were seized, freedoms were forfeited, and the repression barreled on out of control until 1996 when the first medical marijuana legalization was voted into being in California.

    Utilizing the popular “domino theory” against the people who conceived it, the marijuana legalization forces have gradually overcome the barrage of lies and idiocy concerning marijuana and have won over more than a majority of the population to the concept of freeing the weed. Here in Michigan, 51 years after the “lightning campus dope raid” on the WSU campus that netted 56 violators on January 24, 1967—of which only this writer was ever convicted and sent to prison on these charges—a large majority of voters are ready to legalize weed in November once and for all.

     After a lifetime of struggle against these liars, bullies, violent conmen and thugs posing as the American law enforcement community, I’m delighted finally to be on the verge of victory in the War on Drugs, and I look forward to 2018 being one of the best years ever. Free The Weed!

January 24-25, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved

The Dana Nessel Phenomena - by Tim Beck - Chairman of the Safer Michigan Coalition

In November 2018, the office of Michigan Attorney General (AG) is up for renewal for the first time in eight years. According to the Michigan Constitution, the AG is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Michigan. Its current occupant, cannabis hater Bill Schuette is leaving the office to run for Governor. This fact is a rare opportunity for cannabis reformers to help change the political landscape at the very top.

What is especially good, is for the first time in Michigan political history, a serious,  major party player with a chance to win, has openly endorsed the legalization of marijuana. No weasel words or hemming and hawing.

The candidacy of Democrat Dana Nessel has united the leadership of the cannabis reform community.

An attorney in private practice since 2005, Ms Nessel is a former Wayne County Prosecutor, who has the support of her old boss, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. She is bright, energetic, articulate and not afraid to take on issues most politicians are afraid to touch.

Her major accomplishment is playing a key role in legalizing gay marriage across the entire USA. In 2012 she took on the legal case of  DeBoer v Snyder which went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The court ruled that her clients April DeBoer and Jane Rowse have the right to legally marry.

Ms Nessel lives in Plymouth, with her wife Alanna Maguire. The couple have twin sons Alex and Zach, who are in their freshman year at the local high school. In addition to legalizing marijuana, she is a strong advocate of environmental protection, civil liberties, consumer protection and defending the rights of labor unions.

The road to victory will not be an easy one. There will be no statewide primary election. The party nominee for AG will be decided by delegates to the statewide Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit on April 15

She is now competing with Patrick Miles Jr., former US Attorney for Michigan's Western District, who was appointed to the job by President Obama.

Miles is infamous in the cannabis reform community for sending the "Lansing Seven" to Federal prison for the illegal production of medical marijuana in 2012. As an African American member of a fundamentalist Christian church, it is impossible to get a straight answer out of the man, as to what he really believes about the legal status of marijuana.

It also seems for now, Mr. Miles has the support of the traditional Democratic establishment. Organized labors ability to hand pick candidates at Democratic Party Conventions is the stuff of legend.
Ms Nessel and her team are engaging in a two pronged strategy. She is seeking the support of power brokers in organized labor, in addition to packing the convention hall with delegates who will cast a vote for her. 

She says her fundraising effort is not so much to impress MDP big shots, but to enable outsiders who believe in her message to vote at the convention.

'I'm not taking money from corporate PAC's. I did not spend my career with silk stocking law firms. My focus has been to represent the disenfranchised" she explained.

"We will have buses to take people to Detroit from out state areas, and a place for them to stay when they arrive" she explained. "If the grass roots does not participate, the big guy's will make all of the decisions. That is not what we want."

Can Ms Nessel make it all the way, if she does not get the support of organized labor?

Some long time MDP leaders and activists are skeptical such a thing could happen.

Former State Representative LaMar Lemmons, who is a member of the Detroit School Board and Chairman of the "East Side Slate" political organization, had some sobering words.

Based upon many love fests, and head butting with organized labor leaders over his long political career; Mr. Lemmons said such a task would be difficult.

"Organized labor, especially the UAW, is like the Chamber of Commerce and the DeVos and Romney families, which can get anything they want in the Republican Party. They have unlimited money and manpower, especially at a party conventions. They can change the rules... if they do not like the result."

