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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Detroit Marijuana Business Owners Challenge New Ordinance in the US District Court of Eastern Michigan and Gets Results!

Richard Clement  - Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

On July 12, 2016 Judge Avery Cohen of the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division agreed with plaintiffs Sons of Hemp against the City of Detroit regarding the new Medical Marijuana Ordinance 3-15. (Case# 16-11492 - Sons of Hemp v City of Detroit) The court deemed this matter appropriate for a decision without an oral argument. Judge Cohn ordered that this case be remanded back to the Wayne County Circuit Court to re-hear the plaintiff’s arguments.

The Sons of Hemp are a group of African American Marijuana Business owners in Detroit who are being adversely affected by this new ordinance going into effect. %100 of all African American owned businesses would be shut down if this ordinance was put into full effect.

Judge Cohn remanded the case back to Wayne County Circuit Court to allow the Sons of Hemp to bring up their arguments regarding their Federal and State Claims of:
  • Unconstitutional taking of property
  • Violation of equal protection laws
  • Violations of due process per U.S.C. 42 of 1983 and State Law (MCL 600.2918)
  • Violations of 1st Amendment protections from Freedom of Religion

Detroit City Attorney Eric Gaabo agreed with the plaintiffs’ claims to argue these points based on Title 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985 because the ordinance violates their right to equal protection because it treats them differently than pharmacies.  Judge Cohn concurred with the plaintiffs and remanded this case back to Wayne County Circuit Court.

It is currently legal for a caregiver to dispense medicine to their patients and transfer to other patients from any private home in Detroit. Given the unpleasant choice of conducting business in the neighborhoods, the City prefers to have the traffic on the B1-B4 Zones to keep it out of the neighborhoods.  Federal law prohibits the use of religion in the zoning of property because it violates the 1st amendment regarding religious freedom. 

The ordinance as it is written is un-constitutional and cannot be enforced in it’s current state.  The ordinance adversely affects Marijuana Business owners in Detroit with over-regulation and, it must be re-written to remove any vestiges of racial and religious discrimination. Additionally arguments regarding the use of Drug Free Zones to specifically attack Medical Marijuana businesses in Detroit can also be brought up in a State Court of Law. As it stands now, the Detroit Marijuana Ordinance is suspended until it can be re-heard in Wayne County Circuit Courtroom at a date to be named later. 

Something to Do in Detroit in August and September of 2016

By Richard C. Clement
Friends of Cushingberry

The following is a list of things to do in our City of Detroit in August 2016 and September. We have a lot of things going on to keep you busy and involved in our community.

Event Name Start  End  Beg. End. Place
Woodbridge Merrick’n Summer Aug 12 Aug 14 5pm 2am Woodbridge Pub  5169 Trumbull Ave Detroit, MI 48208
Sonora Missionary Baptist Church Back To School Picnic Aug 13 Aug 13 1pm 5pm 7738 Sylvester Detroit, MI 48214
Corktown Criterium at Roosevelt Park Aug 13 Aug 13 8am 5pm Cadieux Bicycle Club
Roosevelt Park Live Aug 13 Aug 13 4pm 10:30pm Roosevelt Park Detroit, MI 48216
African World Festival (34th Annual) Aug 19 Aug 21 11am 11pm 315 E. Warren  Detroit, MI 48202
MECCA Street Fair Aug 20 Aug 20 12pm 5pm E. Outer Drive between E. Warren and Chandler Park  Detroit MI 48224
Back To School Community Empowerment Rally Aug 20 Aug 20 12pm 4pm 8809 Schoolcraft Detroit, MI 48238
Crusin the "D" Aug 20 Aug 20 9am 9pm 8 Mile Road Palmer Park and perimeter  Detroit, MI 48203
Councilmember Spivey's Annual Family Fun Day and Community Health Fair Aug 27 Aug 27 12pm 12pm 14723 E. Warren Ave Detroit, MI 48215
Dally in the Alley Sep 10 Sep 10 11am 11pm Forest and Second Avenue Detroit, MI 48201
Detroit Mercy Midnight Bicycle Tour Sep 16 Sep 16 8pm 12am 400 W Mc Nichols Road Detroit, MI 48203

If you have any questions on any activity listed above, we recommend that you contact the event organizers.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Make Lives Matter by Showing up to Vote Early. Turn up the Turn Out this Summer in Detroit.

