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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.


DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOL SITES FOR SALE

                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
263
Drug Free Zone Ineligible
109
Drug Free Zone Appeal requests
60
Number of Grants Approved
43
Applications Submitted for a Permit
2
Permits Issued
1
Licenses Applied for and Issued
0
    



 





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   www.detroitmi.gov/MedicalMarihuana

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) www.michiganmedicalmarijuana.org 
Michigan Cannabis Development Association www.mcdagroup.com
Michigan NORML www.minorml.org 
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.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Congratulations President Elect Donald Trump - Your People Have Spoken, Now Its Time To Quit Joking

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

President Elect Trump
Congratulations President Elect Donald Trump you ran an excellent campaign. Your voters wanted the change to make America great again and they are getting it. You were able to convince people that you could build a wall and make another country pay for it. You have emboldened hardened racist behavior from middle school students in Royal Oak Michigan and adults everywhere else. Open season attacks on minorities and selective treatment on people of color is becoming an accepted standard of conduct now. People are being run over in the streets of Detroit by drivers who run from the scene of an accident because of insurance liability and, just a total disregard for another human being’s life.


Mr Trump, people are wondering about your position on the 25 states who chose to use Marijuana for medical and recreational use, cultivation, and manufacturing. We are concerned that instead of building schools, we are building prisons with no material value as quasi-mental health facilities. We are concerned that you are taking cement that could be used to fix the horrible roads in Michigan to build a wall with Mexico. Consequentially, We will have to build a wall 3 times the size on the Canadian border to compete the set. The bottom line is that there are a lot more jobs in road repair instead of building a wall that can be breached at any moment. 

One of the ways to promote unity among the races is that you tell your supporters to practice Jury Nullification on Marijuana cases in a court of law.  A juror has the right to vote on the guilt or innocence of a defendant and, we are asking you to tell your "Trumpster Friends" to vote not guilty to anyone who is arrested for Marijuana despite instructions from judges who hate weed. Especially for people like me of color on the way to places in Northern Michigan like Traverse City that run into a racist police officer in places like Gaylord Michigan.

This will help immensely with race relations then you can answer these questions:
  • Will all of the people in Flint be afforded clean water by their government?
  • Will  the President Trump FBI/Justice Department prosecute all of the perpetrators who poisoned the water in Flint Michigan? 
  • In 2017 will Gas Prices will stay as low as it was during President Obama’s terms in office?
  • Will relations with Cuba be put back on ice instead of having direct flights from Detroit?

Meanwhile in Detroit, we pledge to work with our constituents to give them the right of determining the quality of life in our community.  The rebuilding of homes and the re-opening of closed recreation centers is a key goal in our management of our city. Children and senior citizens will have a public place to meet within walking distance. 

We want our Michigan citizens to seriously consider signing a ballot initiative in 2017 to allow the voters to decide on a Non-Partisan Redistricting Commission Law for redrawing congressional district lines instead of the winning party enabling gerrymandering. By doing this your vote will count for your quality of life because the district lines will match the population.

In 2017 we are committed more than ever to remove the last vestiges of State of Michigan Emergency Management by eliminating ALL of the orders that came from the Emergency Managers appointed by the Governor.  State of Michigan Management was a complete financial disaster with closed schools, empty buildings, and retirees who took the blow for everyone with their health care deductibles and taxed pensions.

We don’t care if the Ku Klux Klan supported you or not. You have up to 4 years to come correct with the people of the United States of America. If you disavow them because of their race, sex, lifestyle choice,  you WILL face the consequences of the Voting Booth in 2020.





Monday, November 7, 2016

Our Message to Voters 2016 - Do It For Mrs. Boynton-Robinson


By Richard C. Clement

Amelia Boynton Robinson after getting a left hook to the
face for trying to vote in Selma AL 
If you are reading this before 8:00pm Nov 8th, 2016 and voted, thank you!  We hope you selected candidates for judge, school board, proposals, Federal, State, and local officials.  We want you to start from the back to the front with the Judges first, then save the best for last by voting straight Democratic. In the Michigan Supreme Court there is Judge Deborah Thomas and Frank Szymanski who will stop the 5-2 imbalance of Gov. Snyder Appointees to the Judiciary by making it a 4-3 majority.

