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Friday, March 2, 2018

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

February was been an adventurous month, to say the least.

With existing dispensaries scrambling to get applications in by the mid month deadline, and municipalities making their down-to-the-deadline (or post deadline) decision on opting out of Commercial Cannabis or not, everyday there’s one update or another across the state in regards to cannabis in Michigan.

Detroit is in complete upheaval, as voter initiatives on zoning are deemed invalid.  I’m sure there’s no corruption there, Detroit’s never suffered corruption before.  A number of northern cities like Gaylord, are suffering a long-awaited heartbreak as the much anticipated (delayed) decision on cannabis ordinances from city council came in.

If you look at the map of cities, townships and villages within the state you would currently find a rather large void where municipalities have yet to make a decision on cannabis.  They represent the lack of color across the state.  Perhaps they will eventually choose to opt in ad go green, but for now we wait. A good number of municipalities that have chosen to not allow commercial medical marijuana and are forcing their patients to travel to other counties to obtain their medicine, they would appear in red.  There is a decent list of cities, townships and villages appearing in green that have opted in to serve their medical marijuana community, but its not big enough to adequately serve the people of this great state.

I’ve read a lot of boards and forums over the last month, as each municipality hands down its ruling on whether or not commercial medical marijuana will be a part of their communities or not, and a lot of people are blaming Republican officials who hold seats and vote one way or another against cannabis.

Casting blame is easy enough when majority of local municipalities across this great state have filled their counsels with elected Republicans.  But casting blame in a society and culture where memories are short sighted (and I’m not talking about reefer haze, as those citizens who choose to abstain from cannabis are just as forgetful) does little to no good at all.

For whatever reason this state, which had traditionally backed democrats, faded from blue to red amidst politics which became a game of trumped up and unfounded fears, rather than politics of informed facts.  No one came for our guns.  No death panel reviewed our cases. No, Spanish isn’t our official national language. No, we’ve not been oppressed by the Muslim Brotherhood. No, no, no to all the ridiculous fears they’ve mongered us with.  We voted these conservative individuals in (whom cling to ancient and ineffective drug policies of the past with prejudicial bias), and now we’re surprised they don’t support cannabis? Ugh.

Well here is where you will find the answer to ever changing the tide in terms of cannabis reform. The only answer folks.


It’s not an immediate fix to the path of prohibition some municipalities have opted for.  But I promise you, it won’t get any better until we Vote Them Out.

The next elections are midterm elections.  That’s great in terms of other local officials and hopefuls getting more recognition and attention before people cast ballots when there isn’t the publicity of the presidential election casting its own wide shadow.  It’s bad in terms of how many people show up to the polls and let the state or local municipality, know where
they stand. 

Too many of us skip midterm elections.  Less than half of all registered voters let their voices be heard in the last midterm election (2014).  If we want change, then we have to vote for change.  So before this November let’s take a few minutes and research our local councils, find out their voting record on cannabis (and other issues important to you). Learn about the people running for those seats, where do they stand on cannabis?  Then vote accordingly.

If you want change, then be informed enough to promote that change into happening.  If you want change, then take the time (yes even if it takes all day!) and go vote!  Vote them out.

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