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Oakland County NORML: American Prisoners of the Drug War

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American Prisoners of the Drug War News: 55% of Americans support legalizing marijuana

55% of Americans support legalizing marijuana

I think we're beginning to see a pattern here...

Another Angus-Reid Public Policy poll has asked Americans about legalizing marijuana and their opinion of the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs. And once again, for the third year in a row, a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.

The poll is a randomized and controlled online survey. This format, unlike Gallup and other organizations that use telephone polls, may lead to more honest responses from those polled. When asked in Gallup’s last telephone survey about marijuana legalization in October 2010, only 46% of Americans supported marijuana legalization. Angus-Reid’s 2009 survey found 53% support. In 2010 the support was 52% and in the survey just released, support had risen to 55% in favor of marijuana legalization, with only 40% opposed.

Other questions reveal some interesting points as well. When asked if America has a “serious drug abuse problem”, 64% said yes, as a country, we have a serious drug abuse problem, with another 20% saying this serious drug abuse problem is confined to “specific areas and people”. In fact, “serious drug abuse”, defined as people who were admitted to drug treatment for substances other than cannabis, totaled a little over 1.5 million – about 0.4% of our population. Even if you count people forced by a drug court to go to a rehab they don’t need for cannabis, the number is still less than 2 million people.

What we do have in this country is a “serious drug prohibition problem” and it is imperative that we better educate the public that this is what they are misidentifying as drug abuse problems.

Another finding: when asked whether the “War on Drugs is a success”, only 9% of Americans agreed, with a 2-to-1 margin, 67% saying it is a failure. Still, almost a quarter of Americans said “Don’t Know”, indicating another area where we must increase our public education efforts.

As for legalization of drugs and cannabis, we find other interesting data. The gender gap we see in polls like Gallup’s tightens in the online Angus-Reid poll. Where Gallup showed a ten-point gap between men’s and women’s support for legalization of marijuana, Angus-Reid shows 57% of men and 53% of women support legalizing marijuana, a gap of only four points. The online component provides less intimidation of the respondent and I believe women are less likely to be truthful about their support for legalization over the phone, where they hear another voice and imagine being judged as a “pothead”. Still, we need to make up that four-point-gap.

Finally, all the prohibitionists who worry about a “slippery slope” and argue “well, if we legalize pot, what’s next, legal meth?” are going to have to find a new talking point. While the poll shows 55% support for legalizing marijuana, there is but 10% support for ecstasy, 9% for cocaine, 8% for heroin, and 7% each for crack and meth. Apparently Americans know the difference between cannabis and drugs.

Posted by MikeyZero Friday, August 12, 2011 (22:41:17)
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American Prisoners of the Drug War Patients and Caregivers, Get the cameras out!!
Michigan high court rules for Dr. Dre

By Ed Brayton | 03.21.11 | 7:52 am

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of rapper Dr. Dre in a case involving a very important legal principle — whether the police have a right to privacy while performing their duties. The state high court said no.

The suit was filed by Gary Brown, now a Detroit City Councilman but formerly a high-ranking police official. He and other officers were videotaped while threatening to shut down a concert featuring Dre and Eminem if they showed a sexually explicit video. The video was then included in a DVD produced about the tour.

The court, in a 6-1 ruling, dismissed the suit, saying that there is no right to privacy for police while on the job. The implications of this ruling are far more important than they may seem initially because it explicitly makes it legal in the state of Michigan to record the police while they perform their duties.

This is incredibly important because cell phone videos of police officers have revealed misconduct, abuse and lying on reports in case after case around the country. But in some states, like Illinois, it is illegal to videotape the police in the performance of their duties.

Michigan now has a clearly established legal right for what has become a crucial watchdog on police misconduct.


Posted by MikeyZero Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (21:17:44)
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American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: SUPREME COURT: Local and State Laws Not superseded by Federal Drug Laws
For Immediate Release: December 1st, 2008
U.S. Supreme Court: State Medical Marijuana Laws Not Preempted by Federal Law
Medical marijuana case appealed by the City of Garden Grove was denied
review today

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark
decision today in which California state courts found that its medical
marijuana law was not preempted by federal law. The state appellate
court decision from November 28, 2007, ruled that "it is not the job
of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws." The case,
involving Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove,
was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local
police in June 2005. Medical marijuana advocates hailed today's
decision as a huge victory in clarifying law enforcement's obligation
to uphold state law. Advocates assert that better adherence to state
medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless
arrests and seizures. In turn, this will allow for better
implementation of medical marijuana laws not only in California, but
in all states that have adopted such laws.

