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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cannibals of Freedom: Is law enforcement immoral?- by Daniel L. Price, Esq.


I previously wrote about law enforcement hiding evidence and committing fraud/perjury, and the disparate treatment of a crime involving marijuana where no victim existed, and a crime of illegal entry and malicious destruction of property, where it involved a victim. As part of a series addressing law enforcement, this month I point out a couple of other instances to bring to light more issues.


In February, 2015, 17 year old Deven Guilford traveled a road in Eaton County Michigan. He noticed an oncoming vehicle with extremely bright lights, so he flashed his high beams in an attempt to get the other driver to lower his lights. Sheriff Deputy, Sgt. Jonathan Frost decided to pull Deven over for flashing his lights. Deven was shocked, especially after Sgt. Frost stated he knew his lights were too bright. But, as we all know, Sgt. Frost’s main job is generating revenue, and not protecting citizens. Perhaps he had not yet reached his revenue quota for the month? Anyway, Deven, while lying face down on the ground, refused to put his hands behind his back, so Sgt. Frost tased Deven. Then, when Deven rolled over a scuffle ensued, ending with Sgt. Frost shooting Deven 7 times, killing the unarmed teenager.

No charges were brought against Sgt. Frost, as he was, eh um, “cleared” of wrong doing. Still, the citizens of Eaton County and the state of Michigan paid out over $2,000,000.00 because Sgt. Frost was, eh um, “cleared” of any wrongdoing. Maybe if law enforcement’s main goal was to provide safety for citizens, rather than generate revenue for the government, Deven would still be alive today.

In another instance that might sound like pure fantasy, Sheriff Todd Entrekin, in Etowah County, Alabama purchased a $740,000.00 home on the gulf shore coast late last year, after paying himself a $750,000.00 bonus, for saving that amount from feeding his prisoners over 3 years.  Apparently, Alabama allows Sheriffs to keep any money they save in feeding their prisoners. And, rather than giving it back to those people who are forced to pay his salary, or putting it toward his department, or even giving it to charity to feed and clothe the poor, Sheriff Entrekin thought it better to purchase a beach house for himself.
 
Sheriff Entrekin actually stated that the citizens of his county have been targeted with “fake news”
stories about his buying his beach house, when admitting the claims.  And more, that he “can’t change the optics”. Keep in mind, those citizens’ medium income is only $40,000.00 a year.  Sheriff Entrekin then justified his theft by saying it’s the law! One also should keep in mind that the Sheriff proposes their own budget in most counties. Why was it set so high that he could pocket $750,000.00 from only 3 years? Why was the budget not reduced, when it resulted in such a high surplus?
 
The following paragraph is from my November, 2017 article:  “When a law denies freedom, it is immoral. Whether it is based upon racism or bigotry [of any kind], it is still immoral.  Worse, it makes criminals of people who simply wish to be free and labels them immoral. At the same time it protects racist and bigoted lawmakers and law enforcers, and labels them as moral. Thus, the individual is forced to become a law abiding racist and/or bigot, or a criminal, under the laws.”

Sgt. Frost and Sheriff Entrekin are moral, by the standard of laws which deny freedom, as was Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, who were together responsible for over 60 million murders, not including the deaths from combat and/or starvation of displaced civilians in WW II. Indeed, the laws protecting the Judge’s at Nuremberg (Nuremberg 1, as I like to call it), when they sentenced people to death for disobeying Hitler’s immoral laws, were also laws that denied freedom. And, like Hitler and Stalin, the laws protecting Sgt. Frost and Sheriff Entrekin are moral, by the standard of denying freedom.


However, if the standard of the law is freedom, then immoral laws are those which: encourage revenue generating, rather than the protection of citizens; allow a Sheriff to buy a beach house with money taken by force from citizens who can barely feed themselves; make it a crime to be free; and severely punish those who harm none, while treating those who harm others with little concern.

The question is, do you support freedom?  If you wish to be free, then demand it from your legislators, mayors, judges, and your local and county and state police forces.  Do not accept, “I’m only doing my job”, as an excuse to be immoral.  After all, the Nazis used that one too.
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: Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Cannabutter

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Peanut butter

1 Large Egg

1/4 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

DIRECTIONS:

Add salt, cannabutter, sugar, and peanut butter into a large bowl and beat till a fluffy consistency is reached. Stir in egg and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour and stir until doughy. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into balls about the size of golf balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart and flatten them with a floured hand or glass jar. I like to wait till they are baking for a minute or so and pull them out, then flatten them with a fork. It gives them those iconic lines without the edges looking like a squished skittle like they do when you press them when they are not warmed up. Bake the cookies until golden brown, usually about 7-9 minutes. After baking, press on them with a spatula to make the cookies chewy if that is your thing and remove to a cooling rack. This recipe yielded about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Cover Story: Horticulture Lighting Group - by MMM Report

If there is one common complaint that most indoor cultivators of cannabis have, it’s their energy bills.  Running enough lights (with adequate wattage) to cover all your plants with enough lumens to produce those beautiful, pungent buds of dank takes a lot of electricity.  A lot.  Many gardeners have tried several tricks to lower their energy costs.
One factor keeping cultivators from turning to LED lighting sources is the uncertain harvest results.  The LED lights on the market have not been able to produce consistent, bountiful results. Horticulture Light Group (HLG) has a solution.

The first ever LED high density modular light for horticulture.

HLG wants to empower growers with the world’s highest efficiency, reliable and affordable LED horticulture lamps.

Northern Grow Lights (NGL) (est. 2015) was the first company to introduce Pin Heatsinks for Horticulture lighting. Pin Heatsinks enabled new lighting designs with less weight and reliable passive cooling. They were also the first company to promote splayed Pin heatsinks, SSTX for superior COB cooling. Eventually NGL introduced Citizen COB to help lower cost for horticulture lighting.

Johnson Grow Lights (JGL) (est. 2015) was the first company to introduce forced Air cooled LED based fixtures called Maximizer. This designed offered the advantage of significantly cutting down the cooling requirements for grow space. JGL was the first company to offer high efficiency COB based LED fixtures at retail locations.

In 2016 JGL and NGL merged together and founded Horticulture Lighting Group. With the combined expertise and experience HLG designed the first high density modular light engine for horticulture. Quantum Boards have created a new revolution in the horticulture lighting industry by not only improving the efficiency standard of white light in horticulture but also by making efficiency affordable.


LED lighting is an industry full of growth and potential and HLG wants to be the manufactures to lead the way.  HLG plans to continue innovating. They plan to launch a newer version of their light modules with an even higher efficiency, with optics and higher levels of production quality.

Let’s make that jump and begin saving on our energy bills.  HLG is shinning its pure white light on the path of saving the green to produce the green.

Grow Tip - Outdoor Grow - by Kathy Hess


It’s that time of year again.  Spring.  It’s when the most dutiful of gardeners will begin prepping for the growing season to come, if said gardeners have not already planted some of their gardens outdoors.  Many cannabis growers will be moving healthy and approved clones to the wilds of outdoor growing.

The savings in energy costs are monumental with outdoor grows.  As long as your cannabis plants are getting 5-6 hours of direct light (absolutely no shade) they can grow to be big and gorgeous, flowering beauties.  Direct sunlight from April through October is the equivalent of using 2000 watt HSP bulbs, without those high electric bills.

Also be sure to enclose your cannabis grow according to local and state laws and ordinances.  You don’t want human like pests damaging/confiscating your harvest.

However growing outdoors does bring about a whole other set of troubles that indoor grow operations are free from worrying about.  You have a lot less (to no) control over all other environmental factors that could affect your girls.
Rogue Pollen (Bursts Pollen sacks) – Pollen from rogue male plants or hemp can pollinate you female flowers. Although this is a difficult problem to avoid, there are measures you can take. June and July are when pollen levels are at their highest, so plant with the intention of flowering in August. Keep a close eye on the wind direction, and read pollen reports that are easily found online.
https://www.pollen.com/forecast/extended/pollen/

Pests – Check your plants regularly for any damage from pests. Caterpillars, slugs and snails can eat away at your plant. Attracting birds to your grow using bird feeders will provide it with some natural caretakers.  You might also consider introducing beneficial bugs to your garden.  Lady bugs (which help keep aphids and mites at bay) and praying mantis (keeping your larger leaf eating pest numbers down) are easy to obtain beneficial bugs, you can locate them at many garden supply shops and online.

