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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cover Story: iKrusher - Vape. Technology. Performance.

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What Does Masturbation and Marijuana have to do with Each Other? - By Tim Beck: Chairman of the Safer Michigan Coalition

Randy Richardville
Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a rising star in the move to stop legalization of cannabis for adults in Michigan, graduated from Monroe Catholic Central High School (MCC) in Monroe Michigan, class of 1977. Coincidentally, I too graduated from the place in 1970. MCC was an all boys college prep school run by the "Brothers of the Holy Cross," based in Notre Dame, Indiana

In an interview with MMM Report, Mr. Richardville and I reminisced a bit about those days, and mutual acquaintances in common, including the most famous MCC grad, WJR talk radio superstar Paul W. Smith, class of 1971.

We both love our alma mater in spite of its imperfections

Beyond that, the two of us have nothing in common with respect to Proposition 1, which will legalize marijuana for consenting adults in Michigan this coming November election.

Mr. Richardville explained his opposition to the measure in no uncertain terms.

"I'm more Libertarian than some may think. I could care less if marijuana is used by responsible adults but his ballot proposal is wrong. It is very poorly written. It is not about responsible legalization, it is a money grab by special interests. It (marijuana) will get into the hands of kids. We are risking the mental health of the next generation if this is passed."

He went on to say "I did not care at all about  marijuana until I came to the legislature but when I did, I learned it is a miracle plant for some who have real medical problems." I got a responsible (medical marijuana) model passed when I was majority leader" he said

The regulatory model Mr. Richardville takes credit for, is Public Act 268 which was signed into law by the Governor in 2013. The law was created by a Canadian company called "Prairie Plant Systems" and its Lansing lobbyists. The concept is to grow medical marijuana in deep, heavily fortified mine shafts in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That model will be implemented if and when the US Federal Government declassifies marijuana to a legal, schedule 2 drug. Right now, as a schedule 1 drug, it has no medical value and is considered the equivalent of heroin and LSD.

Five years have now gone by, and the Federal Government has yet to reschedule cannabis. Congress is paralyzed by infighting and seasoned observers believe it could take at least another five years or more for them to act.

Anti Prop 1 foot soldiers from "Healthy and Productive Michigan" (HPM) with whom Mr. Richardville is affiliated, declared at forum in my virtual hometown of South Haven on the Lake Michigan shore line, that if marijuana is legalized in Michigan it will be disaster. Among other things, there will be a wave of addiction, crime, poverty, domestic violence, suicide, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, and road rage. Drug tourists and homeless persons will flock to South Haven to score some easy weed. They said in so many words if Prop 1 passes, law enforcement will be hopelessly constrained to deal with the reefer madness to come. They will become helpless wimps, barely able to get their tasers up.

HPM acolytes described Colorado which legalized the drug for adults in 2012, as the epitome of ganja hell on earth.

In reality, Colorado is a low tax state, with full employment and real estate values heading to Mars. My newly wed niece and her spouse recently paid over $700K for a place in Denver with less then 1,000 sq feet of living space. Rhetorically speaking, why would anyone pay that kind of money to live in tract home, in a drug crazed hell hole like Denver?

Well, the real answer to that question is Colorado is a very desirable place to live in. Especially the City of Denver.

The fact is, HPM's pitch is down right weird and untrue.

On the other hand though, is it any more strange then stuff I heard at MCC about the dangers of masturbation from the "Brothers of the Holy Cross" who taught religion there in the 1960's?

Randy Richarville is a bit younger then me, so maybe he missed some of the "facts" about masturbation that I heard at MCC from various zealots.

Beginning in 9th grade, we were sternly advised that masturbation can cause blindness, insanity, sterility, and lethargy.

When a sports team did not play up to par, one MCC coach screamed in frustration: "if you sissies weren't jerking off all the time, you'd be tough, and we'll have a real team here. Shape up or ship out. Now drop and give me 20!!! (push ups)."

The big kahuna however, was the concept that masturbation was a "mortal sin" Such a practice was a sure ticket to eternal damnation in the fires of hell.

It was scary stuff back then for a freshman high school boy, whose testosterone levels were spiking. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence exists that in spite of the horrible consequences of masturbation, the practice still occurred on a regular basis.

One can get the impression today from HPM, that marijuana is a public health threat, just like masturbation was purported to be in my high school days. One difference though, is there is nothing anecdotal about teen marijuana use. Hard scientific numbers indicate teens use marijuana whether it is legal or not. There is no radical difference in teen use in either legal or illegal states. In urban areas, some under age youngsters emulate 'gangsta' rap and hip hop artists, who extol the excitement of giving a middle finger to "the man" by smoking illegal weed.

According to its last finance report filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, HPM is almost exclusively funded by Alexandria, VA  based "Project SAM" (Safe Alternatives to Marijuana) to the tune of $275K. Much of the money has gone to pay consulting fees and salaries.

Project SAM is headed by Bahia religious devotee Kevin Sabet and former US Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

The Bahia religion does not look kindly upon cannabis use and the Kennedy family is the stuff of legend when it comes to bouts with alcohol, drugs and womanizing. Patrick Kennedy is the son of the late Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy. He is now in recovery from substance abuse.

Will Project SAM and Mr. Richardville's efforts prove successful in nipping legal marijuana in the bud when it goes to the voters this November? Time will tell, but at this juncture the odds are not good.

The massive turnout by Michigan Democrats in the August primary stunned many political observers. It was the biggest Democrat turnout since 1978. Self identified Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support cannabis legalization. Republican support for legalization is in the mid 40% range, give or take give a point or two. Self identified Trump supporters have  consistently polled in favor of legalization by roughly 50%. In recent weeks, President Trump himself declared the marijuana question should be left to the individual states to decide for themselves.

If the August primary numbers hold in November; some HPM warriors might be doing some heavy drinking to dull the pain, when the votes come in the evening of November 6th.

Free The Weed 91 - by John Sinclair

Hi everybody, and highest greetings from Detroit, where the City Council and its comrades in the police bureaucracy and the ecclesiastical community continue to make life miserable for the cannabis community despite the voters’ overwhelming support for legalization and unfettered distribution of the sacrament. Since 2016, the City authorities have disenfranchised 283 established medical marijuana distribution centers and will allow only 75 to reopen legally if they can also qualify and pay the exorbitant costs attendant to state recognition.