By  Friends of George Cushingberry  Jr.

Black Lives won’t matter if you do not show up to vote!  Councilmember Pro Tem Cushingberry is very adamant about that. If people want change they must speak up with their decision on who is going to run their government. The tragic events in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minneapolis this weekend is collateral damage of failing to engage in the direction of the leadership of your community.  

When you vote, start from the back of the ballot so that you don’t miss out on the Judges, and ballot proposals that will determine where your money is going. Voting for judges is more important than voting for Presidents and Representatives because a judge has an immediate impact on your day to day life.

Issues of self-determination, education, law enforcement, and neighborhood economic empowerment can be settled at the ballot box. For instance we have one of the best County Prosecutors in the United States in Kym Worthy because she does not tolerate any B.S. in Wayne County from anyone. Therefore, we are on a mission to turn up the turnout for in August by encouraging people to vote early at the following locations:

These locations are open right now until August 1st, from 8am to 4pm to vote early and be done with it. If you are a Michigan resident and a felon, you can vote by just showing up TO VOTE. As long as you are not physically incarcerated you can vote early and be done with it. If you are 60 years old or more, you get a free pass to vote early absentee. Others people from ages 18 to 59 can vote early too.  For people who do not live in Michigan and require a picture ID, take your cell phone and shoot a selfie with your ballot in your hand and vote like your life depended on it. 

Finally we are encouraging you to Get it Right in Black and White by declaring July 21, 2016 get out and vote early day.  The headquarters for the day will be Desmond's Elegant Affairs Lounge on 12924 Puritan Detroit MI 48227. We will be organizing and taking people to vote early at Wayne County Community College West Campus at 8100 W. Outer Drive Detroit MI 48227. 

Then enjoy the evening at the White Party with Councilmember ProTem George Cushingberry Jr. and friends for an elegant evening of networking and socializing. Come and meet candidates who are running for office in while you are enjoying the elegant service of Business Owner Desmond Gibbons that has put time, effort, and money into his business.

Mr. Gibbons is the kind of business owner that we need in the City of Detroit and we strongly encourage you to support him and other entrepreneurs like the ones on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion and many more businesses in our city.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hidden Costs in Detroit's Marijuana Ordinance May Force a Re-Write by Concerned Citizens

By Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

The Medical Marijuana Ordinance drafted by the City of Detroit will cost the taxpayers an additional $100,000 to enforce and, is in conflict with provisions of the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). The law firm of Lewis and Munday in Detroit Michigan has been awarded this contract for costs by City Council to defend an ordinance that is violation of US Constitutional 1st Amendment rights regarding the freedom to worship and practice a religious faith without persecution. The RLUIPA protects individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and land marking laws. The enforcement of this ordinance places an unlawful burden on citizens and business owners that are not members of the church or, practitioners of the religion.  This ordinance may be struck down in a Court of Law because of the 1000ft requirement from a Church or Religious institution.  A defendant may prevail before a jury of their peers based on the legal ramifications of federal law violations.

Business Owners are strongly encouraged to develop a citywide licensing plan that will be fair to everyone and, can be voted upon by all of the citizens.  This includes the use of drive through services just like Rite Aid and McDonalds, Burger King, and Walgreens. There are many examples of churches and liquor stores right next to or, across the street from each other.  There are many examples of day care centers near liquor stores, and drug free zones in Detroit. With the proliferation of charter schools, business owners will face a undue burden of having to relocate because of being near a charter school with NO regulations. The business could have been there before the school was established but, that issue does not matter according to the ordinance as written.  Concerned owners should contact the City Council and Mayors Duggan's office regarding this concern. All interested business owners are strongly encouraged to inform their customers about Jury Nullification and VOTING in August and November for candidates who will bring a sensible solution to the people on Marijuana reform.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Field Report - The Gordie Howe International Bridge Project Site Plan Review from District 2