Animals – Look out for any animals that may cause your outdoor marijuana grow some damage. Keep animals away from your plants with wire mesh.  You might be able to avoid most of these issues if you’ve enclosed your complete garden.  Avoid picking a place that is inhabited by many deer and/or rabbits, as both like a nibble on growing marijuana.

Frost (Frost Damage) – Although marijuana is a hardy plant, it cannot survive long spells of temperatures that are below freezing. Leaves will begin to curl when temperatures are not to the cannabis plants liking. Avoid frosts by planting in late April.  Most strains will go through a full growing cycle before the first frost comes. Indica strains generally have a shorter cycle than sativas
strains, if your local frosts come early.

Mould – As you can’t maintain the humidity or the amount of rain supplied by Mother Nature, keep a close eye on your buds for any mold growth, or bud rot. You can reduce the risk of mould by shaking your flowers out after any large rain falls. Remove moldy buds before they spread. 

Growing cannabis outdoors can be fun and rewarding.  Maybe not less work than an indoor grow, just a different type of work.  Growing outdoors can certainly save you money, as all that lovely light from the sun is free.  Let your girls soak it up and produce some wonderful and beautiful buds for you.

Adventures of Marijuana Jones - Kathy Hess - Episode 1: Eastern Cannabis Origins

August 3, 2009 -- Nanjing

My travels have recently carried me to China.  My research tells me the ancient people of the region used cannabis for several applications, and that they could be the first group of humans to cultivate cannabis and subsequently teach the rest of the world about its benefits.

It is important to note that my experiences in China thus far have been partially shaped by my citizenship: I am a “foreigner” (waiguo ren). After combing through the Shanghai Library, I gradually made my way west, library by library to the Second Historical Archives of China.  Although archival research is by no means easy for Chinese nationals, non-Chinese citizens are required to satisfy more legal and administrative demands in order to gain entry into an archive.  I spend days scouring the surrounding libraries and talking to the folks at the local open markets, waiting for granted access.

Yet everyone who has researched the history of China in China would probably admit that it is not an easy enterprise. Although the archives in China are technically open, the barriers to entry are many, entree is often conditional or only temporary, and the holdings are sometimes slim. But discovering the ancient origins of the wondrous plant, marijuana, is important, and if we’re going to understand how we manipulated the cannabis plant (or perhaps how cannabis has manipulated us), starting at the beginning, or as close to its origins itself, seems like the best place to start.

And with my hired guide Li Jie, recommended expert of the rural hills and mountains of China, I’m sure to succeed.

October 25th 2010 -- Beijing

My research, as daunting and restricted as its been at times, has revealed some interesting finds, but it’s the people of China I find the most interesting.  A humble and modest people, who are thankfully diligent in their record keeping.  Getting access to many archives has taken a great deal of diplomacy, and even more money in bribes. Li Jie has been a cooperative escort.

Some of the earliest archeological hemp evidence (from what I have read), dating about 10,000 B.C., comes from rope imprints on broken Chinese pottery. Fragments of hemp cloth have also been found in Chinese burial chambers dating from the Chou Dynasty (1122-249 B.C.). In addition to archeological evidence, written documents refer to hemp as a source of clothing. For example, The Shu King, a book dating to about 2350 B.C., refers to the soil in Shantung as rich with silk and hemp while ancient poetry mentions young girls weaving hemp into clothing.

I’ve also discovered through the archives the Chinese relied on hemp for warfare. Due to its strength and durability Chinese archers made their bowstrings from hemp. Because these hemp bowstrings were stronger than the enemy's bamboo ones, the Chinese arrows could fly further. This was a large advantage in war. In fact, hemp was so important that Chinese monarchs allocated large portions of land specifically for growing hemp - the first war crop.

Then, there is paper, probably one of the most significant Chinese inventions. It has contributed to the archives and libraries I comb through.  Fragments of paper containing hemp fiber have been found in Chinese graves dating to the first century B.C. The Chinese made paper by crushing hemp fibers and mulberry tree bark into a pulp and putting the mixture into a tank of water. The tangled fibers rose to the top of the water, were removed, and placed in a mold. After drying, the fibers formed sheets that could be written on. The Chinese kept paper making a secret for many centuries.

Thus far however, documents pertaining to cannabis’ medicinal properties have proven to be more difficult to come by.


April 28th, 2011 -- Pingjang

I’m thankful for my hired guide, Li Jie.  After gaining his trust, which took much longer than I had hoped, he has introduced me to many rural medicine men, or wu, who have passed down their knowledge and traditions generation after generation, for more than 3000 years.  Many of them have kept ancient archives that have finally offered the information I was truly looking for.

Yes, the Chinese used the hemp plant for rope, clothing, bowstrings, paper and of course, medicine.  The ancient emperor, Shen-Nung (c.2700 B.C.), is known as the Father of Chinese Medicine. Because he was a good farmer and worried about his suffering subjects, he looked to plants for cures. According to legend, Shen-Nung tried poisons and their antidotes on himself and then compiled the medical encyclopedia called, Pen Ts'ao. The Pen Ts'ao list hundreds of drugs derived from vegetable, animal and mineral sources. Among these drugs is the plant cannabis, "ma."

According to the Wu, ma is a unique drug because it is both feminine, or yin, and masculine, or yang. Yin represented the weak, passive, and negative female influence in nature while yang represented the strong, active, and positive male force. When yin and yang were in balance, the body was in harmony and healthy. When yin and yang were out of balance, the body was in a state of disequilibrium and ill. Realizing that the female plant produced more medicine, the Chinese cultivated it instead of the male plant. Ma was used to treat absences of yin, such as: female menstruation, gout, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, and absentmindedness.

Archives also revealed during the second century A.D., the Chinese surgeon, Hua T'o, began to use cannabis as an anesthesia. He mixed cannabis resin with wine (ma-yo) and used it to diminish pain during surgery. He performed painful organ drafts, re-sectioning of the intestines, loin incisions, and chest incisions while the patient was anesthetized with ma-yo.


December 5th, 2011 -- Haikou

I’ve fallen in love with the island, but I’m not alone. I’m afraid I’ve lost Li Jie to it forever.  Not only is the island beautiful, it’s wise wu, Huidai, has helped by filling in many of the gaps I needed for my research, as well as given me hints to how the silk road lead the way for marijuana’s migration.

The earliest recorded use of cannabis dates back 10,000 years to an ancient village in the island of Taiwan.  As hemp and marijuana became more integrated into Chinese culture the use of this plant spread. Cannabis was a multipurpose plant to the ancient Chinese. It has been cultivated and used for over 4000 years. It was used for war, writing, food, and medicine but, overall, there is very little mention of its psychoactive properties by the Chinese.  Huidai hints that It wasn't until the people of India were introduced to cannabis that it became a widespread religious and medicinal intoxicant.

So that is where my travels will take me next.  What additions the history and culture the people of India could make to cannabis’ story intrigues me. 
I do hope that I am able to find a guide as skilled
and helpful as Li Jie has been.

Free the Weed 86 - by John Sinclair

Hi everybody, welcome to Opening day, the Hash Bash, 4/20 and the other wonders of April in Michigan when we celebrate the herb and renew our intentions to Free The Weed once and for all. We’re still waiting for the State of Michigan to certify the signatures submitted by MILegalize and its allies and admit that our proposition is on the ballot for November, and we fully expect the citizens’ initiative to pass with votes in excess of 60% of the voting public.