"Upsets have happened a few times in the past, in both major parities, but that's not usually the way it goes" Mr. Lemmons concluded.

What is the reality on the ground as of January 25, the print deadline for this column?

Dana Nessel can win this. Patrick Miles, Jr does not have her charisma, work ethic and ability to excite grass roots members of the Party, especially the ever growing "progressive" wing. It is that simple, and organized labor will eventually understand this reality at the end of the day.

What do we need to do as a community?

We need every able bodied cannabis policy reformer in Michigan to join the Michigan Democratic Party and show up at the convention on April 15 to vote for Dana Nessel. It's that easy. Just go to Dana Nessel's website: "Dana Nessel for Attorney General." Her talented team has made it very easy to join the MDP. You can also go to the Michigan Democratic


Party website and get the same result. Party rules state you must join by March 16 in order to vote at the convention. Do not procrastinate. Do it now. It takes at least a month to get your ID card in hand from the time you apply. There is no cost to become a member unless you want to make a voluntary donation.

I have identified with the Republican Party for economic policy reasons for many years.

No matter. If you lean Democrat, Republican, Independent or third party, for just one time, use this opportunity to cast a meaningful vote for cannabis policy reform and civil liberties in Michigan.

I got my Michigan Democratic Party I.D card in the mail last week, and I will be voting for Dana Nessel on April 15 in Detroit.

V.G.I.P. Update for February 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Here is a report card, have you, on how our representatives have been scored by NORML on their support (or lack thereof) of cannabis.  Along with the elected officials grade you’ll also find means of contacting your representative and suggestions on what to say, respectfully.  A big thank you to Brad Forrester of Mi-NORML  for providing the following analysis and grades for each elected official.

This is important, as Sessions and the WH have clearly drawn their line in the sand on cannabis, and we need our local representatives to wake-up, step-up, and represent their constituents, majority of whom seek legalization of marijuana.   So, take note of H.R 1227, and read up on your local representative.  Let them know how you want to be represented.

H.R 1227, introduced 2/27/2017 by Rep Thompson Garrett, is the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

“This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that the Act's regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties do not apply to with respect to marijuana.

It removes marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from the schedule I list. Additionally, it eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who imports, exports, manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute marijuana.

The bill does, however, make it a crime to knowingly ship or transport marijuana into a state where its receipt, possession, or sale is prohibited. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to one year, or both.” –

And now for our Legislators:

1st Congressional District - Congressman Jack Bergman, Grade=D
From Michigan's 1st U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Jack Bergman.

The district is the State's largest and covers the entirety of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

Bergman's view on cannabis is intentionally vague as evidenced by the letter he sends constituents who ask his position on cannabis. Bergman spent 40 years serving his country, but many military officers take a dim view of cannabis. Bergman has no voting record on cannabis issues.

Rep. Bergman needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 1st Congressional District. You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Bergman has offices located at:

Traverse City Office
1396 Douglas Drive, Suite 22B
Traverse City, MI 49696

Marquette Office
1500 W. Washington St., Suite 2
Marquette, MI 49855

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Bergman should be; Support HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

2nd Congressional District - Congressman Bill Huizenga, Grade=F
From Michigan's 2nd U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Bill Huizenga.

The district is located in Ottawa County and includes the cities of Holland, Zeeland, Hudsonville, and the four townships of Blendon Township, Jamestown Township, Holland Township, and Zeeland Township.

Huizenga is not supportive of cannabis reforms. He voted against every piece of cannabis reform legislation that ever appeared before him. He is also a member of the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee that refuses to receive legislation that would authorize financial institutions to provide banking services to cannabis businesses. “Federal law prohibits the sale and use of marijuana for any purpose. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act, Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance because it has a high potential for abuse and currently is not accepted for medical use in the United States. […] I oppose legalizing marijuana use, even for medical purposes, for many reasons.” Rep. Huizenga needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 2nd Congressional District NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Huizenga has offices located at:

Grandville Office
4555 Wilson Ave. SW Suite 3,
Grandville, MI 49418
Phone: (616) 570-0917

Grand Haven Office
1 South Harbor Ave. Suite 6B,
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: (616) 414-5516

The Grandville office is open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Walk-ins are welcome at the Grandville office. Meetings at the Grand Haven office are done by appointment only.

