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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Appealing The Board of Zoning Appeals - Medical Marijuana Caregiver Centers in Detroit

By Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst

      Medical Marijuana Business owners who have been denied by the City of Detroit Board of Zoning Appeals are strongly encouraged to go to the next step in the process at the Wayne County Circuit Court. The BZA process has exposed faulty data and overly strict guidelines regarding Caregiver Centers in the City.  Variances have been denied owners who have businesses next to buildings that are abandoned and/or owe taxes to the City because, the land use is defined as a church or religious institution. Additionally, the Drug Free Zone zoning regulations are in conflict of federal law at 500 feet. Currently, only one out of 240 business that have gone through the process of becoming a Caregiver Center has been approved.
Website: Active Count Detroit Medical Marijuana Website
Website:  State of Michigan House of Representatives

Most of the people in opposition to the Marijuana business do not live in the neighborhood where the facilities are located. Some of them live as far at 10 miles away and have the nerve to complain about the traffic. The rigidness of the ordinance allows BZA board members to apply criteria that is well outside the bounds of common sense and reality.

The majority of them are in the approval process or, shut down by court order. To rectify this situation an resolution to opt into the current State law is required. Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr. is aware of the situation and working on a new ordinance with Corporation Counsel Butch Hollowell to opt into the current state law to easing the situation and saving the taxpayers in legal fees.  The next option is that the owners and citizens draft a new ordinance for a vote in the next election which is August 8th, 2017. 

A people driven ordinance is the best way to go because the voters will have an actual voice in the process instead of special interests who devised the first ordinance. Things like business hours, drive through service and other things can be put into the local ordinance.  %25 of all revenue from Marijuana sales comes back to the community for investment into projects like Recreation Centers, Schools, and parks. 

Firefighters in Michigan will have their First Responder fund financed from the revenue of marijuana sales to fight Cancer caused by the hazardous working conditions of the job.

If you support this cause then we urge you to call your Detroit City Council members and ask them to support the change to the current Detroit Marijuana Zoning Ordinance or risk losing the revenue that comes from sales to other counties and cities in Michigan.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Reasons to Re-Elect George Cushingberry Jr. In 2017

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

When the people elected George Cushingberry Jr. to City Council, they were looking for the change and leadership needed for the neighborhoods and the entire city. The new district concept has been a huge success because it gets people closer together and, residents have a distinct voice in city policy to make direct change. Mr. Cushingberry has stuck to the plan outlined in 2013 when he was elected to the council. Mr. Cushingberry was recognized by his peers on the council and elected Council President Pro Tempore.  On August 8th, 2017 Mr. Cushingberry is asking for your vote to continue the push for progress and protecting the Citizens of Detroit from harm by fake news from biased tv networks,  adverse groups and individuals who do not have the City of Detroit’s best interest at heart.

Some of his accomplishments are as follows:

As chairman of the Budget/Finance and Audit committee, he is responsible for the increased accountability and transparency of City of Detroit Finances.
a.    Removing State of Michigan Control from City Finances with consistent balanced budgets.
b.    Collection of up to $1 million dollars in new revenue by integrating the City of Detroit Income Tax software code with the State of Michigan Treasury Department. This software change will lead to the elimination of having to file a local tax return, especially if you work one city and live in another city.  Your City of Detroit refund cannot be seized by the State of Michigan regardless if you owe taxes to the state by law.
c.    Upgraded the City’s financial software toward the goal of real time display of the City’s balance sheet on the website.
d.    Driving force for development of an IPhone application that will inform residents on the exact location of your Garbage Truck on collection days.

e.    Continuing to be an advocate for alternative ways to finance the City’s debts using sound fiscal management theory and methods. While working as a State Representative in Lansing, Mr. Cushingberry was the Chairman for the State of Michigan appropriations committee in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010. In those years he was responsible for the budgets of 23 state departments and agencies.