Looking forward to the 47th occurrence of the Hash Bash on the first Saturday in April, first I must chastise the committee of students, dispensary owners and lawyers in Ann Arbor who decided to refuse my friend and comrade Adam Brook his rightful opportunity to speak on the Diag on April 7. No one is more responsible for the continued success and longevity of the Hash Bash than Adam Brook, and it’s a shame that he has been removed from the official Hash Bash that he kept alive for more than 20 years until he was sent to prison and others took over.

And speaking of Hash Bash, a whole lotta people don’t know that we put on the first one on April Fool’s Day in 1972 to inform the public and the State of Michigan that we would be continuing to smoke marijuana publicly whether or not there was a law against it and would not stop until we could Free The Weed forever.

Recently an Ann Arbor journalist named Ryan Huey published an account in the Lansing State Journal(February 11, 2018) that detailed the early days of the struggle for marijuana legalization in Michigan. This fine story resulted from a series of interviews between Ryan and myself, and I’d like to share the story up to the inception of the Hash Bash with you here in my column, thanks to Ryan’s cooperation and permission.

In the 1950s, Michigan implemented some of the harshest penalties for marijuana in the country. Legislators worried publicly that “dope peddlers” and “bad associates”—which their listeners would have understood as code for black and working class—were manipulating white youth to smoke marijuana.

A 1952 bill made the punishment for narcotics possession anything between probation and 10 years in prison, and the law treated marijuana as a narcotic. A second offense could mean 20 years behind bars. A conviction for selling carried a mandatory minimum of 20 years inprison with no parole.
By 1956, the Detroit Narcotics Bureau estimated that 89% of people arrested for narcotics were black, although they were only 20% of the city’s population. The conviction rate was a staggering 90%.

White and college-educated John Sinclair was first arrested for “sales and possession” of marijuana in October of 1964, he got a slap on the wrist. The judge dropped the sales charge, put him on two years’ probation and fined him $250.

While on probation, Sinclair started a Detroit chapter of LEMAR (Legalize Marijuana), the first group dedicated to legalization in the U.S. John Sinclair and his companion (later his first wife), Magdalene “Leni” Arndt, had recently founded a beatnik artist collective called the Detroit Artists Workshop that became a home base for artists, musicians,, activists, and entrepreneurs.

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) assigned an undercover agent to infiltrate the collective to keep tabs on Sinclair and

the anti-Vietnam War activists who lived in the same building, which led to Sinclair’s second arrest. He pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and, this time, was sentenced to six months in the Detroit House of Correction.

Detroit’s Red Squad, a special police unit of the DPD that investigated suspected communists, started compiling a detailed file on Sinclair for “possible narcotics and subversive activity.”

Sinclair’s third arrest came on January 24, 1967 under the auspices of a drug raid targeting narcotics traffic near Wayne State University’s campus. A month prior, he had given two joints to undercover police officers who had volunteered to work at the Artists Workshop in order to build a case against Sinclair.

John challenged the constitutionality of the state marijuana laws on a pre-trial basis all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court, but his case was remanded for trial in July 1969 and he was convicted in a jury trial of possession of two marijuana cigarettes.

Judge Robert J. Columbo of Detroit Recorders Court sentenced John Sinclair to 9-1/2 to 10 years in prison. He also denied bond, which would have allowed Sinclair to stay out of prison during the appeal process, a move usually reserved for the most dangerous offenders.

“The law means nothing to him and to his ilk,” Colombo said.

Sinclair’s wife Leni, his brother David and their comrades in the White Panther Party (later the Rainbow Peoples Party) responded with the Free John Sinclair campaign and organized demonstrations, petition drives and hundreds of benefit concerts and rallies over the next 2-1/2 years, culminating in the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor that drew 15,000 to hear John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Phil Ochs, Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale and fellow musicians and activists demand “Free John Now!”
Three days later, John was free.

His case convinced the Michigan Supreme Court that marijuana and heroin were not equally dangerous, though state law had treated them that way, misclassifying cannabis as a narcotic and imposing long prison sentences for possession and sales. The Court released Sinclair from prison and, three months later, on March 9, 1972, declared the state’s marijuana laws unconstitutional.
There were no new marijuana laws in place, and so, in March of 1972, marijuana was effectively legalized in Michigan for about three weeks. To celebrate, several Ann Arborites half-jokingly advertised a “hash festival” to take place on the University of Michigan’s Diag the day the new marijuana law was to go into effect—April Fool’s Day.

Hundreds of people showed up on the snowy Saturday to puff joints in public, the origin of what would become Hash Bash. In fact, the name was dreamed up by Rainbow Peoples Party artist Walden Simper, who applied the name to the poster she was creating for the April 1 event.
No one was arrested. A few days later, the Supreme Court ordered the release of 128 people in Michigan prisons for marijuana offenses.

In the spring of 1972 the Rainbow Peoples Party joined with other progressive sectors of the Ann Arbor community to form the local chapter of the Human Rights Party, a left-wing electoral party headed by former Lt. Gov. Zoltan Ferenczy.

Following a massive voter registration movement spearheaded by the Rainbow Peoples Party to enroll 18-to-21-year-olds previously denied the right to vote, the HRP elected two members to the Ann Arbor City Council who immediately introduced a city ordinance that would downgrade possession, use and sale of marijuana to a $5 civil infraction within Ann Arbor.

The ordinance passed, making Ann Arbor the first city in the United States to implement a “traffic-ticket” marijuana ordinance and earning its nickname as “The Dope Capital of the Midwest.” East Lansing and Ypsilanti soon adopted similar ordinances.

From that time virtually nothing changed in the state’s marijuana legal system until the citizens passed the Medical Marijuana Act in 2008. The other thing that has never changed is our cry: Free The Weed! Do It Now!

—Detroit
March 25, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair All Rights Reserved.

Is the end in sight, for unlicensed canna businesses in Michigan? - Tim Beck

On Thursday March 15, officials from the "Michigan Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation" (BMMR), accompanied by Michigan State Police officers, paid a visit to 40 medical marijuana businesses across Michigan bearing 'cease and desist' orders. The Bureau said these entities did not comply with administrative rules requiring them to file a pre-qualification application for state licensing by the mandated deadline of February 15, 2018

A copy of the order was obtained by MMM Report Magazine. The order states in part the "BMMR demands that you immediately cease and desist from any activity in violation of Rule 19 and the MMFLA. Failure to comply with this notice may result in the denial of a license; referral to local, state, or federal law enforcement; and other penalties or sanctions provided in the MMFLA and Emergency Rules."

It should be no surprise the Bureau shoe has dropped. It has happened in other places.

In response to an "overproduction" crisis in Oregon, which caused a steep drop in cannabis wholesale prices and diminishing tax revenue; the State Legislature has stepped in. Caps are being placed on the amount of immature plants that persons responsible for small grow sites can possess. $1.25 million has been allocated to "address and prosecute unlawful marijuana cultivation and distribution operations." In addition, industrial hemp products sold by OLCC retailers must now contain labels that clearly identify whether their products are derived from hemp or marijuana.

Since the implementation of full blown cannabis legalization in California in January, the market is in chaos. Prices are dropping and a virtual war has broken out among licensed and unlicensed producers. In spite of devastating wild fires which swept through California last fall, destroying large numbers of cannabis grows, prices according to the "Cannabis Benchmarks Index" "were not enough to impact supply dynamics state wide, especially in a year that saw bounteous production otherwise." The report went on to say production in the "Emerald Triangle" in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties made 2017 "the most favorable harvest season in years."

In an effort to cull the herd of unlicensed producers and vendors, California state government officials have demanded that "Weedmaps" stop publishing the names of unlicensed retail facilities. Beginning July 1st, all cannabis grown and sold in the state will have to conform to much stricter regulations, and the authorities have vowed to enforce the rules.