I’ve said it before but this remains the stupidest and most backward thing I’ve ever seen the City of Detroit do. This place is a wreck. The City of Detroit encompasses miles of empty lots and fields where there used to be homes and working businesses and, where there is still housing standing, intact and functioning homes are surrounded by destroyed and abandoned houses.

The white people are creating a new city for themselves in a 3-mile stretch along Woodward Avenue from the Detroit River to Grand Boulevard, but other than that the city has been left to ruination—except for the resurgence in neighborhood business centered on the marijuana provisioning facilities that sprang up in response to the demand from marijuana patients for places to secure their medication.

Did the City Council celebrate the opening of 283 new businesses within the city limits? Did they do everything they could to make sure the businesses flourished andothersopened to meet increased demand for medicinal marijuana? Did they offer assistance and financial aid to new businesses trying to establish themselves in this exciting new field?

Of course not! They reached into their standard ignorance bag and continued to trot out the bullshit about the dangers of marijuana use and its deleterious effect on the city’s neighborhoods. But we’re going to hear a lot more of this horseshit in the next three months leading up to the vote on marijuana legalization in November, and not just from the Insane Clown Posse that forms the Detroit City Council.

In fact, there are a lot of insane clowns in charge of marijuana policy and law enforcement, including the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the grotesquely-named Coalition to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools. Good luck with that!

These people are patently out of their minds, but they’ve been peddling their fantasies for a long time and backing them up with all the power of the armed forces of law and order. Early on, the first commissioner of narcotics, a thug trained by J. Edgar Hoover named Harry J. Anslinger, adopted the American version of a social manipulation tactic pioneered by Adolph Hitler and his propagandist Josef Goebbels called the BIG LIE in order to advance his campaign to illegalize marijuana and subject marijuana users to extreme legal harassment and punishment.

The BIG LIE technique starts with inventing a massive untruth and proclaiming it via official media as true fact, then repeating it as often as possible with no deviation from the assertion until the public is convinced that the lie is true. This is the basic strategy of the current government led by Resident Rump, who has brought the strategy of the BIG LIE to unprecedented heights. The bigger the lie, the more strenuous his efforts to sell it to the public as the truth.

Can you imagine the present of the United States describing the news media as the “enemy of the people”? Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that the present-day owners of the news media are enemies of the people, but they’re also the backers of the Rump and the blatantly criminal Republican Party which has made the BIG LIE into its basic modus operandi.

As I write this Resident Rump’s campaign manager and personal attorney have both been convicted of felonies perpetrated in Rump’s behalf. He can call this “False News” all he wants to and shout about a “Witch Hunt,” but the BIG LIE of the Rumps is about to go the way of his role model, the Fuhrer, straight into the ashcan of history—just like the phony marijuana laws.

I want to air a personal beef here in my column this month, something I rarely do but believe in this case to be well warranted. They say there’s another High Times Cannabis Cup coming up in September at the Auto City Speedway in Clio, just outside of my home town of Flint, Michigan.

I don’t know if High Times has purchased this site or just laid claim to it on a temporary basis, but they sponsor several big-time cannabis events there each year now. I can’t image how great the take is but it starts with a $20 parking fee and goes from there.

You may or may not know but the fact is that I am the founder of the marijuana legalization movement in Michigan, going back to January 1965. I suffered three marijuana convictions, served prison sentences of six months and 2-1/2 years for marijuana possession, challenged the constitutionality of the narcotics laws—weed was legally classified as a narcotic in those days—and overturned the Michigan Marijuana laws on appeal in March 1972.

I was a founder of the Hash Bash and spearheaded the successful effort to replace the state marijuana laws with a $5 fine for any marijuana offense in Ann Arbor by act of the City Council. I organized the first statewide Michigan Marijuana Initiative and worked as a lobbyist for NORML in an effort to pass a legalization bill in the Michigan legislature in 1977. I helped inspire a guy named Tom Forcade, an outspoken member of the White Panther Party (which I co-founded and served as Chairman) and successor to my comrade Bob “Righteous” Rudnick as coordinator of the Underground Press Syndicate, to start a magazine called High Times that was named after an MC5 album.

I wrote for High Times over the years and, in 1998, I was invited to preside over the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, where I was advised by Cannabis Cup mastermind Steven Hager that I was to be the one and only High Priest of the Cannabis Cup for all time. When High Times sponsored its first Medical Cannabis Cup in Detroit I was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of my many years of effort on behalf of legalization.

I hate to blow my own horn, but these things are part of the history of marijuana legalization in Michigan, which is just about to become a reality. What pisses me off is that the money grubbers from High Times can come to my home town and throw their celebrations without giving me a nod of recognition or even inviting me to attend, let alone engage me professionally to participate as an activist, commentator, panelist, poet and performer who serves the marijuana movement in these roles all over the western world.

You know, I don’t really care if I go to their so-called Cannabis Cup or not, but it’s just not right to come here and piss in my face. There’s an old concept from the early days of marijuana smoking in our culture that we learned from centuries of practice by people everywhere, called “honoring the local gods.” All I want is my props.Free The Weed!

August 21-22, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.


September is officially here, which means we are 2 months away from what many of us in Michigan have been patiently, yet eagerly waiting for, the opportunity to vote yes on the Legalization of Cannabis in Michigan!! As excited as we all are for that, and as certain as many of us are that this will pass, I’m going to take this opportunity to remind everyone of our readers, that November is only the beginning, and its not over when the voting is. I’m sure some of you are probably wondering what it is exactly I’m talking about, let me break it down to all those concerned cannabis lovers.

First, lets just take a very quick path down memory lane. In 2008, Michigan voters overwhelmingly supported and passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. In the 10 years since, its been smooth sailing for some of Michigan, and nothing but rough waters and raids in other areas. With the gray areas of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act constantly being abused by police to raid, arrest, and confiscate items of value with asset forfeiture, we needed change. Fortunately, not only did we see the problems with the law, many politicians did as well. As more discussions happened, bills were crafted and progress was in motion. Granted many of us think they should’ve been able to promulgate a program and laws regarding provisioning centers much sooner, we finally had a new baby born into Michigan by the name of the MMFLA.