f.     Advocate for public transportation by taking the lead in reinvestment into DDOT Busses and personnel.  24 hour bus service that would help City residents get back and forth to needed jobs.  Building a regional rail system is much cheaper and more practical than building a wall in Mexico. Instead of using the cement and materials for wall we could run an enhanced People Mover System Lansing, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and anywhere else in Michigan. Especially the Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Kent, and Livingston Area.  Sensible use of resources creates more jobs and improves the quality of life.

g.    Blight Removal with Oversight!  Mr. Cushingberry has insisted upon transparency in home demolitions. We welcome oversight to keep things right.  Proper accounting is a priority and under his watch, all dollars are scrutinized.  New home construction can only succeed when people have jobs that can maintain and sustain an improved quality of life. 

h.    No Detroiter without a job!  Reaching out to low to moderate income individuals to help correct their low to moderate income status. Detroit Employment Solutions has been a mainstay for our residents to continue the fight in the War on Poverty. Education is essential in the areas of carpentry, electricians, electronics, truck driving and, auto repair will give our youth something to do and look up to for a future.

i.      Introducing an Ordinance directing that all City of Detroit vehicles be required to run on alternative fuel grown in Michigan albeit Industrial Hemp, Corn and, other organic plants to help our environment and create agriculture jobs opportunities for Detroit Residents.

j.      Continue the work to move Benjamin O. Davis High School back to Airport grounds.

k.    Continue to and work with fellow council members, Marvin Beatty, Dan Gilbert, Mayor Duggan, State and Federal Officials to re-invest into the expansion of Coleman Young International Airport with a new runway and restored commercial Air Service to Toronto Canada, Florida, New York, Cleveland,  Chicago and, any other City as needed.

l.      The land formally known as the Michigan State Fairgrounds will undergo a “magical” transition with the help and philanthropy of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and is development group. This area will become a transportation hub for Inter-modal Bus, Train and, People Mover traffic.  Under the leadership of Mr. Cushingberry, local developers like Marvin Beatty will have a definite voice in the development of the property.  A new community and transportation hub with a revitalized Amtrak rail station so that people do not have to drive to Dearborn to catch a train because of the parking situation.

If you support this effort, Mr. Cushingberry is requesting your vote for Detroit City Council August 8th, 2017 because, we will continue to work hard for you in District 2.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Detroit 2017? Restoring Commercial Air Service at Detroit City Airport

By Richard C. Clement

          The investment into transportation will revitalize Detroit, especially the neighborhoods and the Tri-County region of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Aviation and education go together like Sam and Dave on the stage performing a song.

Having Direct Flights to destinations like Toronto, Chicago, Seattle, Havana, etc, will be a reality when commercial air service is restored to Detroit City Airport. Currently, this airport serves as a viable entry for high profile entertainers and government officials from Michelle Obama on down the chain of command. With the present runway configuration, commercial air service at the facility could restart within 6 months of this writing. 

Billy Bishop Airport
Toronto Canada 
To make this prediction we made a comparison at a similar sized airport. We found this one Billy Bishop Airport located in Toronto Canada because it has the same size runway as Detroit City Airport.  Currently commercial air service is provided by Porter Airlines a regional airline based in the City of Toronto Canada. They fly to local and international destinations from that facility to places like New Orleans LA, Seattle, Florida. Please take the time to view their website for a complete list of destinations. They also have service in Windsor CA so that you can examine their operation. 
Website  Billy Bishop Airport Toronto CA
Website: - Commercial Air Service in Toronto CA 
Website: Detroit City Airport  (Arrivals and Departures) Flight Tracker 
Website: West Michigan Aviation Academy Grand Rapids MI w/School Runway 

New 6900ft Runway Extension in Red
Detroit City Airport, Detroit MI
By the end of 2018, we will be available to build a 7000 to 9000ft runway that will rival Chicago’s Midway Airport and provide instant access to events in the Tri-County region. We will have the Benjamin O Davis Aerospace School located on the grounds of the airport with their own hangars for their aircraft. Room for larger capacity aircraft will increase the need for housing because of the need for people to have a place to stay while they work.  Giving back to our children will sustain the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and the job opportunities in Aerospace.