In an interview on March 21 with MMM Report, BMMR media spokesman David Harns said there will be "hundreds more businesses" receiving similar notices down the road. Mr Harns explained the Bureau will not be announcing who the targets are in advance, or "discussing the geography or time table" for their cease and desist campaign. However, he did acknowledge Detroit is not presently in the loop, given the convoluted politics in that City.

Mr. Harns went on to say the Bureau will eventually publish a list of the illegal businesses, for the entire world to view.

Reaction from the cannabis reform community to the BMMR action has been muted. No owner or employee of a facility facing problems with the Bureau, was interested in talking on record.

Jamie Lowell, co-founder of the very first medical marijuana dispensary in Michigan in 2009, and whose facility "Third Coast" in Ypsilanti is in compliance with the Bureau, said "this is not a big surprise. The State was very clear there would be a time frame. Perhaps they could have been more tolerant to give patients a greater time to adjust, but we all knew this day was coming."
Canna business entrepreneur Wes Crumby from Pinconning, who owns a number of facilities and ancillary cannabis business operations, explained that "LARA has been very fair" in how they have handled the matter. "Everyone knew how to qualify, and they (the Bureau) did not come in with swat teams" referring to the way state authorities were going about putting non compliant businesses on notice that their days are numbered.

In the final analysis, the illegal market for marijuana will not be going away, anymore than the moonshine industry in deep south USA will ever disappear. However, most adult beverage aficionados prefer the safety and convenience of a licensed liquor store to quench their thirst.

When full legalization becomes the norm in Michigan next year, the multitude of casual, recreational users, who just want to get high once in awhile, will not be going to illegal dealers. They will be patronizing the closest, safe, legitimate dispensary, hopefully in their own town or village.

In retrospect, I took my first toke of herb in September 1970, in a dorm room at the University of Detroit. Unlike some others of my generation, I never stopped using cannabis after all those years.

In the bad ole days of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's "just say no to drugs" campaign in the 1980's; stuff got real tough for some of us. Back then, I had to meet my connection in the "Mickey D's" parking lot somewhere in the hood in Detroit. I got out of there as fast as possible after I scored. That was the only alternative for some of us.

It is nice to see that day and age quickly receding in the rear view mirror.



V.G.I.P Update - by Kathy Hess

“If enough valid petition signatures are collected, a proposal may appear on a future election ballot relating to the issue of marijuana. The proposal would make the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 or older only by stores that would be licensed by the state, and finally, it would tax the sale of marijuana by these state licensed stores. If this proposal were to appear on a future election ballot, if the election were held today, would you vote yes to approve the proposal, or would you vote no to oppose?”

This question was polled by EPIC-MRA, a full service survey research firm to Michigan residents, and the results are
looking good.

Climbing the cannabis ladder, residents approval of the Recreation Pot Proposal is up to 61%, that’s up 10 points in just 3 years. Six out of 10 Michigan voters are either strongly supporting or leaning toward supporting a ballot proposal that would legalize limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use, according to the newest poll.

“I think the most important thing is it's now hit the magic 60 percent in terms of voter support and that has just been a continual increase the past three years from 50 percent,” said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA, which conducted the survey on behalf of Michigan NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The survey found that 45 percent would “definitely” vote yes, 13 percent would “probably vote yes” and 3 percent are “lean toward voting yes.” Support for legalization has increased by four percentage points since a February 2017 survey and eight percent since a March 2016 survey

Historically, ballot proposals that attain the 60 percent support level are perceived as more likely to be enacted into law than those that enter the election cycle with lower levels of support.. A total of 35 percent of those surveyed said they would oppose the proposal. Of that, 28 percent were a definite no, 6 percent a probably no, and 1 percent were leaning toward voting no. Some four percent indicated they were undecided on the proposal.

 Among younger voters, those aged 18 to 34, a total of 87 percent are supporting the proposal. Porn noted that unlike the survey conducted in 2017, Republican party voters have swung from being opposed to the proposal to a 48-48 percent split. In the 2017 survey, independent support was around 50 percent. In the 2018 survey, 72 percent of independent voters said they would support legalization. Democratic voters still remain the strongest in favor of legalization with 74 percent of all Democrats in favor.


All in all, it would appear that all of our hard work at ending marijuana prohibition is exactly where we want to be heading into November. 

But complacency is the enemy of progress. 

Be without a doubt anti cannabis groups are going to be fighting our efforts hard. The death rattles of such rearward organizations are going to be strongly funded by pharmaceutical companies.  These companies are already scared about their loss of profits in states where cannabis has been legal in one form or another, people are replacing some of those medications with cannabis, and its damaging their numbers.  In the pharma companies attempts to stem the bleeding, they have repeatedly thrown millions at anti cannabis campaigns in states where any sort of marijuana legalization measures have been on the ballot.

We cannot, must not, be complacent, if we want progress.  Do your part, GET OUT and VOTE!

World News - April 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Alcohol Firms Eyeing Cannabis Industry

CANADA- “Alcohol companies should be watching their backs.” The warning from Torsten Kuenzlen, a former executive for The Coca-Cola Co. and Molson Coors, and current CEO of Sundial Growers, a privately owned Canadian cannabis company, voiced last month. In his opinion, legal cannabis has an obvious competitive advantage over alcohol products.

“All alcohol is consumed only as a liquid. Cannabis meets more consumer needs and motivations in the way that it’s consumed,” Kuenzlen said, adding that it’s a matter of time before cannabis companies start buying alcohol makers.” When you look at the size of the opportunity, the profit pool for cannabis is as big as the entire alcohol industry in three to five years.”
“Interestingly, all alcohol is consumed only as a liquid.  Cannabis has the advantage over alcohol in that it meets more consumer needs and motivations in the way that it’s consumed.  Alcohol companies need to think about how to turn that into an opportunity rather than a threat. […]  There are needs and motivations of consumers that are similar between alcohol and cannabis. But cannabis accesses motivation and needs that alcohol can’t go after.

When asked about possible mergers between cannabis companies and alcohol companies Kuenzlen replied “There can be no doubt. We know that virtually all alcohol companies are very carefully looking at the cannabis space and looking to partner in some shape or form. Those shapes can be anything from innovation alliances with pharma and nutraceuticals – and all the way to partial ownership. […] Today, alcohol companies are buying cannabis companies. We will see a time when cannabis companies start buying alcohol companies. Definitely within the next three to five years.[…] In terms of building global brands, we believe we can build the Absolut Vodka or Coca-Cola equivalent of cannabis. When you fast-forward 10 years, consumers will be able to be anywhere in the world, and they will be able to buy a brand that has the consistent experience they expect."

When asked if Sundial was looking to partner with any companies he answered “We know that all of the big companies are looking at cannabis, so obviously we’re talking to many of them. What form that takes, would we partner with somebody, and for what reason? To be determined.[…]  You can expect that we will enter strategic partnerships in alcohol, pharma, cosmetics, food and beverage? All of those are possibilities
and opportunities."

Keunzlen was asked if he foresaw legalization in the United States and replied in kind. “In my mind, it’s a question of when, not if, federal legalization will come south of the border (the U.S). So the opportunities to build great brands, innovation and capabilities north of the border for the day it becomes federally legal in the states is a monster opportunity for Canada."

Future Global Cannabis Supplier?

COLUMBIA – Tens of thousands of Colombians died in the U.S.-backed war on drugs. But after an official about-face on marijuana, Colombia is looking to exchange gun-toting traffickers for corporate backers in a bid to become the Saudi Arabia of legal pot.

The new industry is budding here on the outskirts of Medellin, where Pablo Escobar moved marijuana in the 1970s before becoming the “King of Cocaine.” Fifteen years after his death in a last stand with the law, cannabis plants are budding in the emerald hills outside the city, this time with the
government’s approval.

“You are looking at history,” beamed Camilo Ospina, the chief innovation officer for PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings, gesturing to a sprawling greenhouse of pungent cannabis plants. His company is one of a rapidly growing number of corporations seeking to leverage the “made in Colombia” label in a new age of legalization.