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Huizenga should be: Support HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

3rd Congressional District - Congressman Justin Amash, Grade=B
From Michigan's 3rd U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Justin Amash.

The 3rd congressional district consists of all or portions of the following counties; Barry, Ionia, Calhoun, Kent and Montcalm.

Justin Amash has been an unlikely yet very supportive proponent of cannabis reforms, just not for the reasons you might think. It's doubtful that he personally supports the use of cannabis in any way, but from a philosophical perspective, he believes the federal government should only be involved in cannabis cases that involve distribution across state lines, and that voters in each state should decide if and how they want to implement cannabis laws.

Amash is the only Michigan Congressperson to co-sponsor HR 1227, and because he was also the only representative of the Michigan Delegation, from either party, to speak out against Jeff Sessions' sudden dismissal of the Cole Memo. It is fair to respect his right to make his own personal decision on the cannabis issue, and we are very pleased that he has taken the view that each one of us should also be able to make that decision for ourselves.

Rep. Amash needs to hear a "THANK YOU" from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Amash has offices located at:

Grand Rapids Office
110 Michigan St NW, Ste 460
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 451-8383
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Battle Creek Office
70 W Michigan Ave, Ste 212
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Phone: (269) 205-3823
Hours: By Appointment

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Amash should be: Thank you for co-sponsoring HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and other legislation that protects the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

4th Congressional District - Congressman John Moolenaar, Grade =D
From Michigan's 4th U.S. Congressional District, Congressman John Moolenaar.

The 4th congressional district is the state's second largest district. It's comprised of all or parts of over a dozen central Michigan counties.

Moolenaar a grade of D because he has voted against every piece of cannabis reform legislation to come before him in the United States House of Representatives. Which is in contrast to his time as a Michigan State Senator, in 2012 Moolenaar voted YES on House Bill 4851 and the Walsh package of bills that amended the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

Rep. Moolenaar needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 4th congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Moolenaar has offices located at:

Cadillac Office
201 North Mitchell Street
Suite 301
Cadillac, MI 49601
Phone: (231) 942-5070

Midland Office
200 East Main Street
Suite 230
Midland, MI 48640
Phone: (989) 631-2552

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Moolenaar should be: Please co-sponsoring HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and other legislation that protects the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

5th Congressional District - Congressman Dan Kildee, Grade =B
From Michigan's 5th U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Dan Kildee.

The 5th congressional district is oddly-shaped and includes parts Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Saginaw, Arenac, Ogemaw and Iosco Counties.

Rep. Kildee receives a grade of B because he has supported many cannabis reforms in the United States House of Representatives. Kildee could improve his grade by supporting the Cannabis Caucus and by becoming a co-sponsor of HR 1227, the End Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.

Rep. Kildee needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 5th congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to his District office also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Kildee has an office located at:

Flint Office
111 East Court St. #3B
Flint, MI 48502
Phone: 810-238-8627

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Kildee should be: Thank you for supporting sensible cannabis reforms and please consider co-sponsoring HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and other legislation that protects the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

6th congressional district ~ Congressman Fred Upton, Grade=B
From Michigan's 6th U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Fred Upton.

The 6th congressional district is located in the very southwest corner of the Lower Peninsula and includes all of Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren Counties.

Rep. Upton receives a grade of B because he has supported many cannabis reforms in the United States House of Representatives. Upton could improve his grade by supporting the Cannabis Caucus and by becoming a co-sponsor of HR 1227, the End Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.

Rep. Upton needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 6th congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to his District office also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Upton has an office located at:

Kalamazoo District Office
350 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 130
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone: 269-385-0039

St. Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office
720 Main Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Phone: 269-982-1986

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Upton should be: Thank you for supporting sensible cannabis reforms and please consider co-sponsoring HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and other legislation that protects the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

7th congressional district ~ Congressman Tim Walberg, Grade=D
From Michigan's 7th U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Tim Walberg.

The 7th congressional district lies along Michigan's borders with Ohio and Indiana and includes all of Branch, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe and Washtenaw Counties.