The MMFLA, or the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, is what we are dealing with in Michigan today, and will be for at least a couple more years. The MMFLA is the current law that allows applicants to apply for a license in one of 5 areas as long as you get past all the requirements, the 5 areas of course being provisioning centers, processing centers, cultivation facilities, testing facilities, and secure transport companies. Even when you factor in board member Don Bailey’s obvious bias and obstructionism, we’re still heading in the right direction. I’d just like to remind all of you, just because we’re heading in the direction of the finish line, doesn’t mean we’re going to make it there. The MMFLA doesn’t just allow for people to invest and apply for licenses if they are qualified applicants. You can invest and begin the buildouts, but you better make sure the locals are going to approve because your local municipality must opt in before you can even begin to think about launching your dream business in your town. Lets look into that a bit shall we. There are over 100 municipalities that have opted in to the MMFLA. That doesn’t sound to bad, until you put into perspective that there are 276 cities, 257 villages, and 1,240 townships. That’s less that 10% of the state opting in. Another thing I hear a lot is, “Who cares, we’re legalizing in November and none of this will matter, including Bailey and his board”. Those statements are what inspired me to write this article, its not that simple. Legalization is polling solid at 60+ percent approval and 70+ percent recognition. I as well as you, believe this will pass by a solid majority. The problem is, in order for you to truly experience the liberation of this plant and see it as we want, available for sale without miles and miles of travel to do so, your community must not only opt into the MMFLA, they then need to readdress the topic after November and opt into the recreational program as well. Of course you’ll be able to grow no matter where you are, but if things stayed as they are today, less than 10% of Michigan municipalities would be taking advantage of this opportunity.

So when I say there is more to it than voting yes, there really is. As many of you know, I used to own Cloud 45 in Gaylord, MI. We were shut down prior to the MMFLA going into effect. Since then, Gaylord has opted out, ignoring the will of the voters in that community. They not only opted out, the county commissioners of Otsego, where Gaylord is located, made a resolution to stating the people of Otsego are against recreational marijuana. That is so far from the truth. The resolution is included for you to read, lies printed to not only scare the public, but this resolution is being sent around to all the counties in MI trying to get them all to oppose legalization. The reefer madness is alive and strong, they actually claim that marijuana emergency room trips are exceeding those for heroin, link marijuana to suicide, and claim it’s the number one thing teenagers seek treatment for. Crazy right, I thought so too.

So where does that leave us and what is it that we must do to make sure we see this dream become a reality? We continue working together and striving for the results we want to see. Grand Rapids was a hot topic for a while, they didn’t want to opt in, the people got organized and were going to petition for an opt in. They didn’t even need to because Grand Rapids realized what was going to happen, had talks and meetings with the public, and decided to listen to the people and opt in. Gaylord and many communities choose to ignore the people and run the agenda of a few select elected officials. Its not going to work. A provisioning center opened last week in Gaylord, where they opted out, no meds in the building yet. What they do have in the building is the next best thing, a petition for Gaylord residents to sign to get the horrible decision of opting out taken away from the biased officials, and put to the voters in March. Upon gathering enough signatures and getting it to the ballot, it will easily pass in that community. Heres the problem, will Gaylord then opt into recreational next year or just allow medical and give recreational the same problems they have given medical? My guess is the later.

When rec passes, your community must have opted in to the MMFLA to opt into the rec market the following year. The only people able to apply for the first two years are those who have been given a MMFLA license. The BMMR board will definitely be a factor for a while to come. So how do we ensure the Michigan people get what we want after legalization? We don’t stop showing up to the ballot boxes. We stay informed, have discussions with our local officials, and see how they feel and how they will vote. If your community opts out, or if your community opts in to the MMFLA, but not into the RMLA, (regulate marihuana like alcohol) get out and vote for the challenger. If there isn’t a challenger, follow my former business partner from Cloud 45’s example, and run yourself. Al Witt ran and won a spot on city council. If they won’t listen to your voice, become the voice.


Cannibals of Freedom - Remember, Remember! The 6th of November - By Daniel L. Price Esq.

On November 6th, an initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use is on the Michigan ballot.  Essentially, if passed by the voters, anyone over 21 years old will be able to grow up to 12 plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, without fear of prosecution.  A win for marijuana users and the right to self-determination?  Perhaps.

If passed, thousands of Michigan law enforcement agencies will experience huge dollar losses.  In Kent County alone, the total expected costs for its narcotics team, KNET was estimated to be $542,238 for 2015.  Yet, the county would only pay $26,274 for those costs.  It’s important to understand the budget is prepared a year in advance.  Kent County set in place a quota system to make up the $418,258 difference. In other words, KNET’s budget “required” KNET to make arrests and take property to raise approximately 95.4% of its budget.  Now, if we are talking nearly ½ million for one drug enforcement team, we are likely talking BILLIONS in losses for all enforcement agencies throughout Michigan. 

Is it surprising that law enforcement agencies are worried about legalizing marijuana?  They talk about harm to kids and increasing crime to gin up fear.  But make no mistake, it’s “all about the Benjamins”!  After decades of the trillion dollar war on drugs (freedom), marijuana is no less available than it was when the parasites made it illegal.  But worse, it cost an untold number of broken lives and families, and severe harm to children.

The things that did change as a result of the drug laws (war on freedom), include a dramatic increase in money taken from citizens to feed parasites in government.  Another change was the increase of government’s power over the individual.  Yet another was that enforcement of drug laws harmed the life, liberty and property of those who use marijuana.  But more, it steals income and freedom from those who do not use marijuana in order to feed government parasites.  Violent crime also increased by the government created violent gangs and drug cartels who also steal from, rape, and murder adults and children.

But who’s the big winners if recreational marijuana is approved by voters?  All those hoping to “cash in” and make substantial government granted monopoly profits.  This includes all those who positioned themselves to obtain permission to grow, harvest, process, and sell marijuana under the new law.  Even more, this is at the expense of those to be excluded from the market by government regulation.  Government parasites are winners too, because the law requires a 10% excise sales tax, licensing fees, and other added costs that YOU will be “forced” to pay.  And, of course, law enforcement wins too!