“Our advantage is that the Colombian brand already has a mystique,” he said. “We want to intensify that, so that the Colombian cannabis you already know – the Punto Rojo, the Colombian Gold – is the cannabis you want to buy.”

Colombia is still a hotbed of illegal drugs: A report last year from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency showed Colombia as the source of 92 percent of cocaine seized on U.S. soil. And after 18 years and $10 billion spent on Plan Colombia, the U.S.-funded effort to counter cartels and coca farmers, cocaine production here is at all-time highs.

Yet when it comes to marijuana, Colombia is taking a new path: If you can’t beat ’em, regulate ’em.

In 2016, the country passed a landmark law legalizing medical marijuana for both domestic use and export, laying the groundwork for the new industry. The government started handing out the first licenses to grow, process and export medicinal cannabis in September, approving 33 companies so far. Legal growers such as Canadian-owned PharmaCielo are now raising test crops for upcoming product lines, with the first commercial sales and exports slated for the coming weeks
and months.

Becoming the world’s supplier of legal cannabis won’t be easy. The biggest potential market, the United States, remains closed off, even with states that have legalized use banning cannabis imports. Yet a growing group of other countries, including Germany, Peru, Italy and Croatia, are seen as fast-developing export markets for medical marijuana.

Currently, Canada and the Netherlands have started to meet that demand, with several companies already exporting domestically cultivated crops.

But Colombia, officials here say, is the logical place for the industry’s future.

With a climate well suited to the surprisingly fragile cannabis plant, the country supplied most of the illicit marijuana consumed in the United States during the 1970s and ’80s, until Mexico dethroned them. As more countries approve some form of legalization, Colombia is bent on reclaiming its global dominance, although through export licenses and customs procedures instead of surreptitious shipments in the
dark of night.
In 1986, Colombia decriminalized small-scale growth for personal use, allowing the cultivation of up to 20 plants. President Juan Manuel Santos pressed for medicinal legalization on a commercial scale as early as 2012 and hailed the 2016 legislation as a major leap of progress.

Some form of medical marijuana is now legal in more than a dozen nations – with recreational legalization close in Canada, and a reality in Uruguay and U.S. states including California. But it remains illegal in most places.

“Convincing foreign governments to allow imports” will probably be the biggest challenge for growers, said Bethany Gomez, research director for Chicago-based Brightfield Group, a market research firm.

Still, the global trade in legal pot is growing, with some experts predicting the market could be worth $31.6 billion by 2021.

To keep things on the up and up, the new regulations for commercial marijuana here strictly limit access to legal farms and impose measures – including genetic testing – to prevent illegally grown cannabis from filtering into the legal market.

Some companies, such as FCM Global, have gone a step further: opting to grow only weaker cannabis strains while refraining from the stronger ones popular with recreational users.

National News - April 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Congress Protects Medical Marijuana From Sessions In Federal Spending Bill

WASHINGTON D.C.- MM patients and businesses that follow state laws will remain protected from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as federal drug agents that work for him, under a provision contained in new in the new budget revealed on Wednesday.

The policy (federal law since 2014) bars the U.S. Department of Justice from using funds to meddle with the execution of state medical marijuana laws. Its continuation was in question after Sessions explicitly asked Congress not to extend it and House leaders blocked a vote on the matter.

However the rider, which cleared a key Senate panel last year, is now attached to a bilateral deal to fund the federal government's operations through the rest of Fiscal Year 2018, which ends on September 30. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions annulled a separate Obama-era Justice Department memo, last January, which cleared the way for states to execute their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

The new bill also continues existing provisions shielding state industrial hemp research programs from federal interference. And it extends a current ban on Washington, D.C. using its own funds to legalize and regulate marijuana sales.  There is also a bipartisan group of Congress members who are organizing to include medical marijuana protection into the Fiscal Year 2019 spending legislation.

"We believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people," 62 lawmakers wrote in a letter to House appropriations leaders last week.

“We are concerned about the Department of Justice enforcing federal marijuana law in a way that blocks implementation of marijuana reform laws in those states that have passed such reforms,” 59 House Republicans and Democrats wrote in a separate letter on Friday. “The issue at hand is whether the federal government’s marijuana policy violates the principles of federalism and the Tenth Amendment. Consistent with those principles, we believe that states ought to retain jurisdiction over most criminal justice matters within their borders. This is how the Founders intended our system to function.”

The current medical marijuana rider was first approved by a House floor vote of 219-189 in 2014 and then again in 2015 by a margin of 242-186. The Senate Appropriations Committee has also adopted the language in a series of bipartisan votes, most recently last summer.

The provision must be reapproved annually because it concerns specific years' spending bills.

Cannabis Activists Are The New NRA,

WASHINGTON DC-The gun lobby is close to finding itself in a financial face-off with marijuana activists, according to Julie Schauer, a retired millionaire who donated $1.3 million to the campaign against marijuana legalization in California in 2016, the pot lobby will soon "own" Democratic leaders "just as the NRA controls GOP."

In fact, the cannabis lobby has been contributing far more cash to Republicans - especially GOP lawmakers who oppose the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on state-legalized marijuana industries. 

Schauer's assertion also neglects the many Republican leaders who are fighting for legalization as an alternative to the "injustice" of the War on Drugs, which "has disproportionately affected young black males" and is little more than "an excuse to send people to prison and turn a mistake into a tragedy," to use the words of Republican Senator Rand Paul.

Sharon Cooper (R) - Chairwoman of the House's Health and Human Services Committee - recently told Congress to “get off their duffs and act” on cannabis reform for the sake of patients across the country. Her message mirrors the sentiments of Republican Bryan Terry, who chairs the House Health Subcommittee in Tennessee. 

Those patients have been sheltered from prosecution thus far thanks to the hard work of Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, whose name is on the budget amendment that prevents the DEA from spending any funds on enforcing federal prohibition against state-legalized MM industries.
Rohrabacher has also introduced legislation to guard state-legalized marijuana industries, as well as his GOP colleague Thomas Garrett of Virginia. At the state level, Republican lawmakers have legalized medical marijuana in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio recently.  Kentucky could soon join the fold if Republican Senator Dan Seum's legalization of cannabis bill gets passed.
So why would cannabis activists try to "own" Democrats when Republicans are getting just as much - if not more - done for the legalization movement? The efforts of Republican legislators show that legalization is a bipartisan issue.

Capital Punishment for Drug-Related Prosecutions

WASHINGTON D.C. - Attorney General Sessions issued the following memo to U.S. Attorneys on March 21st, providing guidance regarding the use of capital punishment in drug-related prosecutions:

"The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering, and death on communities throughout our nation. Drug overdoses, including overdoses caused by the lethal substance fentanyl and its analogues, killed more than 64,000 Americans in 2016 and now ranks as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In the face of all of this death, we cannot continue with business as usual.

"Drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, and violent street gangs all contribute substantially to this scourge. To combat this deadly epidemic, federal prosecutors must consider every lawful tool at their disposal. This includes designating an opioid coordinator in every district, fully utilizing the data analysis of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, as well as using criminal and civil remedies available under federal law to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for unlawful practices."

Leading Anti-Pot Official Is Named Sessions.

And it’s not Jeff.

TEXAS- In January, a year after he took office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took his first shot at marijuana by repealing the Cole Memo. Though long-expected, revoking the Cole Memo nonetheless caused anxiety throughout the financially rocketing cannabis industry and established for most observers that he was the chief antagonist of legal marijuana in Washington.

The nation’s top law enforcement officer has made it clear over the years that he views marijuana as a curse equal to heroin.  However it turns out the unofficial title of Washington’s most powerful marijuana opponent belongs to someone else named Sessions: Pete, the longtime congressman from Texas’ 32nd district in Dallas. Pete Sessions holds no relations to the AG Sessions, although he shares his unforgiving attitudes toward all things cannabis.

