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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 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 . 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: ) 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.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Detroit NEZ Tax Credit Extended To December 9th, 2016 - Neighborhood Enterprise Zone No Excuses!

Detroit at $750 an Impervious Acre, How to Figure Out Your Monthly Water Rate

By Richard C. Clement

Debugging the new water rates in the City of Detroit takes a definition of what Impervious Surfaces are. Wikipedia defines it as:
“Impervious surfaces are areas of the earth that have been covered by any material that impedes the infiltration of water into the soil. Areas of land covered by pavement or buildings are impervious to rain water. Concrete, asphalt, rooftops and even severely compacted areas of soil are considered impervious.”
Lake St. Clair
Unlocking the mystery of how much my new monthly water bill is can be solved by clicking this website link  to access the City of Detroit Website article under impervious acers.  When you get there, enter your property address.  When your property is found, wait 10 seconds and double click on the picture inside the property line..  To calculate your new monthly water rate, multiply the impervious surface acre percentage times $750. The answer will equal you monthly rate.  If you are disputing the calculated amount, then you are encouraged to click here to fill out your drainage survey form and send it in to DWSD.

Eventually. a large combined sewer separation project will have to be undertaken like other cities have done in Michigan (Lansing Michigan Combined Sewer Separation Project) because of climate change in our world.

We hope this helps clear the confusion on the new rates. - Good Stuff on the Internet