I can hear people say, “What do I care?  At least I won’t have to fear prosecution”. Think again!  Here’s the government’s playbook.  Goal: Increase size of government to increase control over individuals.  Feed people propaganda about a group or product (marijuana), to instill fear to get them to demand action.  A simple majority of people vote for or accept laws making the product illegal, requiring growth at all levels of government.  More laws are then enacted to allow the taking of money and property from those convicted of crimes under those laws.  When enough people begin to realize that their freedom is being denied, and/or get tired of the devastation created by those laws, they begin to speak out.  Government continues the propaganda and gets people to believe they can have the “privilege” of doing that which they have a right to do.  But first they get you to beg to be taxed in ever increasing amounts to keep the Benjamins flowing to parasites in government.  Government being many steps ahead, creates a system to take DNA samples on highways to bust people for driving while impaired by “legal” marijuana.  They also make it a crime to refuse to give up your DNA without a warrant.  The money lost in enforcement of the war on freedom continues to flow to government, because “stoned” driving arrests will skyrocket.  Of course, it’s not because more people will drive with THC in their bodies, but because of law enforcement’s increased focus on marijuana arrests.  Never mind that there’s no legitimate test to determine if someone is impaired by marijuana, or that countless law enforcement personnel will commit fraud and perjury to get those arrests.  The goal is achieved.

I write this poem in honor of Guy Fawkes: Remember, Remember! The 6th of November, the treason to reason, freedom and pot.  By false claim of harm, to increase control over the lot; Parasitic privilege instead of freedom, of which many are mindful of not.  For this I know of no reason why this treason should ever be forgot! 
(Original poem by Guy Fawkes the 5th of Nov.)

Adieu for now.
& of course, 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.

Grow Tip - Top 10 Tips for Terrific Crops

1 Light Supplements

One of the best uses of power when growing indoors is employing fluorescent bulbs to supplement your lighting. Fluorescent lights, such as T-5s or CFLs (compact fluorescents) not only offer some of the best light spectrum for plants, they also are very efficient with electricity usage and emit very little heat. Additionally, fluorescents can be placed lower on side walls to better penetrate the garden canopy and effectively get light to the middle-third of your plants.

2 Proper Genetics

Good cannabis genetics is everything. Give a grower a 1K HID and bad genetics and I will show you a grower who has fared far better with fluorescents and good genetics. Give a grower a 1K HID with good genetics and they are superman. Behind every stunning grow, breathtaking bud photograph, every unbelievably gorgeous dazzling bag of bud, every memorable cannabis experience, is someone who paid for good genetics to begin with. A thousand dollar grow room is ineffective without the right DNA put into it.

3 Sparkling Clones

I discovered the benefits of sparkling water a few years ago as another grower’s tip and have never seen anyone else mention using it. Purchase yourself a bottle of sparkling mineral water for your clones. Fresh cuttings off a mother plant crave the tiny carbonated bubbles and the essential minerals. Placing your fresh cuttings in a cup of mineral water before using your cloning solution will make your clones root faster and increase survival rates. Make sure you grab the unflavored sparkling water as its pure and clean. Bubbles are a happy sound to the plants and they will soon show their approval with quick abundant roots.

4 Grow Organic

Save time and money in the grow room, “Go Organic”. Not only will you save time and money but it will also help lessen your carbon footprint and provide you with higher quality cannabis that burns properly. Go green = Grow green. We already have an over-dependence on petrochemicals so why pour fertilizers made of these substandard ingredients on our plants. I say no!  Grow organic it won’t only change your grow room it will change your life.

5 Transitional Feeding

Plants don’t need flowering food until you’ve got flowers forming. Keep plants on full strength vegetative nutrients through the first week of flowering for indicas and second week for sativas. Then combine both veg and bloom for a week, before going to straight bloom.
6 Green Light
It’s important to catch pests, infestations and molds early and act immediately. Powdery mildew on foliage surfaces and insect secretions can be difficult to see under your bright grow light.  However they can be seen at night with a green headlight or a UVB light. Mildew and poop appear to glow under a UVB light on plant leaves..Take a look!

7 Stay Organized

Make your own footprints in the path of growing, but allow the wealth of knowledge that is already out there to be your guide. Don’t get stuck in your own methods. Too much pride in your growing style, or fear of failure, will limit you. Your plants are what you make them. A perpetual harvest cycle allows you to individualize your techniques for each plant’s specific nutrient and water needs. Organization lends less work, change one thing at a time and have patience. When you find something worth sharing, keep the growing community alive and don’t bogart your knowledge. Pass that stuff around.

8 Plant Lift

The best advice ever given to me was from granny who taught me to pick up the pots on her patio to feel the weight of the plants before watering to avoid overwatering. Always listen to your plants. They’ll tell you when they need more food, water or air. Treat them as the living wonderful beings that they are, and they will reward you with a wonderful crop.

9 Super Cropping

Pinching, twisting, and bending the tops of plants are all forms of super-cropping. Doing this benefit your plants, garden and growing space considerably by preventing plant stretching and waste of valuable space and light. Super-cropping can be performed during almost any stage of a plant’s life, from well-rooted and established clones all the way into the middle stage of flowering (although bending is preferable to pinching at that time). If you haven’t tried some form of super cropping, try a few of these techniques and see what works best for you and your plants

10 All You Need is Patience

The thing that was hardest to learn and I wish I still had more of, is patience. You can never have enough of it when you’re growing, and you need even more when you’re curing your herb. Don’t rush the process, let it grow, let it dry.  Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it green.

Health & Science - September 2018

Endocannabinoid Deficiency a cause for Fibromyalgia?

It’s taken some time, but over the decades, the medical community has finally recognized fibromyalgia as a physical disorder, but have only speculated as to its underlying cause.

In many medical marijuana approved states, fibromyalgia is the most common disorder of those who have applied for a card. Medical cannabis has been anecdotally shown to reduce many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia including pain, fatigue, sleep problems, digestive problems and mental fog.

Desperate fibromyalgia sufferers are turning to medical cannabis as a last resort and have been ecstatic with the results. Many patients have been incapacitated by fibromyalgia, unable to get out of bed, let alone work, have resumed activities that they never expected to do again in their lives, including working and exercising. It has been literally a “life saver” for many.

The question is why does cannabis seem to work so well? The answer, according to Dr. Ethan Russo, medical director of PHYTECS, is that those who have fibromyalgia suffer from Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED). When you replenish the depleted endocannabinoid system with the necessary cannabinoids, the symptoms disappear.

Think of it in similar terms of someone with a Vitamin B deficiency feeling much better after taking supplements. For those who have studied the endocannabinoid system (ECS), you will know that its main function is to help the body maintain homeostasis.  When the body is in homeostasis, it is free from disease.