“Marijuana is an addictive product, and the merchants of addiction make it that way,” Pete Sessions said in January. “They make it to where our people, our young people, become addicted to marijuana and keep going.” In February, at an opioid summit at the University of Texas Southwestern, Rep. Sessions stretched scientific fact when he said, today’s product is “300 times more powerful” than when he went to high school. (Later, his communications director confirmed that he meant three times more powerful.)

What Pete Sessions has that Jeff Sessions doesn’t is the power to change laws. Very quietly, but with implacable efficiency, Pete Sessions has used his position as the chair of the House Rules Committee to confound or roll back amendments that protected legal marijuana in the 29 states that have approved it. Short of changing federal drug law, legislators in the states with forms of legal pot have sought the next best protection: using the power of the purse to curtail enforcement. But Sessions, with the approval of House leadership, has thwarted his colleagues. He neutralized one amendment that sailed through with a comfortable bipartisan majority and smothered others that would pass if they were ever allowed to see the light of day.

Criticism has never troubled Pete, in his 16-year career. But recent polling indicates that 83 percent of Texas voters now favor legalizing medical marijuana, and that seems to be feeding a nascent campaign to use Sessions’ anti-marijuana influence against him in the 2018 midterm election. Even some Texas Republicans think his zealousness on the issue violates essential conservative principles of less government. “He’s got this personal viewpoint; he’s just personally against it. And there’s nothing that’s going to change his mind,” said Zoe Russell, of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP). “That’s the absolute worst of big government.”

Since Pete Sessions halted congressional movement on marijuana legalization, the states have steam rolled ahead in perfect disregard of his personal beef with the plant. In November 2016, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine approved full recreational use. Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota legalized medical marijuana by ballot measure, and Pennsylvania and Ohio approved medical marijuana by state legislation. In 2017, West Virginia became the 29th state to legalize medical marijuana. So far in 2018, Vermont implemented a full legal law, the first state to do so by state legislature. A legalization bill is currently working its way through the New Jersey legislature. In Michigan, full legalization is on the ballot in November, and voters in Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah will have the opportunity to vote their states into the medical marijuana club.

Signs the Drug War is thawing, even in deep-red Texas, are hard to miss.  In 2015, the Texas legislature passed an extremely limited medical marijuana program that grants access to non-psychoactive CBD concentrates to Texans suffering from epilepsy. Given that the Drug Enforcement Administration still considers non-psychoactive CBD to be a drug with no medicinal value, Texas’ testing the waters of medical marijuana legalization has been an act of civil disobedience against a federal drug enforcement policy that is staunchly defended by the likes of Pete Sessions. In Dallas County, where the majority of Sessions’ constituents reside, police no longer arrest people caught with up to a quarter pound of marijuana, opting instead for a cite-and-release program meant to unclog the jails and judicial system, following the example of similar programs in San Antonio, Houston and Austin.

Michigan News - April 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Police, Pot & Traffic Stops

MICHIGAN- State Police made a traffic stop and then a drug arrest last month on Interstate 275 in Wayne County.  This is becoming more and more common as folks are not following laws in regards to how much someone can transport at one time. Troopers often stop vehicles for speeding on the freeway and then smell marijuana while collecting the driver's information.

In this particular incident last month on 275, searching the vehicle, the trooper found 3 pounds of marijuana, 4.7 ounces of shatter, 54 hash oil cartridges and 23 grams of marijuana wax.
Michigan State Police posted a photo stating the driver was indeed arrested. "Unfortunately, we see this quite a bit, mostly opioids, marijuana, and heroin," Shaw said adding the sentence varies by the prosecutor, court and previous convictions.
After the drugs are confiscated, as required, police incinerate it.

Green Goggles?

LANSING-The Michigan State Police (MSP) is in the market for marijuana impairment goggles -- 70 pairs.  According to the official invitation-to-bid document from the state procurement website, the goggles must "provide an experience of cognitive impairments associated with marijuana use."

Further, the goggles "will let users experience the simulated effects of distorted processing of visual information and alteration of visual perception, slower decision making and loss of short term memory."

The MSP's Office of Highway Safety Planning only has one pair of such goggles right now, which are used in "interactive ways with teens and adults" including in driving simulators, said MSP spokesperson Shanon Banner.

They're similar to alcohol goggles, which are also used for educational purposes to help motorists understand the effects of driving under the influence.

Unfortunately with just a single pair the marijuana goggles, they can't make it to many impairment seminar events because they're already in use at another event, Banner said. MSP is bidding for 70 more pairs of goggles, which will be shared among other law enforcement agencies in the state besides
the MSP.

Banner said the purchase would be made with federally restricted transportation funds specifically for impaired driving.  The invitation-to-bid document also stipulates the purchase must be for "plastic goggles with green lens" and a "durable elastic strap." 

“We can understand the request for durable elastic strap,” said one patient when asked about his feelings on MSP’s request, “but why are the lenses required to be green?  I’m not sure who wrote this request up, but clearly they have never sampled marijuana.  Cannabis users don’t view everything as “green” after taking meds.  In fact I’m not sure how well these goggles would work anyway, I remember the “alcohol goggles they had us try in high school to prevent drinking and driving and they were a joke.  It seems like another waste of money to me.”

Cease and Desists

LANSING- From  the northern cities like Traverse to southern ones like Detroit, Michigan State Police and agents of the state's medical marijuana regulatory agency have been acting to shut down non-compliant cannabis-based businesses. The action comes in the form of Cease and Desist letters directing targeted companies to halt operations or face lawsuit.

Forty medical marijuana businesses across Michigan got an unpleasant visit Thursday, March 15th, ordering them to stop operating.  And those visits are just the beginning. Hundreds more are expected to get cease and desist letters in the
coming days.

"Field personnel from the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Division Enforcement Section – accompanied by a Michigan State Police trooper – have begun physically serving cease and desist letters to marihuana businesses that are not in compliance with Emergency Rule 19," said David Harns, Public Information Officer, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The letters come after last month's expiration of a crucial deadline for existing industry compliance with the state's new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act program.  Harns wouldn't say what businesses got the cease and desist letters or how the state had identified them, but we can safely assume most were probably dispensaries that have been operating outside of Michigan's medical marijuana laws.

The emergency rules "permits an applicant for a state operating license to temporarily operate a proposed marijuana facility under certain conditions," the cease and desist letter read. "In order to comply with this rule, a temporarily operating facility must have applied for a state operating license by February 15. ... A person that does not comply with this rule shall cease and desist operation of a proposed marijuana facility."                           
                         
Businesses who failed to obtain the letter, or who have not begun the applications process, are not in compliance with the state's regulations and are subject to closure under the authority of the MMFLA. According to eyewitness reports from those who experienced being served with the letter, the LARA agents involved cited a "list" of companies the state believes are operating in violation of the Emergency Rule 19 requirements.
Last month’s round of Cease and Desist letters is the beginning of the end for many Michigan businesses in the five industries regulated by the MMFLA program: cannabis cultivation, processing, transportation, testing and retail sale. Media reports have stated LARA anticipates issuing the first round of MMFLA licenses in April.

So far 378 applications have turned in applications to pre-qualify for a license, which means that the business owners are going through the state background check, but still need to get approval from a town that has passed an ordinance allowing medical marijuana businesses. Another 117 applications — including 43 growers, 20 processors, 49 dispensaries, 2 secure transporters and 3 testing facilities — have been turned in that include approval from a local community.

Child Abuse Charges Levied

BAY CITY- Three people are facing criminal drug and child abuse charges after allegedly smoking marijuana in a hotel room they shared with three small children.

On Feb. 16, Bay County Sheriff's deputies responded to the Econo Lodge in Frankenlust Township (located in Bay County) after someone reported the smell of  marijuana on the premises. The responding deputies smelled the distinctive odor in the first-floor hallway, which grew stronger until they identified the room it was originating from.

