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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Clarifying the confusion of State Attorney General Bill Schuette regarding the Michigan Medical Marijuana Law.

By Richard C. Clement

Happy holidays from the Medical Marijuana community to you reading this article. The end of the year is a joyous time for some families and for others a time to reflect.  Over the years activists, military personnel, and elected officials are constantly reminded of the fact that freedom is not free. People from many backgrounds have sacrificed so much to allow people the right to vote that it is a right that constantly needs to be guarded and protected.  This is forcing us to focus on the current state of affairs with the current executive director of the Office of Attorney General for the State of Michigan and the voter supported Michigan Medical Marijuana program.

Recall Bill Schuette
Recently Attorney General Bill Schuette sponsored 4 seminars on “Clearing the Air: Implementing and Enforcing Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law” in 4 different Michigan cities. The seminar was a fast paced demonstration of  ‘experts’ who gave law enforcement and elected officials instructions on how to sabotage and ignore many parts of the law.  From the lead off presenter Celeste Clarkston, this seminar had more fraudulent statements than the best con artist incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections.  Starting with the god-awful 3 and 4 month turnaround time for processing patient applications, this program is being horribly mis-managed.

According to Ms. Clarkston this programs receives 400 to 800 applications per day. On some days up to 2000 applications a day are received in the MMJ office.  All processing is done in house by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Medical Marijuana Staff with just a day shift of employees.  The excuse of a broken printer is un-acceptable and needs to be addressed with a maintenance contract to a vendor with possibly TWO printers running 24/7 5 days a week. To correct this problem the Department must operate an afternoon and evening shift to have all applications processed and cards in hand within the 20 day timeframe as required by law.  The Department of Treasury processes 10 times more applications in the form of tax returns and has a much superior turnaround.  Maybe Treasury Director Andy Dillon needs to consider taking over the processing of applications with his department staff.

The next presenter, Ken Steckler Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association for Michigan, complained loudly about the law being a hornets’ nest where county prosecutors are getting stung like a hornet. His proudest accomplishment is to say that the Court of Appeals has overturned every case regarding Medical Marijuana which is not true.  Many patients have had their cases dismissed as they were following the law and, law enforcement was clearly in the wrong as found by District Court judges throughout the state. Currently Ken works for Attorney General’s office as a consultant for Bill Schuette along with Alan Cropsey an avid marijuana hater to invalidate the people’s law.  Having Alan Cropsey to re-write the Michigan Medical Marijuana law is similar to having the Ku Klux Klan design and re-write Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity legislation.  When Mr. Cropsey is finished with his work, the law will be basically null and void, pending approval by the Michigan House and Senate.

Schuette the Job Killer:
Just Budz on Michigan Ave. Lansing MI
Within the presentation package was a fill in the blank Public & Common Nuisance Complaint for local officials to shut down compassion centers within their jurisdictions.  Some cities have used this document to shut down businesses like Big Daddy’s Compassion Club in Clarkston and other places based on this seminar.  In Lansing Michigan the attorney general used a ruling to shut down places of business so well that Michigan Avenue is looking like a ghost town again.  Mr. Schuette would like to see more storefront churches and other non-revenue generating business on the avenue.  Medical Marijuana businesses on Michigan Avenue generated property taxes, and utility use in the form of paying electric bills and employing people who would be otherwise unemployed. It was evident from this presentation that Bill Schuette is on a personal agenda to eliminate a $12 million dollar program for selfish reasons.   

For those who decided to stay until the end, the presentation of Dr. Bill Morrone was a 2011 version of Refer Madness without the overt racism.  Dr. Morrone  supplied an impressive presentation of  how Marijuana used with drugs like Oxycodone, Codeine, Morphine, Xanax, Concerta, Valium are a fatal combination.  He continued his propaganda by citing of all people Fidel Castro and what he did to Marijuana users in his country.  Besides his derogatory comments about Michal Moore and President Barack Obama, he cites a study from Columbia University stating that Marijuana users are significantly more likely to be involved in crashes than drivers who do not.  Dr. Morrone’s defining statement to observers is that “Smoking Marijuana and being on  more that 100mg of opioids per day will put you at a higher risk of DEATH from overdosing than NO marijuana and less that 100mg of opiods”.  

Uplifting our Youth and Taxes.