The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors, C1 and C2, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, nerves, the stomach and other organs. It also controls many of our physiological processes such as pain, mood, memory and appetite. Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, similiar to those in cannabis. That keeps our ECS functioning properly. When the endocannabinoids are depleted, we experience disorder and disease.

Those with severe fibromyalgia know, only too well, all the symptoms of this disorder. Pain is typically the worst, coupled with incapacitating fatigue. Irritable bowel syndrome and migraine are also very common symptoms. Russo is convinced that this is an indication of ECS deficiency. He purposed this theory as far back as 2001.

Recent research studies support this theory with evidence of cannabis usage decreasing pain, improving sleep and relieving gastric distress.

CED is based on the theory that there is a link between brain disorders and neurotransmitter deficiencies. Think dopamine shortage with Parkinson’s disease and serotonin and norepinephrine with depression. The best evidence for the CED theory is from an Italian migraine study. The results showed reduced levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid, in the cerebrospinal fluid of chronic migraines sufferers versus healthy control subjects.

The ECS is known to regulate the transportation of food in the digestive tract as well as the release of digestive juices to break down food and inflammation. CED would account for digestive disorders like IBS which almost always accompany fibromyalgia.

There is much anecdotal evidence but little research evidence to substantiate Dr. Russo’s theory. He would like to conduct randomized controlled trials to prove or disprove the existence of CED. MRI and PET scans may one day by able to detect endocannabinoid levels in patients. That would allow a comparison of endocannabinoid levels in fibromyalgia patients versus healthy control subjects. That possibility may not be far away.


How CBD Can Help with Anxiety

For decades, CBD has drawn increasing interest for its effects on the nervous system. We tend to hear a lot about CBD in the context of treating epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain. But there’s also the potential for treating a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, from trauma and depression to stress and anxiety. In this guide, we lay out the case for using CBD for anxiety. We also discuss how to dial in the best CBD oil dosage for anxiety symptoms, and explore the best CBD oil for anxiety relief.

Anxiety is a broad term that covers a whole spectrum of feelings and experiences, from everyday worries and fears about life’s many challenges to the crippling apprehension of triggering situations. Left over from our evolutionary past, anxiety responses are hardwired into our neurons, as part of the adaptive systems that kept our ancestors alive. Transplanted into the complexities of social and civic life, those responses find all kinds of new outlets. And for many, those responses can quickly tip over into a disorder.

What Does CBD Have in Common With Prescription Anxiety Drugs?
Fortunately, numerous scientific studies—mostly on animals, but some on humans—have demonstrated that CBD can produce anxiolytic or anxiety-reducing effects. That’s because CBD appears to modulate the same systems in the brain as prescription anti-anxiety medications like Prozac and Xanax.

Currently, treatments for anxiety do two things. First, they can help increase serotonin levels in the brain by inhibiting the brain’s ability to reabsorb serotonin. This improves mood. Or, they can stimulate the brain to produce new neurons in the hippocampus, where neurogenesis has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.

A 2013 study in Current Neuropharmacology demonstrated the link between cannabidiol and neurogenesis in humans. And a 2016 animal study showed that CBD can produce a fast-actingantidepressant and anti-anxiety effect by stimulating serotonin transmission in the brain.

Read on to find out how to find the best CBD oil for anxiety specifically. Then, take a look at our rundown of the dosages to try for different types of anxiety.

How to Find The Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
The most important thing is to remember that the best CBD oil for anxiety contains no THC. Regardless of your sensitivity to THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, if you’re trying to treat anxiety, could take you in the wrong direction.

So check out high-quality CBD oils derived from hemp. Hemp plants produce exceptionally high quantities of cannabidiol with negligible (and often legal) levels of THC.

You can also take advantage of the calming properties of various essential oils in your CBD oil. Many CBD products contain infusions of other plant oils for fragrance and flavor. Some of the best CBD oil for anxiety, therefore, also contains lavender, cinnamon, spearmint, or other calming essences that can increase the anxiety-reducing effects of your CBD product.

Finding The Right CBD Oil Dosage For Anxiety
Anxiety exists on a spectrum, from everyday anxiousness and apprehension at major events or challenges to debilitating disorders. For this reason, no single CBD dose can address all anxieties. Furthermore, the studies on using CBD oil for anxiety have exclusively looked at “acute” dosing or dosing as needed. Unfortunately, that means there isn’t much data on using CBD oil daily or regularly to treat anxiety.

Try A Low CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety Caused By Everyday Social Interactions

If you’re looking for relief from generalized anxiety or social anxiety that’s not interfering with your normal activities, using a low CBD dose is likely all you’ll need. To quickly achieve the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol, take a few breaths off a CBD vape cartridge. If you’ve got a long day of stresses ahead, choosing a CBD edible might be a better choice, as the effects are usually less short-lived than vaping.

Use a Medium to High CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety Disorders Like OCD and Panic Attacks
For more severe, acute attacks of anxiety and panic, take a larger dose of CBD. This will ensure that the cannabidiol will both inhibit serotonin absorption and increase serotonin signaling. CBD’s bodily effects will also kick in more noticeably. Often, bodily symptoms like tightness or soreness can trigger or exacerbate anxiety and panic. The overall calming effect of CBD can help eliminate this stress in the body, too.

Take More Frequent, High CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety Related to PTSD

For extreme anxiety disorders, like PTSD, more frequent CBD oil doses may be helpful. Start with a medium to high CBD oil dosage for anxiety of this kind and work up to achieve your desired results.  Fortunately, the safety profile of cannabidiol is very good, and much lower than prescription anti-anxiety drugs.

To sum up, CBD is broadly useful for treating a variety of neuropsychiatric problems. And the best CBD oil for anxiety offers a safe and effective alternative medicine for treating many kinds of anxiety. Experiment with different CBD products and CBD oil dosage for anxiety relief tailored to your needs.

MMMR Recipe - Cannabis Infused Baklava

This Cannabis Infused Baklava recipe is a perfect blend of Weed Butter brushed on each and every layer of this incredible Mediterranean ambrosia. Sweetened with honey and full of nuts in a crisp/flaky pastry.