The deputies knocked on the room's door and were greeted by 25-year-old Amber L. Miller, who had rented the room. Deputies advised Miller of the smell, something she apologized for. She allowed deputies into the room, where they encountered Jeremy L. French, 28, and Ashley M. Briggs, 26. Miller allowed deputies to search her duffle bag. Inside it, deputies found two plastic bags containing pot, a small container with marijuana wax, a smoking pipe, and a vaping pen.

Also in the room were Miller's 6-year-old son and French's 7- and 2-year-old daughters, the elder of the two also being Briggs' daughter. On March 13 warrants were issued for the three adults related to the Feb. 16 matter. On March 19, all three appeared in Court for arraignment.  Briggs and Miller are each charged with single counts of fourth-degree child abuse and possession of marijuana or synthetic equivalents. French is charged with two counts of fourth-degree child abuse and one count of second-offense possession of marijuana or synthetic equivalents. Fourth-degree child abuse is punishable by up to one year in jail.

The Green Wave in Chesaning

SAGINAW- The County Board of Commissioners held a meeting Tuesday, March 20th where people opposed to the measure of more land allocated for the cannabis green land rush in Saginaw County were vastly outnumbered by its supporters, Chesaning’s hopefuls for a local budding marijuana industry.

The board approved annexation of 19 acres from the Chesaning Township to the village of Chesaning to further promote the business and economic development.  All commissioners except one (Dennis Krafft) voted for the annexation.

Zach Chludil, Chesaning resident and co-founder of Plant Life, said the land will be used to grow marijuana for medical reasons and then shipped to dispensaries across the state. The land, previously used by the Peet Packing Co., sits on the property line of the village and township.

"We have been trying to get annexed into the village so we can be a part of the medical marijuana ordinance," Chludil said. Plant Life LLC will run an organic medical marijuana growing operation that is projected to create 320 jobs over the next
five years.

June 2017, the Village Council opted into the state medical marijuana facilities act.

"The township is kind of archaic in their mindset and very non-progressive and they're completely against it," Chludil said. "It's just a moral issue with marijuana, so they're completely against it. They fought the annexation tooth and nail to prevent us from being able to use the Farmer Peet facility, which we own. They would rather see it stay vacant rather than have a
viable business."

"Today is a great day for the village of Chesaning the township of Chesaning, Saginaw County and the state of Michigan because everyone is going to win," Chludil said. "Everyone is going to get quite a jolt of economic stimulation out of this."

The next step for Plant Life is to submit an application to the village for a medical marijuana facility. The Village Council passed a 180-day moratorium on new applications for medical marijuana facilities that will go into effect on July 1, but the council will still accept applications until then.

As of February, the Village Council approved licenses for two provisioning centers or dispensaries and several grow/process facilities.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Cannibals of Freedom: Bigotry in Law Enforcement - by Daniel L. Price, Esq.

I previously wrote about law enforcement hiding evidence and committing fraud/perjury.  Now I will share information about two cases, one without a victim, the other with a victim.   

The first case: People v. John Moyer, case #’s 16-004913-FY, and 16-004972-FY, in Berrien County.  The Berrien County Sheriff Dept., (yes, the same dept., where deputies commit perjury when writing speeding tickets), had surveillance set up on Moyer, a medical marijuana caregiver.  After deputies observed a person go in and out of Moyer’s home, they followed him (Moyer’s friend who recently had back surgery), and pulled him over for failing to use his turn signal.  They found marijuana, and determined he did not possess a medical marijuana card.  The man confessed he bought it from Moyer.   Deputies then executed a raid on Moyer’s home, took his plants, marijuana and any cash.  Moyer was charged with several felonies, including manufacturing and distributing marijuana, as
well as resisting arrest.

The second case: People v. Lisa Blanchard, case # HU-17-075942-SM, in Ottawa County.  Blanchard had been having sex on and off for a couple of months with a man who repeatedly told her he did not want to see her, because she badgered and threatened him in to continuing to have sex with her, even while she was seeing other men.  Indeed, she was texting him in excess of 1,500 times per month.  Blanchard was on a date with another man that apparently went bad one Friday evening in September. She then drove while intoxicated to the first man’s home offering food and sex, after he had said no earlier that day. He asked Blanchard to leave, and said she was neither invited nor welcome.  Blanchard still illegally entered his home stating he could not keep her from doing so.  He talked her out of his home, locked the door and refused her re-entry.  Blanchard became enraged and attempted to pry windows off the hinges so she could get in to physically attack the man, as she had previously attempted to scar him so that, “no woman will want to date” him.  Ultimately Blanchard damaged the home and other property in excess of $2,000.00, which is chargeable as a felony, before she finally left.

The next day the man called the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Dept., to report the incident. The deputy who called back refused to come to the home and take a report because he was investigating a possible drunk driver who had left his/her vehicle.  Ultimately, the deputy wrote the man’s complaint as a disturbing the peace case.  The man then had to go to the sheriff’s dept., and file a lengthy, detailed report of the incident with pictures of the damages.  The man did get a PPO, but it was reduced to a period of 6 months, rather than the statutory 1 year.  Blanchard was also criminally charged, but with only misdemeanors. 

In State v. Moyer, after a full pre-sentence investigation and recommendation from the probation department, Moyer received a 90 day jail sentence, with 30 days served, 60 days on tether, and 1 year of probation.  His total costs, fines and fees were approximately $2,500.00, not including the $1,260.00 the jail billed him for the pleasure of being caged for exercising his freedom, not harming a single person or anyone’s property. 

While in Blanchard’s case, no pre-sentence investigation took place, and the probation department did not receive the victim’s impact statement from the prosecutor.  However, a notation in the court file mentioned: “quickie sentencing”, full restitution, a $500.00 fine, and no probation recommendation.  Ultimately, the victim filed a victim’s impact statement supplement with the court, provided a copy to the judge, and attended Blanchard’s sentencing.  Blanchard had to pay full restitution, but received only 9 months’ probation, and was fined approximately $1,000.00, when it could have been thousands more. 

Similarities between Moyer and Blanchard: For both it was a first offense; and both are educated
professionals.  Differences between Moyer and Blanchard:  Moyer is a man, Blanchard a woman; Marijuana was involved in Moyer’s case, but not with Blanchard; Moyer caused no harm to anyone’s life, liberty, or property, Blanchard terrorized and attempted to harm a man, violated his home and freedom, and caused extensive property damage.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines bigotry as an, “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one's own opinions and prejudices”.  I cannot state with certainty that bigotry caused the differences in the severely disproportionate outcome in these cases.  But, I can state with certainty that Moyer’s actions did not violate the principles of freedom (Life, Liberty and Happiness), nor was there a victim.  In short, he was victimized for exercising freedom.  While, Blanchard’s crime did violate the principles of freedom that harmed a victim.  In short, she was destroying the freedom of another.  Yet Blanchard received penalties and suffered far less than Moyer. WHY?

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: Gummy Canna Chews - by Annette Nay-Nay

Ingredients:

3 packages of unflavored gelatin

2 packages jello, any flavor will do, sugar-free if dieting

1 cup of boiling water*

2-3 teaspoons of your favorite cannabis tincture

1 pack kool-aid, any flavor will do

1/4 cup of white sugar


Directions:

Place all of the ingredients except for the sugar in a bowl.Stir mixture until completely dissolved. Pour mixture into a non stick 8" square pan. Spray pan with oil if pan is not non stick. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until firm. Cut Canna Gummys into cubes and place in bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and gently toss cubes until covered with light coating of sugar. Eat now or place in air tight containers for later use. Store in a cool place.

Green River Meds Goes for the Gold! - by Ben Horner


“Compassion First” is the mission statement for Detroit’s
most elite Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center, Green
River Meds. Green River Founder, Trevor LaFond, is one of
the few Detroit dispensary owners to make the cut both
with the city and the State of Michigan, by turning in the
extremely invasive and cumbersome set of applications
for a Michigan Medical Marihuana Provisioning Center
License.

LaFond explains seriously, ”This love and passion of
cannabis and the ability to help cancer patients, as well
as patients of all ailments, live a longer, healthy life is
why we are here. Also, we are dedicated to giving back
to the City of Detroit.”