"It's now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest
medical marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they
prefer the contrary federal law," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy
organization that represented the defendant Felix Kha in a case that
the City of Garden Grove appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Perhaps,
in the future local government will think twice about expending
significant time and resources to defy a law that is overwhelmingly
supported by the people of our state."

California medical marijuana patient Felix Kha was pulled over by the
Garden Grove Police Department and cited for possession of marijuana,
despite Kha showing the officers proper documentation. The charge
against Kha was subsequently dismissed, with the Superior Court of
Orange County issuing an order to return Kha's wrongfully seized 8
grams of medical marijuana. The police, backed by the City of Garden
Grove, refused to return Kha's medicine and the city appealed. Before
the 41-page decision was issued a year ago by California's Fourth
District Court of Appeal, the California Attorney General filed a
"friend of the court" brief on behalf of Kha's right to possess his
medicine. The California Supreme Court then denied review in March.

"The source of local law enforcement's resistance to upholding state
law is an outdated, harmful federal policy with regard to medical
marijuana," said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. "This should send a
message to the federal government that it's time to establish a
compassionate policy more consistent with the 13 states that have
adopted medical marijuana laws."

Further information:
Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order denying review:
Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court:
Felix Kha's return of property case:

Posted by MikeyZero Friday, December 17, 2010 (08:55:23)

American Prisoners of the Drug War Reefer Madness: Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change

Guest columnist

Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change

The U.S. war against marijuana has failed and actually threatens public safety and rests on false medical assumptions. Guest columnist John McKay, Seattle's former U.S. attorney, argues why the laws against marijuana should be changed.

Special to The Times

I DON'T smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.

This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled "Prince of Pot" from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 for peddling marijuana seeds to every man, woman and child with an envelope and a stamp. Emery recently pleaded guilty and will be sentenced this month in Seattle, where he faces five years in federal prison. If changing U.S. marijuana policy was ever Emery's goal, the best that can be said is that he took the wrong path.

As Emery's prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I'm not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.

Congress has failed to recognize what many already know about our policy of criminal prohibition of marijuana — it has utterly failed. Listed by the U.S. government as a "Schedule One" drug alongside heroin, the demand for marijuana in this country for decades has outpaced the ability of law enforcement to eliminate it. Perhaps this is because millions of Americans smoke pot regularly and international drug cartels, violent gangs and street pushers work hard to reap the profits.

Law-enforcement agencies are simply not capable of interdicting all of this pot and despite some successes have not succeeded in thwarting criminals who traffic and sell marijuana. Brave agents and cops continue to risk their lives in a futile attempt to enforce misguided laws that do not match the realities of our society.

These same agents and cops, along with prosecutors, judges and jailers, know we can't win by arresting all those involved in the massive importation, growth or distribution of marijuana, nor by locking up all the pot smokers. While many have argued the policy is unjust, few have addressed the dangerously potent black market the policy itself has created for exploitation by Mexican and other international drug cartels and gangs. With the proceeds from the U.S. marijuana black market, these criminals distribute dangerous drugs and kill each other (too often along with innocent bystanders) with American-purchased guns.

Our wrongheaded policy on marijuana has also failed to address the true health threat posed by its use. While I suspect nothing good can come to anyone from the chronic ingestion of marijuana smoke, its addictive quality and health risk pale in comparison with other banned drugs such as heroin, cocaine or meth. Informed adult choice, albeit a bad one, may well be preferable to the legal and policy meltdown we have long been suffering over marijuana.

Not only does our policy directly threaten our public safety and rest upon false medical assumptions, but our national laws are now in direct and irreconcilable conflict with state laws, including Washington state. So called "medical" marijuana reaches precious few patients and backdoor potheads mock legitimate medical use by glaucoma and chemotherapy patients. State laws are trumped by federal laws that recognize no such thing as "medicinal" or "personal" use and are no defense to arrests by federal agents and prosecution in federal courts.