New Runway Diagram
Council President Pro-Tem Cushingberry Jr. is strongly advising interested parties to support your Federal, State, and Local elected officials who want to bring this to a reality. The Detroit City Council Airport Review Committee led by members Benson, Sheffield and Spivey would love to hear your comments and concerns at

From Wikipedia

Porter Airlines is a regional airline headquartered at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[1] Owned by Porter Aviation Holdings, formerly known as REGCO Holdings Inc., Porter operates regularly scheduled flights between Toronto and locations in Canada and the United States using Canadian-built Bombardier Dash-8 Q 400 turboprop aircraft.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Detroit 2017? The Best Is Yet To Come with President ProTempore George Cushingberry Jr.

By Richard C. Clement

                In 2017 Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr. is committed to the betterment of our community, especially the neighborhoods.

Mr. Cushingberry Jr. is committed to submitting balanced budgets that will assist in removing the last remnants of State Emergency Management allowing funding to be redirected to neighborhood projects like Livernois Avenue and Johnson Recreation Center.

Additional money will be available to help develop empty parcels like the former Michigan State Fairgrounds property.  Design plans call for a new neighborhood with bus service from DDOT and SMART.   Future plans call for a brand new Amtrak station on the Fairgrounds property that will replace the station on Woodward and Milwaukee.  Amtrak users will no longer have to climb up stairs or be forced to drive to Dearborn because of the poor facilities in Detroit. We support local businessmen like Marvin Beatty who have a vision for the large parcel that was once known as the Michigan State Fair.

Tindal Recreation Center
Reopening Ceremony 
Re-opening recreation centers like Tindal Center and progress on the Johnson Center property will be people focused to serve the community. To rebuild the neighborhoods we must look at the role recreation centers play in the re-development.  When Johnson Center was closed down, the entire neighborhood around the property went down also.  When parents let their children out of the home, they usually went to the Detroit Park and Recreation Center and spent the entire day there.  Children were safe at the Rec Center because there was always something to do.   Rec Center staff-members were completely dedicated to health and welfare of the neighborhood children. Sometimes they served as secondary teachers and mentors to neighborhood youth.

ProTem Cushingberry is extremely proud of his involvement regarding bringing the Detroit Pistons back home to Detroit. We appreciate the Illich family and their contribution to the Detroit Recreation Department, especially the Jack Adams Ice Arena. 22 years before the start of the National Hockey League, African Americans invented the game of professional hockey in Northern Canada. Everything you see on the ice was invented by Africans and West Indians who made it to freedom by crossing the Detroit River.

         Website: The Colored Hockey League Of 1894

There is a massive drug problem in the neighborhoods and it is not Marijuana. Opioid addiction is an American grown 50 state epidemic. According to the New York times, over 33,000 people died of an overdose in 2015 and 2017 is on pace to be worse.  When it comes to the neighborhoods, we have a massive amount of heroin addicts frequenting the area of 7 mile and Woodward around the ongoing Perfecting Church development managed by Bishop Marvin Winans. This development has been a major highlight of neighborhood blight and this must change.  In this area we have a Palmer Park Golf Course that has been a consistent money loser and a drain on the City of Detroit's budget.   
Website: American Police Beat 2016 The Opioid Crisis
In 2016 five Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers on Woodward Avenue generated more revenue than the Palmer Park City Golf Course so much that the back nine was deactivated and is now abandoned. Unfortunately, religious interests and the definition of Drug Free Zones forced the closing of all of the Marijuana facilities.  To turn this around in 2017, people must act to modify the ordinance through petition drives and court challenges based on First Amendment grounds of freedom FROM religion and the pursuit of happiness. 