• 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
• 2 cups chopped nuts
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
• 1/2 cup of Cannabis Butter AKA The Best Weed Butter Ever
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup hot water
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon of lemon zest


Take the phyllo dough out of the freezer 2 hours prior to preheating the oven, or refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter or oil the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish.
Chop nuts finely and toss with cinnamon. Set aside.
Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered.
Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 – 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla, honey, and lemon zest. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

World News - September 2018

Facebook Blocking ALL Cannabis Related Pages 

Facebook - is well-known for not being particularly marijuana-friendly, whether that's by hiding posts about cannabis or straight up banning accounts associated with it. But now it seems they've taken it even further.

Several people have found out that Facebook has shadow banned almost all pages related to marijuana. This means that when you search "marijuana" almost no results show up even though there are tons of pages related to it. You can still find these pages if you have know their URL and they still exist, but they won't show up in search results on the world's most popular social media website.

And there doesn't seem to be any criteria for this shadow ban. Everything from marijuana fan pages to cannabis businesses to even the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, a government agency that regulates marijuana in the state, are all not showing up in Facebook search results.  Facebook has even gone as far as disabling The MMM Report page, more than once.

The question is why is Facebook doing this. There's perhaps some bizarre justification where they could claim that allowing these pages would constitute helping criminal enterprises since marijuana is illegal at the federal level in the United States. However, they aren't banning these pages. They're simply preventing anyone from discovering them.

Facebook has not yet commented on their justification for these bans. But if they ever do comment, we doubt it will be a great justification.


Mariana Islands Vote To Legalize Marijuana

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-
Legislators in the CNMI is a U.S. territory, have approved a bill to legalize marijuana.

By a margin of 18 - 1, with one abstention, the CNMI House of Representatives passed the legislation, which would end cannabis prohibition for adults over 21 and create a system of taxed and regulated sales. It would also allow medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

In May, the Senate approved a similar marijuana legalization bill. That proposal initially cleared a committee in the House, but its advancement was later brought to a halt in response to procedural concerns that revenue-generating legislation must originate in the House. After first making some changes to the Senate bill, House lawmakers ended up filing a new proposal of their own last week, which won approval by the full chamber on Wednesday morning.

"The people of the CNMI recognize that the prohibition of marijuana has been terribly misguided and harmful, and our leaders are in touch with the public's sentiment on this issue," Lawrence Duponcheel of Sensible CNMI said in a statement. "Today, members of the CNMI House of Representatives showed their commitment to honoring the will of the people."

If the bill is enacted, CNMI will become the first U.S. jurisdiction to go directly from outlawing marijuana across the board to allowing recreational use. The territory has no existing medical cannabis program, something that has been a precursor to broader legalization in a growing number of states.

It will also be the first to legalize a system of regulated cannabis production and sales through an act of lawmakers rather via a ballot measure. The eight U.S. states with legal recreational marijuana commerce have enacted those programs through decisions of voters at the ballot box. Lawmakers in a ninth state, Vermont, earlier this year passed a law to legalize marijuana possession and home cultivation, but the policy does not allow for any form of cannabis commerce.

"States that have set up regulated markets for marijuana with time, age, and place of sale restrictions, product testing, labeling, and other precautions relative to providing a safe product for responsible adult consumers, have observed real and significant benefits to public health, safety, and quality of life for all residents," the CNMI bill's findings section states.

Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is in our best interest to move marijuana into a regulated and controlled market for responsible adult personal use, allowing for the creation of jobs and the capturing of a new revenue stream that can be used to fund public safety programs, public school infrastructure and programs, supporting the retirement fund, and other government and social programs, such as drug abuse treatment; furthermore, providing an effective alternative medicine for those suffering from medical conditions; and allowing for the development of an industrial hemp industry here in the CNMI."

The CNMI Senate is now expected to take up the House-passed legalization bill.
Gov. Ralph Torres (R) has expressed some concerns about legalization.

“In the nine states that have legalized marijuana, have we seen an increase in crime?” he asked. “If there is, what is the nature of these crimes? We should look at this and other things. I am concerned about public safety issues.”

It is not clear whether he would sign or veto the bill if it reaches his desk.


Ice Cream Chain Pushes Cannabis Flavored Scoops

Israel- Though Vaniglia's new flavor 'tastes like the aroma' of marijuana, those seeking a high should look elsewhere.

The Vaniglia ice cream chain is popular in Israel for offering over 60 flavors. It recently added a notable new one to its roster: cannabis.

The Israeli chain, which has over a dozen locations, has sold the flavor in stores since March.

Sadly for stoners, the ice cream doesn’t contain any THC, the active psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. The only part of the cannabis plant harnessed in the recipe is terpenes, or aromatic oil that gives the green leafy drug its unique smell. The rest of the flavor comes from a mix of specific herbs and nuts that chain founder Itay Rogozinsky identified by good old trial and error.

“People don’t know what cannabis tastes like because people don’t eat marijuana. To create a cannabis-flavor for ice cream, I studied the marijuana plant and learned about its different terpenes and aromas,” Rogozinsky told the Israeli innovation website NoCamels. “I then created an ice cream that, in my opinion, tastes like the aroma of cannabis.”

He went on to describe the taste as “nutty” and polarizing — customers either love it or hate it.
As Emerald Report points out, Rogozinsky isn’t the only one churning out cannabis-flavored ice cream. Some stores, like The Hop in Asheville, North Carolina, infuse cannibidiol, or CBD oil, into their new ice creams. CBD oil is used in medicines for its calming and other therapeutic effects — without inducing the high that THC produces.

Others, such as the store Drip in Portland, Oregon, and the Cann Eye Dream brand based in California, have gone a step further and added THC into the mixture.

But for those looking simply for the cannabis flavor without the high, Rogozinsky’s iteration seems to stand out.

“I don’t like gimmicks,” he told Emerald Report. “My goal was to create an ice cream that tasted like the aroma of cannabis. I sourced natural ingredients and created a number of blended profiles. … I’m very proud of the product.”

National News - September 2018

1st Year of Cannabis Sales Higher than Expected

 Nevada- Regulators and industry insiders say the state’s first year of broad marijuana legalization has exceeded even their highest expectations, with sales and tax collections already surpassing year-end projections by 25 percent.

Numbers from June are still outstanding but are expected to push taxable sales past $500 million, netting total tax revenue in the neighborhood of $70 million, with about $25 million devoted to schools.