NORML has given Rep. Walberg a grade of D because he has voted against every piece of cannabis reform legislation to come before him in the United States House of Representatives. Advocates who have discussed the cannabis issue with Walberg have reported that he is adamantly opposed to any liberalization of cannabis laws. Walberg is also a former pastor.

Rep. Walberg needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 3rd congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Walberg has offices located at:

Jackson Office
401 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201
Phone: 517-780-9075

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Walberg should be: Please co-sponsoring HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and other legislation that protects the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

8th congressional district ~ Congressman Mike Bishop, Grade=D
From Michigan's 8th U.S. Congressional District, Congressman Mike Bishop.

The 8th congressional district is comprised of the norther part of Oakland County and all of Livingston and Ingham Counties.

NORML has given Rep. Bishop a grade of D because he has voted against every piece of cannabis reform legislation to come before him in the United States House of Representatives.

Rep. Bishop needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 8th congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to one of his District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Bishop has offices located at:

Brighton Office
711 E. Grand River Ave., Suite A
Brighton, MI 48116
Phone: 810-227-8600

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Bishop should be:
Please co-sponsor HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Marijuana Justice Act, to protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

11th congressional district ~ Congressman Dave Trott, Grade=D
From Michigan’s 11th District is Dave Trott.

Michigan's 11th congressional district includes parts of Oakland and Wayne Counties.
NORML has given Trott a grade of D because he voted against cannabis reforms on every opportunity he had.

Rep. Trott needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 11th congressional district NOW! You can send him a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to his District office also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Trott has offices located at:

625 East Big Beaver Road
Suite 204
Troy, MI 48083
Phone: 248-528-0711

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Trott should be: Please co-sponsor HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Marijuana Justice Act, to protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

12th congressional district ~ Congressman Debbie Dingell, Grade=B
Debbie Dingell  represents Michigan's 12th Congressional District.

Michigan's 12th congressional district includes parts of Wayne and Washtenaw Counties.

NORML has given Dingell a grade of B because she has been only warmly supportive of sensible cannabis reforms that she has had the opportunity to vote for or against. Dingell is not a leader of cannabis reforms, but she has not blocked cannabis reforms.
Rep. Dingell needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 12th congressional district NOW! You can send her a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to her District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Dingell has offices located at:

Dearborn Office
19855 West Outer Drive
Suite 103-E
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 313-278-2936

Ypsilanti Office
301 West Michigan Avenue
Suite 400
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734-481-1100

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Dingell should be: Thank you for supporting sensible cannabis reforms. Please co-sponsor HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Marijuana Justice Act, to protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

13th Congressional District ~ OPEN SEAT
This seat is OPEN due to the retirement of Congressman John Conyers.
Michigan's 13th congressional district includes part of Wayne County.

14th Congressional District ~ Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Grade=B
Brenda Lawrence represents Michigan's 14th Congressional District. 

Michigan's 14th congressional district includes parts of Wayne and Oakland Counties.)
NORML has given Lawrence a grade of B because she has been only warmly supportive of sensible cannabis reforms that she has had the opportunity to vote for or against.

Lawrence is not a leader of cannabis reforms, but she has not blocked cannabis reforms.
Rep. Lawrence needs to hear from cannabis consumers in Michigan's 14th congressional district NOW! You can send her a respectful email from this link:

A friendly visit to her District offices also makes a big impression. Again, always stay respectful! Lawrence has offices located at:

Detroit Office
5555 Conner Avenue
Suite 3015
Detroit, MI 48213
Phone: (313) 423-6183

Southfield Office
26700 Lahser Road
Suite 330
Southfield, MI 48033
Phone: (248) 356-2052

YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO Rep. Lawrence should be:
Thank you for supporting sensible cannabis reforms. Please co-sponsor HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Marijuana Justice Act, to protect the 300,000 patients enrolled in Michigan's medical marijuana program.

World news for February 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Hash Bash 2018!

ANN ARBOR - Michigan’s countercultural cannabis holiday is less than two months away! The 47th Annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash kicks off, as per usual, the first Saturday of April at High Noon, concurrent to the Monroe Street Fair.