By Richard C. Clement  - Friends of Cushingberry

In a meeting with Project Leader Timothy Miles of the DetroitEconomic Growth Corporation and Malik Goodwin of Goodwin Management Group, we discussed the progress being made on the construction and completion of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge in Southwest Detroit. The area will be forever changed and, money will be invested into restoring Historic FT Wayne as a National landmark. A Request for Quote for construction was issued by the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority who are the primary owners of the Bridge. The project is scheduled to start in 2017 and, be completed by the year 2020.  The Canadian Government is footing the entire bill at the tune of $2.5 billion dollars.  This loan is scheduled to be paid for in tolls over a 90 year period in 30 year increments.

       Coming very soon the formal request for jurisdiction of the land (Right of Way) will come before the Detroit City Council. This will enable the start of condemnation and preparing the area needed to build the bridge with Customs and a Toll Plaza for Cars and Trucks. With projects like this coming into the city, there should be a lot of opportunity for contractors to apply for these jobs and, getting a new career in the skilled trades if someone desires to. Therefore, it is imperative to elect people who will fight for workers who need jobs, can perform the duties of the job, and has the community’s best interest at heart. It is also important to have oversight over the contracts being let for this project.  If it takes a real time, online financial display of a summary balance sheet for public viewing of the project then so be it.

Windsor/Detroit Bridge Authority Org Chart

With this investment we can have our children swinging hammers on nails instead of on each other and going to jail.  The construction trades are awesome if you like to work with your hands and build things.  If there is any leftover cement, a new line of the people mover could be extended from Downtown to places like Motor City Casino all the way up the Lodge Freeway to Farmington Hills, Novi, and Wixom. After viewing the construction of the current Detroit People Mover, the raised rail along the Lodge is the way to go because it is not that difficult to build a raised rail line that rides OVER the road. The people in the Train can look at everybody stuck in traffic while they take their ride home or have to drive to work in the same direction. Councilmember Pro Tem Cushingberry is demanding that Detroit Residents get a fair shot at working on these types of projects.

Site Plan for Gordie Howe International Bridge
Detroit Side.

If we want this bridge paid for within our lifetime, then additional funding sources need to be considered.  The election of Prime Minister Justin Tredeau has changed the ballgame on Marijuana because on April 20th, 2017 recreational Marijuana will no longer be a crime. This will give an opportunity for settlement to the Ambassador Bridge Company by allowing Duty Free Cannabis sales on both sides of their Bridge with an exclusive contract between both countries. This action will allow the bridge owners to invest into replacing the 80+ year old span with a new one and pay for Gordie Howe Bridge with a one time exclusive license fee. Products imported and exported across the border made from Industrial Hemp will pay for the $2.5 billion dollar loan in 30 days instead of 90 years.  This would take one signed agreement between the Canadian Prime Minister and the President of the United States to allow trade across the border.

Otherwise we are encouraging citizens to stay abreast and be aware of opportunities for economic growth and stability with the construction of the new Gordie Howe Bridge.

Public Meeting with the Regional Transit Authority and Magic Plus Reps. June 23, 2016 @ 6pm

by The Friends of Cushingberry  

The Regional Transit Authority meetings will be holding public meetings on the master plan at various locations in the City. One of them will be on Thursday June 23rd, 2016 at the Northwest Activities Center 18100 Meyers Detroit, MI 48235 starting at 6pm. This project will create opportunity for jobs and new housing in Northwest Detroit. It is very important for Detroit residents to take notice and be a part of the solution for the future of the city.  Developers are already planning for the future now by redesigning neighborhoods and empty land like the old Michigan State Fairgrounds property. If you miss this meeting, this is the RTA Community Meetings Schedule Website Link: 

This development includes the Amtrak Rail Station as proposed by the Magic Plus/Redico LLC Development Group. This station will replace the facility on Milwaukee and Woodward which is handicapped unfriendly, and has poor access to trains.  Detroit residents should not have to travel to Dearborn to catch a long distance train to Ann Arbor, Chicago, or anywhere else. There will be state of the art Movie Theater with plush seating and reclining chairs to watch your movie.  The adjoining entertainment complex along with other major retailers and affordable housing will make this the hot spot of the City. 