It is on you the voter to do the right thing and vote in memory of people like Amelia Boynton Robinson, Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm of Rainbow Farms in Vandalia Michigan. When Gore lost the election in 2001 President Bush’s Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the execution of these two at a marijuana farm by the FBI before September 11th happened and the seige at Rainbow Farms was forgotten. Through their sacrifice, 25 states have legalized the use of the plant for manufacturing and medicinal purposes.
If you are reading this on or after 8:00pm Nov 8th 2016 and, you did not exercise your right to vote, you let this woman get her face punched in for nothing. If Donald Trump becomes is your president, this will be considered a lawful act. Amelia Boynton Robinson was an activist in Selma Alabama who wanted to have a voice in the day to day activities of her community. Instead, she was punched in the mouth by a man who did not want her to vote for various reasons including the color of her skin.  One of the other reasons she ate a fist to the face was because the man did not want her to:
  1.          Choose her leaders in Federal, State, and Local Government
  2.          Determine the direction and leadership of public education
  3.         Determine where and what roads to be repaired with her money.
  4.         Determine the quality of life in her community

You let someone become president who would make this all legal again.
You let your opportunity to elect Judges to the District, Circuit, and State Courts who could have helped you out on a case regarding a traffic ticket, marijuana possession, personal protection order, wills, divorces, etc. 

By not voting, you let someone become president who would have people like Gov. Chris Christie as United States Attorney General even though he directed his underlings to take a felony rap for him for blocking a bridge.

By not voting in the Michigan Supreme Court Race, You let Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette continue to pardon people who poisoned an entire city and, helped them to get their jobs back with the same department.  

Your words don’t get anything done and, your elected leaders who have to power to affect your day to day quality of life don’t have to be bothered with your voice. Therefore if you want to hand the job to an unqualified carnival barking fat bastard, or another candidate who will be in a unique position to expunge the damage her husband did,  don’t boo, whine, or complain, VOTE!

Don’t make that mistake again and say that your vote does not count. And if you did not vote, then you get whatever is coming to you and you have to deal with it.

Vote or else.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The State of the Bud Marijuana Field Report - November 2016 and Ordinance #61

By Richard C. Clement - Friends of Cushingberry

 "Watch out for a Lame Duck in December" - Friends of the Lame Game

The City of Detroit Detroit Marijuana Ordinance was ruled unconstitutional by US Eastern District Court Judge Avery Cohen in August 2016.  The Plaintiffs Sons of Hemp are a group of  Detroit based Marijuana business owners have successfully forced a re-write of Ordinance #61 regulating Detroit’s growing Marijuana industry because of the exclusion of Native Detroit African American business owners, violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) regarding churches in and, the reckless interpretation of Drug Free Zone laws by the ordinance. 

Per order of Judge Cohen the Ordinance is currently suspended by law, remanded to the Wayne County Circuit Court and, ruled un-enforceable.

The four new public acts signed into law by Governor Snyder also played a part to nullify the enforcement of the ordinance until one of the following events happen:
  1. A new Ordinance is presented to City Council to be voted upon by the entire 9 member body or,
  2. A citizen initiated petition presented in the form of a ballot initiative signed by 1500 people to place the issue on the ballot of the August 2017 primary election.
Either one of these methods will insure an ordinance for, by, and of the people will be enacted into law. This new ordinance is prohibited by Federal Law to include distance restrictions from a religious places of worship because of 1st Amendment violations and, the overreach of using Drug Free zones.

Anyone currently receiving a notice to shut down by the City of Detroit are strongly encouraged to contest the action by the Board of Zoning Appeals in Circuit Court. Furthermore, future changes will be made to the BZA membership to compel the board members to follow the will of the people instead of interjecting personal and religious bias in violation of Federal Law.

Breakdown of the new Public Acts signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder


Collectively, these bills create a five-member board appointed by the Governor called the Medical marijuana Licensing board. It allows the State Police and Attorney General to perform background checks on board members and licensees with fingerprinting. The laws create a licensing system for growers, processors, distributors, provisioning centers and safety compliance facilities.  The law requires all marijuana operators to be free of any misdemeanor or felony for 5 years and, any drug related felony for 10 years.