In 2017 Opioid addiction can be treated and cured with the use of Marijuana. Quoting a Time Magazine article titled "Can Marijuana Help End the Opioid Epidemic"  6/28/2017 Website ( )
The idea that marijuana may treat pain and combat addiction is not without precedent. A study published in 2014 in the journal JAMA found that states with medical marijuana laws experienced a nearly 25% drop in deaths from opioid overdoses compared to states that did not have those laws. That may be because medical marijuana, which often relies on compounds from the cannabis plant called cannabinoids, has been found in many studies to help pain management. For example, a 2015 analysis of 79 studies also published in JAMA reported a 30% or greater reduction in pain from cannabinoids compared to a placebo. Studies suggest cannabinoids interact with receptors in pain activity centers located in the brain and spinal chord. There’s also some suggestion that they have anti-inflammatory effects.  "
By expanding help programs in the City, Detroit will be known as a place that has serious compassion toward people who really need the help. Detroit Police Chief James Craig has no desire to tie up his employees chasing people with joints. Children are more in danger of a Heroin Addict vs a person using Marijuana.  An attack on food is the most damage a Marijuana user could do. Food sales at restaurants would increase because of the enhanced appetite of a Marijuana user vs the Heroin Addict. The Heroin addict may kill you as opposed to a Marijuana patient eating all of your food.

We would be better served by religious institutions practicing real help like the Dominican Sisters teaching people how to read and other denominations helping to curb the Opioid addiction craze that is sweeping our nation. The last thing we need are carnival barking Pastors  who have no academic credibility and serve  to harm our children by dumbing them down with innuendo instead of concrete facts based on research and scientific reasoning.

Therefore and as a part of balancing the budget, the trend to attack Marijuana like Harry Anslinger did in the 1930's must be forcefully re-directed to a sensible policy of help and change. In 2017 we must open up our minds and do some reading and research on alternative product manufacturing with Agriculture such as concrete and drywall made from the Hemp Plant.  Using products grown in Michigan, State and local economies will experience growth through spending money within our own community.

Mr. Cushingberry will continue to support common sense practices that will benefit all the people in the City.  Because we are working hard for you, to improve the quality of life for the residents living in District 2

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Diversity in the Marijuana Industry to Benefit The Entire Community - Sons of Hemp Position Statement On Their Lawsuit Against the City of Detroit.

Ron J
President Sons Of Hemp 

Why did SOH file the lawsuit? Everyone whats to know.
S.O.H is comprised of a diverse group of Herbalists, Care Givers, & Medical Patients in the Hemp/Cannabis Industry whose sole purpose is to Unity, Educate, Create Opportunities & Support Ownership in every facet of the Hemp & Cannabis Industry.
Our Mission is to ensure the existence of diversity while fighting the systematic drug war injustices we face as Naturopathic Doctors, Healers, Educators, Researchers, Care Givers & Patients of Hemp/Cannabis.
Why did Sons of Hemp & some of its members (13 Provisioning Centers Owners) file a lawsuit against the City of Detroit and its Medical Marijuana Ordinance? This is a question that we hadn’t answered publicly because we didn’t want to get into the specifics of the case or be misquoted. We filed the lawsuit because we saw the indigenous citizens of the Detroit (Black and Brown) being pushed out of an industry that we as a people have been overwhelmingly hit the hardest with the criminalization Cannabis/Hemp and all of its natural health benefits by way of judicial system. The term “being pushed out” is being used across the United States and all over the world when it comes to cannabis/hemp which has been a part of our Roots and Culture throughout history.
For The Citizens of Detroit it’s about Ownership! Ownership! Ownership! As the ordinance is written today the Citizens of Detroit which is 82% Brown and Black would have less than 5% ownership. This industry is completely different than trying to obtain a Casino License or even a liquor license. Everyone involved is at the same level of expertise, research & development, and essentially waiting for the State of MI’s timeline. So why is it so difficult you may ask, when 82% of the citizens look like the 13 Provisioning Center Owners which have also grown up and live in the City of Detroit? The reality is, we don’t have the commercial real-estate, capital, or want to participate in the pay to play politics that we all know exists. The thing is we are being attacked from all angles. From law enforcement/judicial system, City Council, Church Pastors, Big Business, Federal Gov (Latest the DEA classifying CBD as a schedule 1 drug) because of a natural plant that now the powers to be want to control and profit from it. It’s OKAY NOW! Step aside we got this, we still need you as a consumer hence why Sons of Hemp and the Elevated 13 (Provisioning Centers) are fighting so hard.
At the start, Sons of Hemp was and is organized to get as many Citizens of Detroit educated on the process, trained for employment, and to support ownership in every facet of the Hemp & Cannabis industry. As progress was being made the Ordinance came into effect which shifted our focus. We were able to see what the city council and “that law firm” put into place when we were able to log into the zoning web portal. It became very clear we weren’t apart of the plan. On the flip side, yes MI has been labeled the wild wild west of the cannabis industry. A large part of that is because of law enforcement across The State of MI and what is going on in The City of Detroit. With 260 or more Provisioning Centers popping up all over the city like it’s a gold rush of the past it is understood why the city wanted to get things in order, but everyone knows the ordinance will have to be amended as it reads today. When and how it’s amended goes back to politics, pastors, and big business and if they have their way there will only be a few black and brown owned Provisioning Centers.
The augment we always hear is, “well just move”, not so easy when you are invested in property, patients, branding, and picking up and finding new location that works. However we currently do have 13 owners that made an investment, worked hard, and took a lot of risks to get where they are at and filing the lawsuit was the only way to be heard. Carlos Rogers the owner of Peace of Amsterdam for example has been a leading voice and crusader in keeping the lawsuit and the movement alive. They have also have been an example and leader in actual medicinal healing relating to Cannabis and other herbs for their patients as also the other 12 Provisioning Centers. Let’s be clear, we are setting the standard on how Provisioning Centers work, and help patients. It’s not about what type of high you want, but what the patient ailment is and what herbs and or regiments will work for the patient. Remember, this is really about the patient, economic empowerment, and the cannabis community as a whole.
The Patient and Caregiver Rights are now being attacked with the bills going into effect on 12-20-16. It is time we all work together and stop talking about it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Field Report: The Proposed Sale of Johnson Recreation Center and Higginbotham School Property

