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Monday, June 21, 2010

Attorney General is a No-Show before the House Intergovernmental and Oversight Committee on Med. Marijuana

The Friends of Cushingberry
June 21, 2010
By Richard C. Clement T.F.O.C. Blogger

The House Intergovernmental and Oversight Committee conducted a hearing on June 18, 2010 regarding the Michigan Medical Marijuana law. The purpose of this hearing was to hear an official and written opinion from the Attorney General’s office on the procedure for State Judges and law enforcement agencies to follow. County prosecutors are having a field day interpreting the law because it is confusing to them and, they can’t conduct business as usual on Marijuana possession arrests. Legitimate growers are being victimized by Law Enforcement, and others who have over the legal limit allowed by law. Revenues are down so much in county jails that in Ingham County Michigan, Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth attempted to put a millage on the ballot that was sent down in flames by the Ingham County Commission with a resounding NO vote.

When the Attorney General failed to appear, the chairman gave a presentation on the benefits of legalization and taxation of Marijuana in the State of Michigan. He talked about the benefits of research into Marijuana being used as a replacement to many of the common drugs. Extensive research by Dr. H. Westley Clark was cited as a basis for state schools, colleges, and universities to do serious study into the benefits of the plant. Dr. Clarke is Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is responsible for leading the agency's national effort to provide effective and accessible treatment to all Americans with addictive disorders. (Click Here for Dr. Clark's Bio)

The chairman enlightened the attendees reminding us on the purpose of House Joint Resolution #62. This is a resolution to memorialize the United States Congress to repeal the federal Controlled Substances Act and allow all scheduled drugs to be regulated at the state level. Sponsored by Representatives George Cushingberry - (primary) Robert Dean, Fred Durhal, Lee Gonzales, Vincent Gregory, Robert Jones, Michael Lahti, Gabe Leland, Roy Schmidt and, Justin Amash, this resolution if enacted would generate a positive cash flow for the State. With this legislation, the Obama administration has been put on notice that the residents of Michigan favor change in the Federal Controlled Substances Act regarding Marijuana. This bill is currently in the Judiciary Committee awaiting action.

Mr. Cushingberry also cited the recent ballot issue before the Detroit voters this November allowing the use of one ounce or less of Marijuana on private property in the City of Detroit. Although despised by Mayor Bing and others, the issue has a very good chance becoming the law in the City of Detroit. As our friend George said to the audience, ”there are weeds growing in Detroit that are taller than him”. There seems to be an abundance of land in Detroit where the grass has not been cut and weeds are erupting out of the ground daily. The growing of Industrial Grade hemp in some of these empty fields would generate income to the city just like a property tax would. In World War II, the State of Michigan grew hemp rope for the US Navy in Cass County and Southwestern Michigan. Industrial Grade Hemp can be also used for fiber, fuel, foods with some products currently being sold in stores like Kroger and Meijer.

One option being reviewed is the use of plant tags and site licenses issued by the Department of Treasury. These actions would generate a credit balance in the Sales Use Withholding account for the State of Michigan. A plant tag would be required for each of your 12 plants and a site license would be given people with 5 patients to grow 72 or more plants as a collective.

With the non-appearance of the Attorney General before the committee, a subpoena may be issued to them in the future to compel them to appear before the commission for the good will of the people. They have been asked repeatedly to appear no avail while legitimate people are being arrested because of a lack of leadership from the AG’s office and county prosecutors who have very little guidelines to follow.

In summarizing this article the issue of the delay in processing the cards and adding additional qualifying medical conditions are a pressing priority with participants in the program. None of these issues have been addressed and are being held up by the non-appearance by the A.G. By continuing to allow MDCH to miss the 20 day processing requirement this question must be answered. How long would it take for the application process to be “caught up” to the 20 day processing requirement as stated by law? This is turning into a paperwork BP oil backlog for the Department of Community Health. This is leaving the State liable for delays and open to lawsuits with interest and penalties, similar to what a taxpayer gets when they are late on their taxes. Currently the State of California gets their cards to their patients within 7 days of applying for it. Michigan must do much better in this area and it will be done.

In the stuffed shirt world of politics, this blogger has never witnessed applause coming from the audience during a speech from any elected official. Mr. Cushinberry received an ovation from his presentation from the attendees who are truly concerned about the future of Michigan and serving its citizens. If you have any questions or concerns on this matter please to not hesitate to contact us and your individual state representative. (click here to find your State Rep) - Good Stuff on the Internet