Local home rule provisions will allow locals to regulate facilities and secure local approval before getting licensed by the MM Licensing Board. These laws will help manage the estimated 10,000 new jobs created and a $63.5 million dollar a year industry by taxing facilities at the rate of %3 that will be distributed in the following manner.
  • %30 to Counties (no more Bankrupt Wayne County)
  • %30 to the General Fund diverted to the Firefighter Presumption of Cancer and First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund
  • %25 to municipalities
  • %5   to County Sheriffs
  • %5   to MCOLES for training local police officers
  • %5   to the Michigan State Police
Public Act 242 / Senate Bill 207  Roadside Saliva Testing  Starting September 22, This law allows a certified sworn peace officer “drug recognition” expert to take a saliva sample of person in a vehicle to determine if they have used Marijuana for the purposes of determining their competence to operate a motor vehicle.  It does not matter if the vehicle is parked or moving and gives very wide latitude to a drug recognition expert to arrest and convict a person testing positive for marijuana use.  Laws like these are tailor made for current Law and Order, strict constitutional judges in Michigan’s District, Circuit, and Supreme Courts, to fill the jails with Marijuana users and fatten County budgets on the backs of Medical Marijuana users.  Despite the overwhelming evidence that Marijuana affects you much less than alcohol, legislators in Lansing voted to approve this law lead by ultra conservative Senator Rick Jones (R – Grand Ledge). The only way to address the flaws in this law is to elect  2 new Supreme Court Judges in November  2016 who will rule this law unconstitutional or gather 157,827 valid voter signatures on a referendum petition by November 21st, 2016 to force a vote in 2017  (Our analysis of Public Act 242 – Friends of Cushingberry)


Public Act 281 / House Bill 4209 of 2015 Gives specific definition of the content of medibles (non-smokeable) Marijuana. Also spells out procedures for violations of the provisions of the card. Removes all criminal penalties from the books for the plant. This act allows Marijuana butter, cookies, brownies, teas, etc., and other bills provide computer services and stiff civil fines for violations. On October 1,  2017,  Firefighters and Sheriffs in Michigan will benefit from Marijuana  when 30% of all sale proceeds are earmarked for the Firefighter Presumption of Cancer and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.


Public Act 283 / House Bill 4210 will regulate the use of  Non-Smokeable (Medible) Marijuana and spells out exact amounts of cannabis products that should be in a drink, brownie, Vaporizing pen, or other form of the medicine. The list of ingredients are:
  • 16 Ounces of Solid Medible Marijuana (brownies, cakes,  etc.)
  •   7 Grams for using in a vaporizing pen
  • 72 Fluid Ounces of liquid.

Public Act 282 / House Bill 4827 will allow contractors to be eligible for no bid contracts for the software seed to sale tracking program.  This bill will allow a software company to bid on a Marijuana Tracking System because it defines the specifications for the developers to use in designing and implementing the statewide system.  This bill will track the sales of marijuana between patients and the growers who interact with retail sites.

Senate Bill #813 - Sponsored by State Senator Coleman Young Jr(D-Detroit)
(SB813) The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana. This bill will facilitate organizations like MI Legalize (Website www.milegalize.com) to act with a ballot initiative in 2018 to implement the language of this bill. Call your Senator and let them know you want them to support Senate Bill 813

House Bill #5445 - Sponsored by State Rep Leslie Love (D-Detroit).
(HB5445) Will change the Michigan Medical Marijuana Law to prevent citizens groups in Cities and Townships from enacting referendums and petitions to modify local marijuana ordinances.  This bill will be a prototype for every City and Township in the State of Michigan regardless of the feelings of the citizens. If this is signed into law, then all Cities and Townships will have their ordinances null and voided. A citizens rights to address your government and get redress of your grievances will be eliminated. She is hoping to fast-track this legislation with the help of Republicans for a coveted signature from Governor Rick Snyder in the upcoming lame duck session. If you have any concerns or comments on this bill please contact your State Rep and ask them NEVER allow this bill out of committee.

Office Address S-689 House Office Building
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014  
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: (517) 373-0857   
Toll-Free: (855) 568-3010


Interested parties have until December 19th, 2016 to present referendum petitions with 157,827 valid signatures to the Michigan State Board of Canvassers to force Public Acts, 281, 282, and 283 to a vote in 2017 if you feel that  something that is unacceptable. Finally you are strongly encouraged to vote for candidates in the November 2016 general election for Judges and legislators who will work FOR their constituents instead of special interests like for profit prison owners who want to keep their jails full of ‘new clients’ from the urban neighborhoods and farm owners in Michigan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods With Our Unions! AFL-CIO Apprentice Programs Bring Hope to Detroit

By  Richard Clement - Friends of Cushingberry


"There is nothing better for poverty than a good paying job" 
              - Mayor Coleman A. Young

Taking back our neighborhood one home at a time with the help of our friends in the AFL-CIO has been put into an action plan in the City of Detroit. Decades of disinvestment and foreclosures have devastated Detroit’s neighborhoods. Thousands of vacant homes need extensive repair. The widespread blight and abandonment results in extremely low appraisal values making it difficult for potential homeowners to obtain financing for a home. We appreciate the assistance from David A. Eubanks Assistant Investment Officer with the Housing Investment Trust Division of the AFL-CIO (Website www.aflcio-hit.com) . Together with Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry a plan was developed for the District for homes that can be saved and restored.

