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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Restoring the Revenue: Growing Hemp in Detroit with House Resolution 314

The Friends of Cushingberry
August 19, 2010


Rep. Lamar Lemmonds has introduced legislation to allow Michigan Farmers to grow industrial grade hemp for use by businesses and industries doing business in Michigan. On July 28, 2010 Mr. Lemmonds made this a reality when this bill was referred to the commerce committee. The benefit to the community is that it will create jobs in manufacturing and correct the trade imbalance with Canada regarding hemp products.


HR 0314 is a resolution to memorialize Congress and the administration to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity and to take certain steps to remove barriers in order to Industrial hemp refers to the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis which are cultivated exclusively for fiber, stalk, and seed. Industrial hemp is genetically distinct from the drug varieties of Cannabis, also known as marijuana. Industrial hemp has less than three tenths of one percent of the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The flowering tops of industrial hemp cannot produce any drug effect when smoked or ingested.

Industrial hemp is an incredible plant that offers a plethora of uses, which among other things could reduce our dependency on foreign oil AND help curb deforestation for paper products and most importantly bring jobs back to Michigan.

There are thousands of ways that various parts of the hemp plant can be used: paper, ethanol, textiles/clothing, food (hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids humans need), oil paints, plastics, cordage, drywall, and insulation to name a few.
Hemp products abound in the United States. Nutritious hemp foods can be found in grocery stores nationwide and strong durable hemp fibers can be found in the interior parts of millions of American cars. Buildings are being constructed using a hemp and lime mixture, thereby sequestering carbon. Retail sales of hemp products in this country are estimated to be $1 billion annually.



Currently the State of Michigan imports %100 of our hemp from Canada. This must change because the agriculture community has high unemployment and the massive benefits from using hemp products. Agricultural institutions of higher learning will be able to develop research programs to use hemp products for industry and foster developments of urban grow centers. Students attending Michigan State University for example will see the cost for their books and tuition remain constant for 10 years from the revenue generated by hemp. For example a place like Old Tiger Stadium which has been renamed Ernie Harwell Park can grow legitimate hemp instead of the weed that is growing there now.


Due to term limits, Rep. Lemmonds will not be there when this bill gets to the promise land of becoming a law. The City of Detroit and the State of Michigan need the money in the worst way. Revenue from hemp would reopen or rebuild neighborhood recreation centers like Johnson Center, Coleman Young, and other civic projects. It is up to you and other interested citizens to contact your new elected officials like Rep. Elect Thomas Stallworth, Senator Elect Virgil Smith and others who will have a job in Lansing at the Capitol. Demand that this bill gets a full vote by the entire House and Senate as soon as possible because the main excuse is that no one contacts their offices about anything. Make this excuse go away by using your phone, email, fax, and letter if you have the time to write one. Ask your State legislator for a hearing and a full vote on HR 314 today.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Congratulations to Virgil Smith - Senator Elect District 4

The Friends of Cushingberry
by Richard Clement
Aug. 6, 2010

The people have spoken and they have selected Virgil Smith as their next senator for the 4th Senatorial District. Rep. George Cushingberry and Friends of George Cushingberry are congratulating Mr. Smith on his hard earned victory. We wish him well in the next legislative session. We also want to congratulate his replacement for the 8th House of Representative district Mr. Thomas Stallworth. Even though our friend George had 28 endorsements as opposed to 8 for Mr. Smith the end result did not reflect it.


Mr. Cushingberry accepts full responsibility for the City Pension debacle. After being prodded and pulled on by Mayor Bing and staff, he thought he was acting in the best interests of the people. Papa Clement warned me beforehand that a lot of City Retirees were totally ticked off and it would not be forgotten at the voting booth. Dad was right again. The citizens of Detroit do not want the State of Michigan managing their money or schools and I don’t blame them at all for it. The mayor does not need another job duty like running the school system. There are too many other issues for a Mayor to deal with already. If the mayor is running the school system, the mayor is going to pick his own boss and board members. Detroit Public School employees and children have a rich tradition of success and do not accept the figures being exploited by others. All you have to do is to attend a graduation ceremony at any one of the high schools and you start to question how the figures are calculated.


Besides the issue of his name not being printed on ANY slate material at the polls, the Medical Marijuana community has lost their champion for their cause. While they were sitting at home or other places enjoying their medicine, none of them turned out at the polls. This same behavior if repeated in November will result in the entire law being modified by people who do not care for marijuana at all and continue to label it a gateway drug and “the devil weed” by certain religious groups and pastors. The people who are sabotaging the Medical Marijuana program may have gotten a reprieve for a minute but there will be other champions coming behind Mr. Cushingberry to take up the slack. We hope for the people sake that this person has the ability and tenacity to finish the job that was started by Mr. Cushingberry.


Mr. Cushingberry fully supports Virg Benero as the candidate for Governor of the State of Michigan. Mr Benero has the right attitude and has witnessed the pain and suffering right before his very eyes. Homes being trashed out by Wall Street investors through bank foreclosure proceedings have caused massive pain, discomfort, and death to citizens of Michigan. General Motors with Oldsmobile and Pontiac disappearing cost many people their jobs and livelihoods in and outside the auto industry. The same banks that got the bailout money laid off people, invested the difference and got bigger and fatter while entire families were made homeless. Mr. Benero also supports the Medical Marijuana law and is allowing the citizens of Lansing to provide input on zoning regulations instead of moratoriums like other cities.


Detroiters want a makeover, not a takeover.


Make a point of investing into Detroit’s future by attitude and financial means. Teach the young the value of having a pension vs. a 401k, 403, and other financial products that will generate long term financial growth while meeting short term goals. This not the time to sit on your behinds and wait for others to make quality of life decisions at the voting booth. Remind your friends and family to vote in November by selecting Virg Benero as your Governor and, supporting Senator Elect Virgil Smith in November.

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