Rev. Jesse Jackson & Free The Weed
The underlying theme of this dog and pony show was to protect the children. If they call this protecting the kids then they would be better off with a pedophile.  We parents have constantly instilled in our children the right to vote and democracy.  This presentation and Attorney General Schuette are using our children as pawns to promote his personal 4F agenda (Find em, Feed em, Fool em, and Forget em).  I don’t blame any shop owner or citizen who does not pay their taxes to the State of Michigan because to give someone your money so that you can get slapped in the face is ludicrous. If we are really concerned about the children, we should quit lying to them regarding cannabis.  I would encourage the community to support any recall effort (Bill Schuette 3.0), ballot initiatives and, constitutional amendments to end prohibition of cannabis in Michigan and America.  The people were not confused when they voted to allow the medical use of Marijuana. In 2008, the Governor, State Senate, and House of Representatives all sat on their confused and sorry behinds while the people got up and voted by a %63 margin to allow for the use of Medical Marijuana.  The presentation is a slap in the face to the voters and a desperate effort by a few selfish politicians who want to promote their biased evangelical agenda to undermine the law for their own self interests. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law under attack from the insurance industry and pharmaceuticals with assistance from Sen. Jones and AG Schuette.

By Richard C. Clement

“In memory of Sal Agro”

Old  Mumford High School
On the legislative front, a series of new bills has been introduced to eliminate Michigan Medical Marijuana law.  If any of these bills become law, the result would be an increase in the number of Michigan citizens subject to arrest by law enforcement and asset forfeiture.  The rationale behind these bills is to benefit the insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry.  One of the most outrageous bills, (Senate Bill 418 of 2011) would effectively invalidate the law by adding one complete paragraph to make the entire law null and void.   The next bill (House Bill 4850) would result in a misdemeanor and a 93 day stretch in jail for passing any amount of medicine to another lawful medical marijuana patient.
Senate Bill 0321 would benefit the insurance industry by allowing a insurance company to deny claims if you test positive for Marijuana.   Senate Bill 506 would increase the amount of paperwork that doctors are required to keep for processing a medical marijuana application.  This bill would increase the cost to participants in the program because, a person would be required to get various second opinions from additional doctors.

The companion pair of bills (Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 4397) is a violation of the US Constitution because they effectively ban the formation, organization, and management of organizations based on marijuana.  Compassion clubs, bars, social gatherings like Hash Bash, Hemp Fest, expos, and conventions that support Marijuana would be deemed an illegal gathering by the State of Michigan.  Participants would be charged with misdemeanors and face up to 93 days in jail and cost of court

New Detroit Compassion
 The Department of Corrections and County Sheriffs would immensely benefit from House Bills 4363 and Senate Bill 505.  These bills will allow Judges and prosecutors to place tethers on citizens and monitor their every move based on the use of Marijuana.  And speaking of drugs in school, House bill 4661 and Senate Bill 0504 are job killing bills that would make owners move their place of business 1000 feet away from a school,  church, or day care center.   The reality of the situation is that school districts are the biggest bunch of drug pushers when it comes to children.  Due to poor upbringing by their parents and legitimate learning disabilities, kids are given drugs at a words notice and agreement with the Childs parents.   Many unnamed teachers and counselors would recommend that some of those children eat an edible brownie as opposed to take some of the big pharmacy drugs they receive now.  Attorney General Schuette says he is protecting the kids. This is laughable when you ask the teacher in the classroom and the social workers how many of their kids take anti-psychotic drugs before they come to class. 

Senate Bill 377 can be amended to reduce the 120 day backlog to less than 20 days as required by law by redirecting resources to improve the information flow, including online registration.  While hating on California, their Medical Marijuana program processes applications in 7 days and, has online verification of their cards(click here).  Michigan currently has excuses like the lack of talent to do the job or some other reason to allow the 880+ applications per day to just pile up.

               The driving force behind all of  these bills are Attorney General Bill Schuette, a host of Republicans,  one Democrat (Mark Meadows – East Lansing), and Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge).   The ultimate goal is to have the State of Michigan and big business grow ALL the marijuana and finance it with asset forfeitures and increased incarceration rates.  The get the Government off the backs of the people crowd now want to have State Employees or Wal-Mart authorized to grow, cultivate, and sell Marijuana.  Incidents in the counties of Midland, Oakland, and Eaton are an example of how the new world would look if they are successful. For “marijuana crimes” convicted criminals will be required to take AA classes, pay for drug testing at $25.00 a pop, attend substance abuse counseling, pay outrageous fines, and lose property in a police auction.

A person with a felony would be banned for life for being a caregiver and forever have another barrier put upon them if they are truly trying to turn it around.  In Oakland County, a 70 year old woman must submit weekly pee drops after being convicted of cultivating marijuana in a private establishment. In the process of this raid where Oakland County deputies used false documents to gain entry, the woman’s 70+ year old husband died.