Connoisseurs prefer top shelf and Green River puts
the very best in their shop. There are a couple factors
which Green River looks for when giving their patients
options. Hand selected phenos of different strains
are crossed to create exotic flavors bursting with
terpens and flavor. Weed snobs know that once you get
accustomed to great taste and potency it’s hard to go
back.

Located on Detroit’s west side on Grand River, just
west of Telegraph, Green River Meds has an ideal
spot. Plenty of parking, polite security and a relaxed
contemporary interior design. Trevor spent many
sleepless nights preparing for the city and state licensing
process, only 45 dispensaries turned in
applications on time.

Green River has exclusive brand. Precious extracts,
the premier brand consisting of a smorgasbord of
concentrates, delicious vape cartridges, pure CBD
isolate and gooey buckets of distillates. The viscosity
of the vape cartridges is so thick because they are
between 70%-90% pure.

Trevor is planning a social club for Detroit in the
future. He wants a full time place for patients and
caregivers to be able to come together. “People need a
place to medicate together in peace,” Trevor explains.
“We need a place for people to be able to share
information, genetics and techniques, as well as a
place to socialize without fear.

If you are in the D, you need to check out Green River,
if you want the best.

Grow Tip: Fungus Gnats - by Ben Horner

Fungus Gnats are pesky little flying insects that can devastate a crop of medical marijuana if gone untreated. These tiny flies have two small clear wings and thin long legs. These bugs have a 25-35 day life cycle, most of which is in larva form. Adults lay eggs in the grow media, and/or roots. After the eggs hatch, the larvae feast on the fungus in the soil and on the roots
of the plants.

To determine how bad your infestation is, place a few slices of potato on the top of your medium
for 5 hours then remove and observe under a microscope. If the is many larva (see picture) you are going to have to treat your soil. To do so, don’t water for a couple days and allow the topsoil to dry. Then mix Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) with water, 1:4 ratio. Hang yellow fly strips to kill the adults. The same ratio should be used for hydro systems.

Often, store purchased peat soils have fungus gnats eggs dormant in the bag, adding coco to your
mix can help. Uncovered drains and pooled water can also be breeding grounds for these pests. Keeping your grow clean is very important. Neem oil solutions are an excellent organic preventative, and will keep away most bugs if used regularly. Neem oil should be sprayed on stalks and fan leaves every three weeks.

Over the counter pesticides are not recommended for obvious reasons, but may be the only hope for seriously infested situations.









Free the Weed 85 - by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from New Orleans, the cradle of American civilization as we know it, where I’ve made my annual pilgrimage for the Mardi Gras and as much time after Lent begins that I can get away with.

For the past few years I’ve headed back to Detroit in mid-March to take part in the annual THC Expo at the Roostertail, and this year will be no exception as I intend to be on hand to celebrate the Detroit Caregiver Cup with my friend & publisher, Ben Horner and the people from MMMReport, as well as the rest of the festivities for the weekend.

It won’t be long after that when the 47th annual Hash Bash takes place on the UM campus in Ann Arbor, followed by the 2nd annual Hash Bash Cup at a hotel just outside of town that turns into Cannabis Central for the weekend. I’ll be able to share more information about this great event in next month’s column.

Everything else considered, this is going to be a very special year for me before it’s over because in November we’ll be voting to legalize marijuana in Michigan at last and finally eliminate the fear of arrest for smoking weed and getting high. It’s all but certain that Michigan voters will continue to express their support for the sacred weed, although for some reason—at this writing—the state Board of Canvassers has not yet certified the petition submitted by MILegalize and the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol although the specified period for the announcement has long passed.

It’s not entirely out of the question to anticipate some sort of ugly extralegal hanky-panky on the part of the State of Michigan with respect to allowing the citizens to vote on this issue in the November election. They changed the rules in the middle of the game in 2016 and prevented the issue from reaching the ballot, and of course the entire history of the marijuana laws is one big lie from start to finish.

Michigan is a place where the state government determined that marijuana was a narcotic drug and created a punitive structure that called for a prison sentence of 20 years to life for selling, distributing or giving away the weed and ten years in prison for simple possession of marijuana.

This law held sway until March 9, 1972 when the Michigan Supreme Court, ruling in the case of People v. Sinclair, declared that marijuana was not a narcotic and the prescribed prison sentences constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Anticipating this ruling, the Michigan legislature reclassified marijuana on December 9, 1971 and created a new class of drug called a controlled substance that carried a one-year maximum for possession and four years for sales or dispensing. This new statute took effect on April 1, 1972 and was greeted by the derision and disrespect of the smokers gathered on the Diag at the University of Michigan to smoke weed openly at what became the first annual Hash Bash.

Soon the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and East Lansing passed local ordinances that reduced the penalties for marijuana crimes of all sorts to the issuance of a ticket carrying only a $5 fine, and Ann Arbor State Representative Perry Bullard attempted to legalize marijuana in the state legislature. But both Democrats and Republicans, spearheaded by African American legislators from Detroit like Rep. Daisy Elliott and Sen. David Holmes, resisted all reasonable arguments and scientific claims advanced by the marijuana legalization proponents and held fast to the anti-marijuana idiocy that’s held every since.

We’ll hear more anti-marijuana propaganda from the opponents of the 2018 legalization proposition because it’s worked so well for them for so many years and they’re more desperate than ever to keep their ill-founded legal system and the vast police-state apparatus they’ve developed in place even if the voters force them to give up their arrest and imprisonment powers.

I’ve said all these things many times before, but they can never be repeated enough until we have wrested the marijuana culture completely out of the hands of the police and their backers in the pharmaceutical complex, the alcohol manufacturers, the court and prison system, the drug rehabilitation industry, the federal and state legislatures and the corporations and lobbyists who own them—the whole gruesome mechanism of an oppressive social order that has grown so powerful on the backs of American marijuana smokers and the brave and resourceful people who supply us with what we need to get healthy and get high.

Once again it is important to note that it is the governmental bodies at all levels, from city councils to the federal legislature, that have created and enforced the depraved legal strictures against marijuana for the past 80 years, and that indeed remain the sole resistant force standing in the way of freeing the weed at all levels. They will never provide the solution to the problem of freeing the weed, and they will always seek ways to keep us from succeeding in our goal.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but take the ultimate bad example of the Detroit City Council, which is showing its ugly ass again in the face of the citizens’ vote against the draconic ordinance it passed to limit severely the access of medical marijuana patients to their medicine at designated cannabis caregiver centers. A ballot initiative last November to replace this 2016 ordinance was overwhelmingly passed by Detroit voters but has now been overturned by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr., who claims that citizens are not allowed to alter zoning ordinances by voter initiative.

I must point out here that it was this guy’s father, Detroit Recorders Court Judge Robert J. Colombo, who presided over this writer’s marijuana possession trial and sentenced your reporter to a prison sentence of 9-1/2 to 10 years without appeal bond on July 28, 1969, despite the fact that my appeal was successfully upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court and the marijuana laws declared unconstitutional—but only after I had been imprisoned for 2-1/2 years.

The former police officers and church officials who make up the majority of the Detroit City Council are committed way beyond reason to defying the citizens’ wishes with respect to making marijuana available to people in the City of Detroit and surrounding communities who want and need it. They’ve shut down scores of compassionate care centers under the dictates of a gangsteristic licensing scheme and continue to oppose the views and expressed wishes of the majority of their citizens who want to be able to get their weed when and where they want it.

The elected state officials aren’t any better, and who knows how far they will go to prevent full legalization from taking effect. Even our own forces have constructed the proposed new law along the lines of alcohol regulation and expressly bar citizens from smoking in public. This means we still have some way to go in order to Free The Weed for real, once and for all, and I can promise you this: I’ll be there upholding the banner of freedom for the weed as long as I’m blessed with my life on this earth.

—New Orleans
February 25-26, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.