By Richard C. Clement - Legislative Aide to 
Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

                The Former Johnson Recreation Center has been listed by the City of Detroit for a sale price of $1,000,000 dollars on November 24th, 2017. According to the realtor, this will be a unique development opportunity for an interested buyer.  The Higginbotham Elementary School property is for sale with a $500,000 selling price.   This land has historic value to the City of Detroit because it was named after Joe Louis during World War II and, the first place where African Americans could learn how to swim in the 1950.


                We know that this Recreation Center has a major stake in the development and redevelopment of the youth within the community. A working recreation center increases the property value in the neighborhoods and encourages growth.  Closed schools are a sin to education and, the old Higginbotham School property could be unique development opportunity for an entrepreneur as a senior citizens home to a satellite community college.               

Former Johnson Recreation Center
Public comment is welcome on this matter and encouraged by Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry and, we will be notifying you of any activity on these property.  We want to thank Hazel Fludd of Garden Homes Community Organization and, Dwight Smith of the 8 Mile Old Timers Club for staying on top of this issue because it is a pressing concern of the residents, especially within 1.5 miles of the property. 

As of this writing, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School is making very serious offers to acquire the land to expand football practice facilities.  If you are interested in purchasing the land, then you are strongly recommended to contact the realtor for more information and, you City Council Members to voice your concerns.  Currently both properties are listed as a special purpose land use sale.

The final sale must be approved by the full 9 member body of the Detroit City Council.

Detroit City Council Website Link 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

State of the Bud Report – Detroit Medical Marijuana Status Scoreboard

By Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst
and Legislative Aide to Councilmember Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

We want to thank the City of Detroit Corporation Council, Legislative Service Bureau, and the staff of Building Safety Environmental Engineering for the detailed summary report of the status of Medical Marijuana businesses in the City of Detroit. As of October 25, 2016 there was a reported 279 alleged locations in the City with 150 places remaining open and 133 that what went out of business.  There were 117 closure notices sent with 55 being shut down by BSEED. Currently, there are 263 active applications for a Conditional Use Permit from the City of Detroit. Only one application was approved for a permit to apply for a license to do business. The remaining businesses are in various stages of the process from Drug-Free zone exemptions, incomplete site plans, and hearings.

