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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

State of the Bud - Marijuana Businesses in the City of Detroit Status Report April 2016

by Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst

                Inspections of Medical Marijuana facilities will continue with employees from BSEED and the Detroit Police Department to assist in gaining access to the property in question. According to City of Detroit Building Inspector Wayne Wilkins (, by law they are required to enter the premises, shoot pictures of a business, advise the owners of a Drug Free Zone violation and exit the premises quickly.  BSEED inspectors are not interested in and have NO DESIRE to be concerned with how much marijuana that you have at your facility. During this time of litigation, BSEED will enter a place of business with the assistance of the Detroit Police Department because their only job is to make sure that the building is up to code.

Meanwhile, there are two separate lawsuits that were filed in Wayne County Circuit Court on the behalf of the business owners and concerned patients.  The first one was filed by the citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform (Case# 16-004185-AW Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform v Janice Winfrey, Detroit Election Commission, City of Detroit) that has 3 named defendants in: The City of Detroit, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, and the Detroit Election Commission.  This suit is in regards to the filing of the petitions to allow the citizens of Detroit Michigan to vote on the ordinance that was implemented by the City Council in the August 2nd, primary.  A large majority of Detroit residents signed petitions to halt the ordinance and develop a new one that is less restrictive on Detroit Business owners.  It seems that the current license and zoning ordinance was designed to benefit a few owners at the expense of other owners who are Detroit residents that want to be a part of a growing Marijuana industry.

The second lawsuit was filed by the Sons of Hemp, a Pro-Cannabis group of African American business owners who will be adversely affected by this new ordinance (Case No. 16-004201-CZ JONES, RONALD, ET AL. V THE CITY OF DETROIT). There are 10+ named plaintiffs who all own stores, and grow operations who want a voice and a place in the growing Marijuana industry.  Their hearing is scheduled on July 1st, 2016 with Judge John Murphy of the 3rd District Wayne County Circuit Court. This lawsuit addresses the inequities of the ordinance regarding African American business owners in Detroit who will be getting shut out of the market because of the ideology of the 1939 mandate of Harry Ainslinger, the first head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. This man promoted the current drug war on the back of Billie Holiday because he hated African Americans that played Jazz music and had any kind of talent. (The Hunting of Billie Holiday by the USA)

As the late University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant put it when he found out he needed African Americans to win football games,
 “If you have a fast negro running the ball, you have to hire another negro to catch them”. 
In Billie Holiday’s case, Harry Ainslinger hired his first black agent Jimmy Fletcher to specifically take down Ms. Holiday.  Quoting the article 
"Jimmy Fletcher follows her around for two years, and she was so amazing, he fell in love with her. And he felt ashamed his whole life for what he did. He busts her. She’s sent to prison. The trial—she said, "The trial was called The United States v. Billie Holiday, and that’s how it felt."  
"And when she gets out, exactly what happens to addicts all over the United States today happens—what’s happened to those women I met in Arizona: She can’t get a job. You needed a license to be able to perform anywhere where alcohol was sold, and they wouldn’t give her the license. So, you know, her friend Yolande Bavan said to me, "What’s the cruelest thing you can do to a person is to take away the thing they love." She sinks back into addiction."

In 2016 we have a few African American pastors who use this same ideology to eliminate the business owned by African Americans by continuing to promote the sick and racist policy of Harry Ainslinger’s DEA.  Marijuana is a 1 billion dollar a year industry to states like Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, and so on. Less that 1% of Marijuana business are owned by African Americans.  

Everyone wants a level playing field and there are so many uses of the Marijuana plant that the time has come to get real and end this drug war on the people with the lack of resources to fight. We simply cannot support a policy of putting more men in jail that creates a shortage of males and allow some females to have a bigger selection of partners to pick from. This policy is counterproductive and supports a for profit prison system that gets its revenue from failing children in schools that have been looted by private profiteers.  The current situation with public education everywhere indicates that money is being diverted into the for profit prison system building new jails and tearing down public schools.

This must stop at once and, If you are a interested in becoming a plaintiff please contact the following sources;

Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform   Attorney Kevin Lynn (248) 693-2300
Sons of Hemp:  Ronald Jones

1,2,3,4. It’s time to end the Drug War.

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