Citizens will have easier access to rapid bus and light rail transportation. Southeastern Michigan along with the rest of the state is light years behind with regional and statewide transportation.  Large companies and corporations will be able to build the train cars, the rails, and build the system and employ lots of people doing new things.  One of the Big Three Automakers like Ford or GM will have to add an extra line in their plants to build rail cars.  Something like GM Bus and Rail Division with workers travelling back and forth from Detroit to Lansing, Grand Rapids and back.

Currently, The City of Detroit has over 11,000 vacant office buildings that were built for businesses that come and go frequently.  Therefore we do not need any more additional office space at the State Fairgrounds location. Dan Gilbert is doing very well in that area of office building construction. We need to build up the neighborhoods by fixing the one that we live in now in Northwest Detroit. The area of John R, Woodward from 8 mile to 6 mile, has a varying quality of life from elegant homes to squatters and heroin addicts roaming the street.  It is also a critical hub for omni-directional transportation at Woodward and 7 mile in Detroit.

The benefit to the community of this Regional Transit project is that it will provide for omni-directional transportation in Southeastern Michigan.  Detroit to Ann Arbor, Metro Airport, and back is very possible. This project must include an investment into educational institutions like Detroit Public Schools holding training programs.  Certified and qualified teachers will train students with help from Trade Union Apprentice programs that will construct homes, fix roads, and other building jobs when the project is finished. Co-Partners Earvin Johnson and Marvin Beatty has committed to hire and educate Detroit Public Schools young men and women to participate in this project.

Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry and Magic Plus/Redico members are strongly recommending that you attend and find out what is going on.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Senate Bill 207 - Roadside Saliva Test Bill Will Test the Limits of Civil Liberties Based on Flawed Theory

by Richard C. Clement - Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

      Senate Bill 207 sponsored by Michigan State Senator Rick Jones will allow a sworn police officer to require you to take a saliva test if you are sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle whether it is moving or not. It is vaguely worded so that the officer may arrest you if you test positive for the presence of marijuana in your system for operating a motor vehicle, including if the car is parked. 

Senate Bill 207 reads as follows:

Senator Rick Jones(R-24)
How do you get the job as a Drug Certification expert?  This newly created position will pay for itself by the number of stops with saliva tests and bonuses for convictions. Otherwise, this is another cash cow contract for consultants who “understand marijuana”, just like the ones who attended the Attorney General’s presentation on clearing the air regarding Medical Marijuana. Their expertise was based on research stating the Marijuana and Xanax will cause death due to a lethal combination of the two substances.

Clearly Michigan’s law for a level of intoxication under the influence of cannabis has not been defined. A challenge to Sen. Jones regarding the influence of marijuana over alcohol was made to him but he declined the offer.  The challenge was that for every shot that he takes with his favorite liquor, I will take one toke on a joint.  Then we will drive a car on a test track set up by the Michigan State Police in Lansing. At every 10 intervals of toking and drinking, impairment levels will be tested.

Furthermore, this bill will be only implemented in “Test Areas” for perfection until it is implemented statewide. This is an admission on the State of Michigan that the bill is flawed and, will be fixed on the fly while people are incarcerated at the same time. This bill will be a cash cow for cash strapped counties that need new revenue.

Defense attorneys should have a field day with this one because this is a poorly written bill that will cost citizens and the State a lot of money. Other derogatory factors are racial profiling, and law enforcement abuse. County prosecutors who are zealots against marijuana will use this law to enhance their county treasuries on the backs of the citizens statewide. If you are a civil libertarian, medical marijuana user, or concerned citizen, you are strongly urged to contact Governor Rick Snyder not to sigh this bill into law.  Finally ask your State Representatives about where they stand on this bill before you vote for them in August 2016. - Good Stuff on the Internet