A legal battle over distribution licenses made for a rocky start last July, but Nevada’s $195 million in sales for the first six months dwarfed the totals in Washington state ($67 million) and Colorado ($114 million) for the first half-year of legal sales in those states in 2014. And so far, there’s no sign legal sales that began in California on Jan. 1 have cut into business in neighboring Nevada, regulators say.
State Sen. Tick Segerblom (D), a Las Vegas who helped lead the legalization effort, added the “biggest surprise has been that there’ve been no surprises.”

But not all the reviews are glowing.

Some medical marijuana patients insist they were better off before Nevada legalized recreational pot. Tourists still have nowhere to legally smoke the drug, at least for now, and opponents remain skeptical of the impact on children.

The 10 percent retail tax levied only on recreational sales goes to the state’s rainy day fund, a total of $26.5 million through May. Money raised from the 15 percent wholesale tax applicable to medical use as well, about $24 million through May, goes to schools, but not until about one-third is used to cover local and state administrative costs.

That means about $25 million in wholesale revenue anticipated for the first full year of sales will be shared by schools in Nevada’s 17 counties based on enrollment, with $17 million likely headed to Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County and $8 million divided among the rest, perhaps $5 million for Washoe County, including Reno and Sparks.

 “People have a huge misconception that we are going to build libraries and roads and all kinds of things with this marijuana money,” Hartman said. “But in reality, these are tiny, tiny numbers.”
Segerblom and others think the figures will grow, especially when local governments start using their authority to license smoking lounges or other public places for marijuana consumption. Currently, the only legal places are private residences in the state that attracts nearly 50 million tourists annually.
The Las Vegas City Council initially backed off such a move, waiting for places like Colorado to test the waters. But it recently resumed accepting public comment on the matter, and Segerblom thinks the city will move that direction following November’s elections.

The biggest criticism has come from the medical marijuana community. Broad legalization has resulted in dispensaries stocking fewer higher-potency products that cannot be sold for recreational use, critics say.

“I know people complain about the medical, that there has been less availability,” Segerblom said. “That is one of those things that is going to have to work its way through the system. With the recreational sales, there should be more money available for all kinds of products.”

Mona Lisa Samuelson, a leading advocate of medicinal marijuana, said legalization of recreational use “may be the very worst thing to happen to our medical marijuana patients.”

“Unfortunately, more money isn’t making the marijuana industry any kinder or more thoughtful,” she said. “Since recreational sales now far outweigh medical marijuana’s profitability, the patients’ concerns carry no political weight.”

Trouble Finding Producers for Cannabis Edibles Market

Ohio- It appears, is having some difficulty scrounging up enough reputable cannabis companies to produce a variety of pot products for the state’s medical marijuana program. The Ohio Department of Commerce recently issued its first round of processor licenses, approving only 7 out of 104 applicants. The state says the majority of the businesses interested in producing marijuana–infused oils and treats did not meet the minimum requirements. So now, it’s back to drawing board.

This means there are still several opportunities for stand-up cannabis operations to get in on the ground floor of the Buckeye bud scene. The state is permitted to grant 40 processor licenses during the initial round. The approved processors will be responsible for manufacturing and distributing cannabis-infused brownies, creams, patches and other non smoke-able forms of the herb to local dispensaries.

This licensing snag is just another in a cluster of missed opportunities. Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been struggling to get off the ground since voters slapped it with their seal of approval in November 2016.

Just two months ago, state officials confirmed that the medical marijuana program would not be launched at the beginning of September like it was supposed to be. Incidentally, this is the cutoff for when the law mandates the program be “fully operational.”

Still, there is no word yet on how much the Commerce Department’s latest licensing debacle will set the program back. The seven approved cannabis processors -- Ohio Grown Therapies, LLC; Fire Rock Processing Ltd; Ohio Green Grow LLC; Greenleaf Therapeutics, LLC; Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals, LLC; Standard Farms Ohio LLC; and Corsa Verde LLC -- have all been issued provisional licenses.

They now have six months to build their facilities and pass the state’s health and safety standards before they can be cleared for an operating license. This means while it is possible that medical marijuana patients might be able to get their hands on plant forms of the medicine for vaping purposes by fall, it could be early 2019 before they are able to purchase edibles and topicals.

It is easy to see why the Ohio cannabis industry is so frustrated with the state’s lag and drag. The application fee for both standalone and vertically integrated operations is $10,000 plus an extra $90,000 operation fee. These licenses must be renewed every year at a rate of $100,000.

The state stands to rake in an estimated $23 million in taxes. Ohio has yet to publish a new launch date for the program.


Ban on Smoking Medical Marijuana

 Florida- Pointing in part to smoking-related health effects, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office on Friday filed a 57-page brief arguing that an appeals court should uphold a decision by the Legislature to ban smoking medical marijuana.

The brief, filed at the 1st District Court of Appeal, came as the state challenges a May ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers, who said the smoking ban violates a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The Legislature in 2017 passed a law to carry out the constitutional amendment and included the smoking ban. Prominent Orlando lawyer John Morgan, who heavily bankrolled the constitutional amendment, filed a lawsuit last year challenging the smoking ban. Bondi’s office Friday filed an initial brief in its attempt to overturn Gievers’ ruling. The brief raised a series of issues, including arguing that the Legislature “considered important health and safety factors” when deciding to ban smoking.

“Notably, the Legislature considered evidence of the health hazards of smoking and concluded that smoking marijuana constitutes a harmful delivery method,” the brief said.

“Time and again during debate, elected members of Florida’s Legislature emphasized that the amendment is exclusively about medicine and that smoking is antithetical to good medicine. In considering these health-related factors, the Legislature reasonably determined that the harms caused by smoking — including harms to patients and those exposed to secondhand smoke — were ample reason to exclude smoking from the statutory definition of ‘medical use.’ The Legislature, therefore, acted under its general authority to regulate public health, safety, and welfare when it drew a reasonable line between the smoking of medical marijuana and other delivery methods.”

But in her May ruling, Gievers found that language in the amendment “recognizes there is no right to smoke in public places, thereby implicitly recognizing the appropriateness of using smokable medical marijuana in private places consistent with the amendment.”

The “ability to smoke medical marijuana was implied” in the constitutional language “and is, therefore, a protected right,” Gievers wrote.