To stabilize the neighborhoods, the AFL-CIO has developed a strategy to identify homes that can be saved. 

  1. Repairing multiple homes concurrently
  2. Use skilled and approved union contractors
  3. Attract private capital 
  4. Target blocks and tracts of land within a neighborhood
  5. Guarantee the work and,
  6. Employ Local residents


(2013) 18220 Ohio  48221 - Before HIT
Council member Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr. and AFL-CIO leadership has identified areas in the district as a pilot so that union labor and their apprentice programs will create a job for anyone who wants one. Creating home ownership opportunities involves creating a structure so that homeowners can afford to stay in the homes. Jobs to maintain a quality of life are a priority and each one can teach one until an entire community is rebuilt for a legacy to leave behind for future generations to grow from.






(2016) 18220 Ohio 48221 - After HIT
To address the long term growth of the region, Union members are giving back to the neighborhoods through construction apprenticeship programs. With the help of the HIT program the following list of homes have been rehabilitated to be sold to families who are interested in neighborhood growth and home ownership.   Millennials who are actively working jobs and doing public service in the region are strongly encouraged to purchase a home.  If you work in the tri-county area and, are interested in establishing a foundation for home ownership are also strongly encourage to participate.

A list of the HIT property in progress in the Bagley district are as follows
17545 Plainview 48219 - North Rosedale Park
17547 Mendota 48221 - Bagley
18220 Ohio 48221 List Price $105,000 - Bagley

By partnering with financial institutions like Southwest Lending Solutions (Website: www.michiganlendingsolutions.com ) first time millenial homeowners will be given the opportunity to start a future and establish a good credit history and equity. By the end of 2016, we look forward to rehabilitating 11 homes in the City.  The goal is to provide 25 families with a place to live by December 2017.  With an investment of $1.7 million dollars of HIT funds, the City of Detroit will have another path built on the way to prosperity again.

For more information please contact our office.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Judicial Marijuana Reform in 2016 - Voting From the Back of the Ballot and Response to Mr. Blackmon

By Richard C. Clement


Our office received some disturbing email from a Winfred Blackmon regarding who to vote for Judge in the November 8th, 2016 election.  Your vote for a Judge is very crucial to you and your community. For instance If you get arrested for weed, you will see a Judge before you will see the President.  If a law is passed, a Supreme Court Judge could nullify that law with the stroke of a pen. 

The same “Citizens groups and Concerned Pastors” who desire a Donald Trump Presidency are the same people who want to shut down the Marijuana industry in Detroit and Michigan.  They are a front group for some owners and others who want to corner the market and drive others out of business. They are an embarrassment to education because, they don’t read and, they are adhering to the racist dogma of the late Harry Anslinger.  He hated African Americans so much, that he took his hate and combined dislike of Marijuana into a deadly combination of lengthy jail sentences. Now that Trump is showing his true colors these groups are worried about the judicial races.

The organizations that are trashing Supreme Court Candidates Deborah Thomas and Frank Symanski want you to re-elect the appointees of Governor Snyder who have perpetuated the situation in Flint. By denying the citizens the right to sue for damages, the criminal conduct of a few State Employees gets approved by the courts.   The same group does not support reform of Marijuana laws and supports the privatized prisons that keep people locked up to drive up stock values.


We say Vote for Judges First!
The choice of Judge is very important to you because a Judge can control your life, take your assets, put you in Jail, keep you out of Jail, and make the rules. We cannot let people invoke their religious beliefs into law, without regard of an individual’s First Amendment right of Freedom to practice or abstain from religion. It is against federal law to use religion in zoning regulations which means that this part of the Detroit City Ordinance was declared unconstitutional by US District Court Judge Avery Cohen. This ruling included the abusive and broad interpretation of the Drug Free Zone and Marijuana Compassion Centers.  The process that Council-member James Tate started with Ordinance #61 will have to start all over again. This time, the Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Laws can design a fair and equitable ordinance that will allow equal opportunity for all who want to partake in the growing Marijuana industry.


On or before November 8th, vote for Deborah Thomas and Frank Symanski for Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Women were punched out on a Bridge in Selma Alabama so that you could vote AND your vote would count. Don’t let them down! 

Fill in the blanks by voting for Deborah and Frank!  Michigan Supreme Court.

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