Hash Bash is also a folk festival and largely underfunded over the years because we cannot sell vending space and refuse to allow corporatization of the event through sponsorship. This year, working with NORML at UofM, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UofM, to crowdfund Hash Bash so we can provide attendees with the best experience possible. Please take a moment to visit our GoFundMe Page below.

Proceeds from this GoFundMe will provide for:
-Sound System to ensure high-fidelity sound at the maximum volume.

-Trash Removal to keep the beautiful University of Michigan campus clean.

-Entertainment including musicians and art installations to make Hash Bash a more immersive experience.

-Promotional material including posters and printed programs.

-Other costs associated with the 47th and best Ann Arbor Hash Bash.

Aurora Cannabis and CanniMed
Therapeutics Create Mega Merger

CANADA: Aurora Cannabis Inc, Canada’s No. 2 marijuana producer, has agreed to buy their rival and smaller cannabis company, CanniMed Therapeutics Inc for C$1.1 billion ($852 million) in an effort to receive maximum benefit from the country’s legalization of recreational marijuana use later
this year.
After months of tensions between the companies, they have come to an agreement to create the world’s top marijuana producer by market value.  Originally, Aurora made a hostile bid capped at C$24 per share for CanniMed, and eventually increased it to C$43 in the new offer.

The Aurora/CanniMed deal marks the world’s biggest cannabis industry transaction, bringing the value of cannabis deals so far this year to $1.2 billion, doubling the 2017 totals.

Canada is set to legalize recreational use of marijuana by mid-2018, becoming the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay.

With countries including Australia and Germany allowing medical marijuana and many others moving closer to doing so, Canada’s early move gives them an advantage. Although several U.S. states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use, the substance remains illegal at the federal level.

Aurora hopes that the move to buy CanniMed will boost the company’s capacity to meet domestic demand and increase distribution around the world.

Branding and Advertising Rules Will Take the
Fun Out of Legal Weed

CANADA: Producers trying to market their product will face a gruesome battle with proposed government restrictions similar to those governing cigarette sales. Restrictions include displaying graphic health warnings, adhering to standardized lettering and limiting the use of colors and brand elements. In addition, celebrity endorsements and testimonials from consumers are forbidden.

For some investors, the branding restrictions make the stock undesirable. Officials say their goal is to avoid making drug use look fun. “This is really predicated entirely upon a public health model, and not a commercial model,” said Bill Blair, the government’s marijuana point man and a former Toronto Police Chief. “We want to do a better job of protecting our kids.”

This will prove to be a challenge for marketers because pot producers will have to limit traditional advertising tools and gimmicks such as bright colors or cartoons of celebrities.
Canopy and Organigram Holdings were in the process of developing deals with hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg and the owners of the very popular Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys, when a federal task force suggested that it should be illegal to promote marijuana by linking it with glamour, excitement or risk.

Marijuana producers say that their sales pitches will focus on the higher quality and reliability of legal marijuana, a message that will resonate with the recent rise in fentanyl-related deaths.

Children With Severe Epilepsy Granted Early
Access to Medicinal Cannabis in Victoria

AUSTRAILIA: In 2016, Victoria was the first state to legalize medicinal cannabis and have recently trialed imported products on 29 children with severe epilepsy. The trial in question, turned out to be a success.

As a result, the state government has decided to fund up to 60 more treatments over the next two years, with more to come once local products become available.

"These are children for whom, very sadly, the long-term prognosis is not always a positive one and simply cannot afford to wait until the Commonwealth funding arrangements catch up," says Health Minister, Jill Hennessy.

For many of the children suffering from epilepsy, cannabis has led to a reduction in seizures and made an incredibly important difference in their daily lives and in the lives of their families.

The announcement was made after the Federal Government legalized medicinal cannabis exports from Australian producers.

This prompted Victoria to release an industry development plan to grow at least half of those exports by 2028. Many of the parties involved say that they believe that the possibilities are endless.


B.C. Landlords Want to Ban Cultivation in Private Homes

VANCOUVER: B.C. landlords want the province to ban marijuana growing in private homes when recreational marijuana becomes legal under federal legislation on July 1.