Michigan News - September 2018

Motown Limits Number of Marijuana Provisioning Centers

DETROIT- Only 75 medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to legally operate in Detroit, after the City Council voted unanimously on July 31st, to approve an ordinance that caps the number of facilities citywide and puts more regulations in place on the budding industry.

The ordinance establishes rules for five types of medical marijuana licenses, including locations where medical marijuana could be grown, tested, processed, transported and dispensed to patients with state-approved medical marijuana cards.

The ordinance also encourages prospective owners of medical marijuana facilities to offer community benefits as part of their application for approval. It also regulates how dispensaries and other related operations would be approved by the city and what size they could be.

The timing of the ordinance is crucial to about 62 dispensaries that are operating in the city under emergency rules approved by the state.

The proposed ordinance has raised concerns among some within the marijuana industry who feel it is shortsighted.

Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia previously said the new ordinance clarifies the city’s regulatory role. Garcia said the ordinance resolves some of the "confusion created by some of the misguided zoning restrictions" that were part of the ballot initiatives.

Medical Marijuana to Bring 400Jobs 

 MARSHALL- Medical marijuana is coming to Marshall (population of about 7,000) and bringing jobs with it.

Marijuana grower and processor Michigan Pure Med is planning to build a new headquarters in Marshall, creating an estimated 400 jobs over five years.

The business hopes to break ground within the next month, said Scott Fleming, Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance CEO. The space is expected to be more than 1 million square feet and is the first of a handful of medical marijuana companies looking for approval to build.

Dispensaries will not be allowed in the city, however.

Michigan Pure Med grows medical marijuana in Detroit, Hazel Park and Lansing. It also has eight dispensaries in Michigan, per its website. Marshall will have the only processing facility in the state for the company so far.

Charges Dropped for 6 Individuals in Cannabis Raid

DETROIT- All charges have been dropped for a $1 million cannabis raid that took place on May 29 in Detroit.

Judge Kenneth King of the 36th District Court dismissed the case "in the interest of fairness." Although prosecution argued that the facility where the raid took place was not licensed to grow cannabis.

No further details were released regarding the reason for case dismissal.

The six people in the case were facing charges of delivery and manufacturing of 45 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiracy to deliver or manufacture marijuana – both carrying up to 15 years in prison.

The charges were officially dropped on Tuesday, July 31.

As previously reported last month, undercover Detroit Police Officers, along with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal agents uncovered the growing operation at a warehouse at 4473 W. Jefferson Avenue.

The warehouse is owned by Al Harrington, Viola Brands co-founder and former NBA player and current BIG3 co-captain.

According to a news release, the operation holds a temporary license under the Michigan Medical Marihuanna Facilities Licensing Act, which allows for 1,500 plants.

Voters Not Politicians ON THE BALLOT

LANSING- The redistricting reform proposal will be on the ballot this November, after a majority of the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) ruled in favor of Voters Not Politician (VNP) by a 4-3 vote.

Justice David Viviano (R-backed) wrote the majority opinion issued publicly, joined by Justice Beth Clement (R-backed), and Democrat-nominated Justices Bridget McCormack and Richard Bernstein.

The majority of the MSC voted 4-3 to reject the argument brought by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce-backed Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC) that the VNP proposal was a general revision of the constitution, and not an amendment.

Viviano wrote that VNP's amendment "does not propose changes creating the equivalent of a new constitution." The majority said for the VNP proposal to be acceptable, it must not "significantly alter or abolish the form or structure of the government in a manner equivalent to creating a new constitution."

The majority argued VNP's proposed redistricting commission is "materially similar" to a commission provided for in the current constitution, and its standards used for redistricting are similar to the current ones used.

Plus, the majority wrote that the amendment "does not substantially change the powers of the three branches of government." With that, Viviano and the majority would affirm the state Court of Appeals' (COA) previous ruling that the VNP proposal passed muster and could make the ballot.
VNP celebrated the victory at the Supreme Court. "The court's decision upholds our right as citizens to petition our government for positive change," said Katie Fahey, founder and executive director of VNP, in a statement released tonight shortly after the MSC opinion became public.

VNP had opted not to ask Clement, Gov. Rick Snyder's former chief legal counsel, to recues herself after she voluntarily disclosed her tie to the wife of an attorney for CPMC, as Fahey had said the group had faith the court would hear the case fairly.

The VNP proposal, if approved by voters, would take away the drawing of Michigan's legislative and congressional districts from the state Legislature and give it to a new 13-member independent commission.

The amendment spells out the process for how those members are selected, and bars many candidates, elected officials and others connected to politics and government from serving on the commission.

The COA had thrown out the CPMC legal challenge to VNP's proposal, which led to the Board of State Canvassers (BSC) certifying the petition that had received more than 394,000 valid signatures. The group collected more than 425,000 signatures total without the use of paid circulators and in roughly four months' time. Constitutional amendments need a minimum of 315,654 valid signatures.
Besides arguing the VNP proposal was an improper general revision to the state constitution, CPMC also claimed the group had not properly relisted every section of the constitution that the proposal would change or make "wholly inoperative".

The CPMC sought leave to appeal on the COA ruling to the MSC, which granted appeal and heard oral arguments in a special session earlier this month.

The Michigan Chamber has opposed the redistricting proposal, as has Attorney General Bill Schuette, who filed an amicus brief against VNP and sent the state's solicitor general to argue against the proposal before MSC.

Legislative Democrats issued statements hailing the MSC's ruling. So did Represent.Us, a group that drew some controversy for its protest of the Chamber's opposition to the redistricting proposal
The Chamber responded by saying there would be no further legal action on this ballot proposal. The Chamber had previously endorsed both Clement and Wilder for re-election this fall.

Viviano's 57-page opinion concluded by saying the question the court took up has "broad significance for the people of this state: what limitations have they placed, in the Constitution they ratified, on their power to put forward voter-initiated amendments? This question implicates some of the oldest and most perplexing problems in political theory, such as the nature of sovereignty, republicanism, and democracy."

The opinion continued: "But it is not a judge's role to philosophize a theory of government. Rather, we are stewards of the people and must faithfully abide by the decisions they make through the laws they adopt. We accomplish this by adhering to the plain meaning of the text of those laws. Here, that approach leads us to conclude that a voter-initiated amendment . . . is permissible if it does not significantly alter or abolish the form or structure of our government, making it tantamount to creating a new constitution. VNP's proposal surpasses these hurdles and is a permissible voter-initiated amendment."