Number of Conditional Use Applications for Medical Marijuana Facilities.
Number of Conditional Use Applications
Drug Free Zone Ineligible
Drug Free Zone Appeal requests
Number of Grants Approved
Applications Submitted for a Permit
Permits Issued
Licenses Applied for and Issued


This anti-weed effort of a few has forced the City and the County to update the database of information on each parcel of land in the City of Detroit. On December 20th, 2016 new laws take effect regarding the manufacture, use, sale, transfer, and distribution of marijuana in the State of Michigan.  On January 20th, we hope that the will of the people be maintained throughout the process with the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.  If there was ever a time for the respect of States Rights, the time is now!  Federal, State, and Local elected officials must respect the will of the people of 25 states who said yes to weed. 

City of Detroit Medical Marijuana Link

Judges must advise potential jurors of the right of Jury Nullification because of the changing attitudes toward marijuana as a nation. Anyone selected for a jury can find a defendant not-guilty despite the instructions from a judge. Jury Nullification will communicate the outrage from citizens to prosecutors so that arrests for Marijuana possession will stop being prosecuted because it will be a waste of time and taxpayer money on a war on weed and, for-profit prisons. 

We hope that self-policing in the marijuana industry with industry groups like Michigan Cannabis Development Association, Sons of Hemp, MI Medical Marijuana Association, and other cana-interest groups can keep the business in Michigan scandal free with equal opportunity to make it or fail, and attain capital like a neighborhood rec center, and a be a part of the growing agri-business that can re-invest the dividends back into the community.

Related Interest Groups and Information:
Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (3MA) 
Michigan Cannabis Development Association
Michigan NORML 
Metro Times Article: Sons of Hemp/Healers or Dealers  Author Tom Perkins

State of Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws Implementation Plan 2016

We must improve our weaknesses and shore up our strengths to make Cannabis lose the boogey man status from the racist dogma of the late Harry Anslinger and J. Edgar Hoover. With a top to bottom legislative revamping of the zoning procedures, our city will be getting a new source of revenue along with other municipalities in Michigan. The new state law will allow the City to opt-in to the State Law and allow the citizens to design a new ordinance through the ballot initiative process and a vote of the people.  Then and only then, citizens on both sides of the spectrum can vote for a fair and equitable solution to the Marijuana question for the City of Detroit, Wayne County, and the State of Michigan.

The job growth opportunities in manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture will be endless from the act signed into law. All Firefighters in the State of Michigan will now be able to benefit from the use of marijuana for ailments like PTSD, Cancer, Stress, and other hazards of the job.  30% of proceeds from weed will go to Firefighters, 35% to counties, 25% to Cities and Townships and 10% to the State Police.  This action would dictate that employers public and private quit testing for it in pre-employment and accident investigations. Finally public employees like Firefighters, Police Officers, and Teachers will not lose their job if they get in an accident at work.

Like the entertainment industry, the revenue generated from occupied buildings could do nothing but help the community rebuild Schools and Neighborhood Recreation Centers like Johnson Center in Northwest Detroit.  It may even help church congregations of all denominations in various endeavors like treating heroin addicts by clergy with open minds. Not all clergy members are against Marijuana because there are some pastors who want to have a grow IN THEIR CHURCHES for their congregation to use for things like the building fund and neighborhood outreach.

As of this article writing, the software needed to make the license for an applicant is not operational on a local or State level. It is an abhorrent slap in the face to every Information Technology professional in the world for a government agency that cannot process online applications eight years after running one of the most profitable programs in the State of Michigan.  Whereas The City of Detroit can print information ID Cards for our guest citizens with their picture and information on it and take weed applications online at the same time. 

We are strongly encouraging the State of Michigan to match the work that the professionals in Information Technology at the City of Detroit have demonstrated.  The State of the Bud in Michigan remains strong and optimistic that our elected officials respect the will of the people instead of the thrill of a few in elected positions who want to use a lame duck excuse for their own special interests. - Good Stuff on the Internet