LandlordBC, an industry lobby group, is also pushing the B.C. government to introduce legislation that outlaws the smoking of marijuana in rental homes.

Under Quebec’s proposed marijuana law, their residents are allowed to use marijuana in their homes recreationally but they won’t be permitted to grow cannabis for their own personal use.

The federal draft legislation allows the growing of up to four plants up to a metre high in private homes. It also allows the consumption of marijuana in private residences.

Also, about 150,000 Canadians are registered as medical marijuana users and could claim discrimination against restrictions on production or use.

“I think there could be a constitutional challenge to an outright ban on growing marijuana in a private residence,” said Vancouver Lawyer and Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Scott Bernstein.

He also stated that B.C. has the option to lower the number of plants that could be grown, but it would be difficult to have a blanket ban on people growing marijuana for their personal use, particularly for medical purposes.

Trump’s Drug Policy Appointee to Step Down
Amid Controversy

WASHINGTON D.C.: 24-year-old former Trump campaign worker, Taylor Weyeneth, who rose rapidly to a senior post in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, plans to step down by the end of the month because of controversy surrounding his appointment, according to White House reports.

Weyeneth graduated from college in May 2016, was named a White House liaison to the drug office in March and then promoted to deputy chief of staff in July, at the age of 23. His only professional experience after college and before becoming a political appointee was working on 45's campaign.

The ONDCP is responsible for coordinating anti-drug initiatives at 16 federal agencies and supporting President Trump’s efforts to confront the opioid epidemic.

The announcement follows Washington Post stories that have been circulating through the media, which detail Weyeneth’s rapid rise at ONDCP, due in large part to the staff turnover and vacancies as well as inconsistencies and inaccuracies on three résumés he submitted to the government.

National news for February 2018 - by Dolan Frick

Iowa State's push to ban marijuana shirt leads to huge costs

Iowa State University's unconstitutional crackdown on a pro-marijuana student group's T-shirts will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, according to a partial settlement approved Tuesday.

The State Appeal Board voted to pay $150,000 in damages to two leaders of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws whose free-speech rights were violated by campus administrators. The board also approved a $193,000 payment to two law firms that represented the group for their efforts to defend against the university's unsuccessful appeals, and additional legal fees for their trial work in an amount to be decided by a judge.

The costs stem from what federal judges found were the university's politically motivated, illegal attempts to ban T-shirt designs that featured the Iowa State mascot and a small cannabis leaf — and its year long, unsuccessful defense of those efforts in court. The payouts will come from the state's general budget.

"It is an unambiguous win for our clients and for the First Amendment and for an understanding that violating people's rights isn't free," said the plaintiffs' lead attorney, Robert Corn-Revere. "One reason we urge universities to settle early is to avoid these kinds of expenses."

He said he expects to request a fee award that is "substantially more" for trial work than the $193,000 awarded for the appeals, based on the amount of time spent. The deal requires the state to increase the amount awarded by $15,000 to compensate lawyers for their time spent on the fee application.
The costs do not include work by the taxpayer-funded Iowa Attorney General's office, which represented former ISU President Steven Leath and three other administrators who were found responsible for the constitutional violations.

An injunction will remain in effect that bars Iowa State from enforcing its trademark policies in a discriminatory manner and requires the school to allow the NORML group to produce apparel that includes the image of marijuana.

The case began when the Des Moines Register quoted a group representative and published a picture of the group's shirt in a November 2012 article about efforts to legalize marijuana. The shirt, which had previously been approved by the university, featured the group's name on the front with Iowa State's Cardinal mascot and "Freedom is NORML at ISU" on the back with a small cannabis leaf.

Leath, who left last year to become president of Auburn University, saw the article as a public relations problem after aides to Iowa House Republicans and then-Gov. Terry Branstad inquired about whether the university was supporting the group's pro-marijuana stance.