Mumford High School Class of 1975
At a gathering of Mumford High School alumni members, the recall Rick Snyder petition was being appropriately signed and became a hot item.  I ran into the school health center facilitator at the gathering passing out literature that is normally kept in the office.  It was from the National Resource Center regarding the dangers of marijuana. Protecting the kids is quit feeding them B.S. and to make sure that they are making their assignments are completed on time. If they are not on time then we have to look at correcting the problem to help the young person be a better person. Looking at the progress on the rebuilding on the new Mumford High School the community will not allow a racist Senator hick from the sticks destroy and disrespect our vote.  After having a brief history lesson with a young alumnus, he related the struggles of Medgar Evers and compared it to having the freedom to possess a plant created from the earth. Another young Mumford graduate said that he will call, tweet, and email Senator Rick Jones to tell him quit messing with our law. 

Given the popularity of the program and the exponential revenue that Marijuana has generated, contact your Senator (click here) and House of Representative(click here) member and tell them to vote NO on all of these bills.  If your Senator or Representative is up for recall, then let them know to straighten up or GO! 
As far as Attorney General Schuette this song is for you:
It’s time for Recall,
Down at the City Hall,
To let him know,
Straighten up or Go!

Make it your duty,
To recall Bill Schuette,
cause we all agreed,
to free the weed.

(repeat chours)

On August 1st at 10:00am, a clarity hearing will be conducted to review the language on the petition for the recall of Attorney General Schuette. 806,522 valid signatures needed in 90 days within a 180 day window. A total grass roots effort is in full effect.

Are you ready for your recall?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Creating Cana-Capital in America - Lansing Michigan's Marijuana Reform Movement

Creating Jobs and Opportunities in the State of Michigan
by Richard C. Clement

A report from the battlefront of marijuana reform in the State of  Michigan.

View details of the story by clicking here

The Cannabis Community is fully participating in the Michigan Department of Transportation's(MDOT) Adopt a Highway program.   By using under-utilized MDOT right-of-way property with the cultivation of  ditch weed ( the male cannabis plants), Michigan will be well on it's way to a complete economic recovery and protecting the earth from climate change damage.    MINORML Board Member Richard Clement and Lake County Director Apryl Coleman take time to 'recognize the earth'.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Growing Weed at the White House... a Historical Insight from the streets of Detroit

by Richard C. Clement

Urban Farming has a strong tradition from the White House to the City of Detroit. The people in the neighborhoods grow just like the slaves did when they worked at the White House for President George Washington. While walking down the street on 7 Mile, I ran into an old friend from the neighborhood. He was an urban farmer who wanted to remain nameless.

“The Greening of America began at the White House” stated the gentleman as we were walking down 7 mile road past Mr. Mapps Lounge. I am growing my own personal garden with food and medicine to pay homage to those slaves and First Lady Michelle Obama. The first president, George Washington had a farm on the White House Grounds. The man was a natural born famer and owned slaves who he treated well. They took care of his farm and other emotional needs. He loved him some sisters and all they had to do was take care of the farm and him.

Now that a daughter of the slaves is living IN the White House, it would be a total honor to have her grow some Industrial Hemp and Medicine in the White House right next to the oregano, cilantro , basil, or parsley. Growing this group of plants in the same area contributes to the spices of each other and feed on each other’s organic makeup. Potatoes and Tomatoes are a favorite of mine. This is because sweet potatoes, beets, turnip greens, are a group to keep together because everything is underground. Interested people would keep up with the growth rate of the plants on the White House website just like Farmville on face book. Since medical marijuana is allowed in D.C., The White House fits the definition of a secure and locked facility.

That was a lot of information I thought to myself and as my friend got into his car. What about all of that hemp that comes from Canada? By trading in hemp, we will have free trade with Canada. The bridge to be named later project over the Detroit River would be paid for by the revenue from the Cannabis trade. Along with farmers, the duty free shops would generate massive amounts of revenue with duty free Cannabis products being sold at the border. Finally City of Detroit employees will be able have an even healthier pension fund by investing in alternative fuel research and manufacturing in Michigan. Cannabis creates jobs and opportunity for an entire earth community.

A “Bong for Bing will solve everything” or Pot for Pugh will help all of you” was the text message I received from my friend.

I sent him back a message saying that “Weed shall overcome and we have only just begun”.

Sent from the spirits of an IBM 370/115 with an IBM 029 keypunch.

Lansing Michigan Ordinance seeks to restrict and relocate the number of dispensaries in the City Limits.

An ordinance proposed by City Councilwoman Carol Wood will force new dispensaries to move into certain areas of the city. If this ordinance is passed, it will force new businesses into specific light industrial zones that will have the potential to create a marijuana free enterprise zones in the City of Lansing. Current owners will be allowed to stay in their present place of business until ownership transfers or a catastrophic event such as a fire or natural disaster.