Administrators blocked the group's pending re-order of the shirt and other designs featuring marijuana leaves, rewriting trademark guidelines to ban the use of school logos on shirts that feature "drugs and drug paraphernalia that are illegal or unhealthful." NORML ISU is one of 800 recognized student groups, which have the right to use school trademarks.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in June that Iowa State's actions amounted to viewpoint discrimination, saying NORML ISU was singled out for "unique scrutiny" because the university opposed its political message. The ruling held that the administrators weren't entitled to immunity, which allowed claims for compensatory damages and attorneys' fees against the officials.

Iowa Solicitor General Jeff Thompson said the settlement will cost less than a trial to decide damages, noting that would have required Leath to be flown back from Alabama to testify. He said the board will be asked to pay the trial fees once a judge rules on what amount is reasonable.

The former students, Paul Gerlich and Erin Furleigh, who filed the lawsuit in 2014, will each receive $75,000 for their "emotional distress."

Kansas lawmaker quits leadership posts after comments about black 'genetics' and marijuana

A Kansas state lawmaker has reportedly stepped down from two leadership posts after making controversial comments about African-Americans and marijuana.

State Rep. Steve Alford (R), who said over the weekend that African-Americans respond “worst” to marijuana because of “their genetics” and “character makeup,” resigned from his posts as the chairman of the House Children and Seniors Committee and vice chairman of a legislative task force on child welfare, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Alford made the comments at a “Legislative Coffee” session, arguing against a county Democratic official who spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana in the state.

Alford argued that Jim Crow-era bans on drugs were put in place to protect citizens from black Americans’ drug use.
“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas and across the United States,” Alford said. “What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African-Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

Alford later apologized for the comments in a statement, according to The Hutchinson News, after facing major backlash from Republicans and Democrats.

“I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford said

Federal Marijuana Legalization, Reap the Benefits 

A new analysis out Wednesday reveals that federal legalization could also raise more than $130 billion in tax revenue by 2025 while also creating more than 1.1 million new jobs.

The new study was published by New Frontier Data—a research and marketing firm whose stated mission is to "inform cannabis-related policy and business decisions through rigorous, issue-neutral and comprehensive analysis of the legal cannabis industry."
As the Drug Policy Alliance has shown, the criminalization regime and enforcement of keeping marijuana and others drugs illegal costs the U.S. government more than $50 billion annually—that includes the outrageous costs of imprisoning tens of thousands of people for nonviolent drug offenses.

Meanwhile, according to New Frontier CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer,  the government would stand to do very well if marijuana, as has been shown in Washington state and Colorado, was taxed as a legal commodity. "The three most common business taxes that any standard business pays to the federal government are federal business taxes, payroll taxes and sales taxes," De Carcer explained. "If cannabis businesses were legalized tomorrow and taxed as normal businesses with a standard 35% tax rate,
cannabis businesses would infuse the U.S. economy with an additional $12.6 billion this year."

As opposed to the current patchwork of states that have legalized either medical marijuana, its recreational use, or both, the analysis looked at what could happen if the U.S. government made it legal to sell marijuana nationwide and included these major findings:

• If full legalization occurred in all 50 states today, there would be an excess of 782,000 jobs, and would increase to 1.1 million jobs by 2025.
• Full legalization would result in more legal businesses participating in the market, more consumers participating in the legal market, and more employees on official payrolls, resulting in $4 billion in payroll taxes. By 2025, payroll deductions would increase to $5.9 billion.
• Assuming a sales tax at the federal level was implemented at 15%, the total tax revenues from 2017–2025 would theoretically be $51.7 billion. This amount of revenue would be entirely new revenue to the U.S. Treasury, as there are currently no federal sales or excise taxes.
• By combining the business tax revenues, the payroll withholdings based on the theoretical employment required to support the industry, and the 15% retail sales tax, one can calculate the total federal tax revenue potential of legalization: The combined total is estimated to be $131.8 billion.
• The difference between the current structure and the theoretical model is a $76.8 billion increase in federal tax revenues.

The new data comes in the wake of polling that shows historic levels of support for marijuana legalization nationwide. In October of 2017, a Gallup survey found that 64 percent of Americans now favor legal marijuana—the highest level ever recorded. It's also an issue that receives backing from people across the political spectrum. According to the Gallup poll, a majority of Republicans (51%) are in favor while Independents (67%) and Democrats (72%) support legalization at even higher levels.