One of the more controversial parts of the ordinance is the elimination of 24/7 dispensaries in the City of Lansing. Dispensary businesses will only be allowed to operate between the hours of 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday. Another controversial part of this ordinance is not allowing consumption by customers in the place of business. These provisions were fiercely objected to by shop owners and Ingham County NORML.

Supporters of these controversial changes are hoping to force all of the businesses from Michigan Avenue and other places into a few designated areas within the City limits. Another excuse brought up by the neighborhood associations is the electrical draw down of current if these businesses are allowed to cultivate the medicine onsite. If these people are successful in forcing business to move, Michigan Avenue in Lansing will return to empty buildings and abandonment again. Another danger is the invitation for felony acts of arson by deranged individuals forcing the business to move. The draft ordinance as written will force a burned down business to move to a newly zoned area in the City.

There is still time before this ordinance becomes the law to act. We are encouraging all shop owners and customers to contact Councilwomen Carol Wood, A’lynne Robinson, Tina Houghton, and the Lansing City Council to tell them to remove these job killing provisions from the ordinance. This must be done before Thursday June 3rd, 2011 @ 3pm. After this date and time you must show up in person on the 10th floor of Lansing City Hall @ 4PM.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ending the War on Drugs in Eaton County MI - Man facing Jail time for being a valid Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient.

Legislators in Lansing must work together to end the abusive drug war and the impact on Michigan Citizens. The following article addresses the injustices being practiced in Eaton County Michigan. This is a tax on the backs of citizens especially people of color.

Man facing Jail time in Eaton County Michigan for being a valid Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient.

A Report from the frontline in the War on Drugs
By Richard C. Clement
January 11, 2011

On January 26, 2011 @ 5:30pm Medical Marijuana Patient and a male City of Lansing Resident will go before Judge Judith Reincke to have the terms of his probation modified. He is being denied the right to use his medicine by the Judge based on an interpretation of Federal Law. He was convicted of domestic assault of when he disciplined his two teen age children for improper cell phone use. Mix in the heated atmosphere of a separation and divorce; the man's ex-wife filed a police report that was embellished, giving the appearance of child abuse and excessive violence. His mistake started with not reading what was written on the police report and, pleading no contest without legal counsel.

He was placed on probation for 24 months and as a condition of his probation has to submit to random drug tests, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and Domestic Violence Counseling that is very expensive. This man has the qualifying medical condition of degenerative spinal stenosis, an illness that was a result of a motorcycle accident that brings on chronic pain. The condition is controlled successfully with Marijuana which works better than all other pharmaceutical drugs combined. Therefore when He shows up for weekly drug testing, he always tests positive. This has been happening since November 2010 frustrating his probation officer Liz Hoogstra. Ignoring his doctor's medical advice, Judge Reincke ordered him not to take anything and just suffer the pain until the hearing on January 26th.

The cost breakdown is as:

Weekly Random Drug Test (one per week for 24 months)
104 weeks @ $25.00 a week. Total Cost $2600.00

Weekly Drug Counseling sessions for the Marijuana addiction
Total Cost $985.00

3 AA classes per week for 24 months (Marijuana Addiction)
With “Donations Accepted” on a volunteer basis $20.00 per session.

Domestic Violence Prevention Classes $200.00

If you happen to go to jail and spend any time there your cost breakdown is:

Room and Board @ $40.00 per night
Use of Telephone @ $5.99 per minute

This person is a first time “offender” and if you multiply these figures by the number of prisoners taken in per week, you have a money cash cow for the Eaton County Sheriff Department. If we are serious of cutting government spending, we must cut the cost of these hidden taxes on the backs of people who could least afford it. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act has become the equivalent of a tax cut to people who use Marijuana as a medicine at the expense of the County Sheriff’s offices in the State of Michigan.

Given the failure of regular pharmaceutical drugs, his health is being affected by the Eaton County Court that erroneously refers to Marijuana as Schedule I. This means that it is a drug with no medical value, similar to crack and heroin. Natural grown Medical Marijuana works better than the store bought and prescribed medicine from pharmaceutical companies. At this hearing his doctor will be allowed to testify on his behalf, while the Eaton County Prosecutor’s office will be pushing federal law and attempting to put him in Jail. He is willing to do time in jail rather than to take Marinol, morphine, and other dangerous over the counter drugs prescribed by the Eaton County Judge. He is currently looking at 7 to 10 days in Jail if found in violation of his terms of probation.

The breakdown of the family structure in the African American community requires that a father has to lead by survival. When the children want to “take over” a home by: not following rules and talking back, a father has to put his foot down. This father will be putting his foot down by standing up for the law and his right to use Medicine prescribed by a certified medical professional.

Name withheld at the person's request. - Good Stuff on the Internet