So the policy is wrong, the law has failed, the public is endangered, no one in law enforcement is talking about it and precious few policymakers will honestly face the soft-on-crime sound bite in their next elections. What should be done?

• First, we need to honestly and courageously examine the true public-safety danger posed by criminalizing a drug used by millions and millions of Americans who ignore the law. Marijuana prohibition has failed — it's time for a new policy crafted by informed policymakers with the help of those in law enforcement who have risked their lives battling pot-purveying drug cartels and gangs.

• Second, let's talk about marijuana policy responsibly and with an eye toward sound science, not myth. We can start by acknowledging that our 1930s-era marijuana prohibition was overkill from the beginning and should be decoupled from any debate about "legalizing drugs." We should study and disclose the findings of the real health risks of prolonged use, including its influence and effect on juveniles.

• Third, we should give serious consideration to heavy regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry (an industry that is very real and dangerously underground). We should limit pot's content of the active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), regulate its sale to adults who are dumb enough to want it and maintain criminal penalties for sales, possession or use by minors, drivers and boaters.

Federal criminal law should give way to regulation, while prohibiting interstate violation of federal laws consistent with this approach. In short, policymakers should strive for a regulatory and criminal scheme like the one guarding that other commodity that failed miserably at prohibition, alcohol.

As my law-enforcement colleagues know well from chasing bootleggers and mobsters, this new regulatory and criminal approach will still require many years of intensive investigation and enforcement before organized criminal elements are driven from the vast marijuana market. DEA and its law-enforcement partners must therefore remain well equipped and staffed to accomplish this task: to protect our families from truly dangerous drugs and to drive drug cartels, gangs and dope dealers from our society.

John McKay is a law professor at Seattle University and the former United States attorney in Seattle.

Posted by MikeyZero Sunday, September 05, 2010 (22:55:50)

American Prisoners of the Drug War News: Gregory Scott Piasecki: Memorial Service: Goodbye Skippy
Gregory Scott Piasecki: President and Founder of Oakland County NORML: A Memorial

Posted by MikeyZero Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (22:06:15)
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American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: Upcoming Oakland NORML MEETING!!
Hi All,

Our next meeting will be in 3 days on Tuesday October 9th at 7pm at the (Birmingham) Baldwin Public Library. This will be a Joint Meeting with Birmingham Compassion Club All concerned are very welcome to attend

Lots: of updates to discuss.

an update of the action in the Michigan Senate on the Medical Marijuana reforms bills
discuss the very positive development regarding the possible introduction of county wide decriminalization. or lowest law enforcement priority bills with the Oakland County Commission.
an update from the recent Michigan Hemp annual meeting.

I will also have tell of my recent conversation with the medical marijuana hostile County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper. I can tell you this much, she is a lot about how her position on Medical Marijuana is upsetting people, and giving them pause about voting for her. The only thing going for her frankly is that her opponent was endorsed by Bill Schuette.

Going forward all Monthly Meetings will be held Every 2nd Tuesday though February 12th 2013 at the Baldwin Library in Beautiful Down Town Birmingham Michigan with the Birmingham Compassion Club,

I hope to see You all There

- Neil

Posted by MikeyZero Monday, April 18, 2011 (18:21:56)

American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: METRO DETROIT COMMUNITIES SUED OVER MEDICAL POT
Newshawk: Richard Lake
Pubdate: Mon, 7 Feb 2011
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Detroit Free Press
Contact: http://www.freep.com/article/99999999/opinion04/50926009


Community officials across the region have spent countless hours in the last year debating how to regulate medical marijuana.

Now, some are spending legal fees defending lawsuits.

Royal Oak, whose ban on growing medical marijuana starts today, was sued last week, and another lawsuit is expected to be filed against the city this week. Also sued recently by medical-marijuana patients in metro Detroit were Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Livonia and Lyon Township.

"This is going to keep happening, and we're going to spend legal fees while we're laying off police officers," Royal Oak City Commissioner Jim Rasor said.

Rasor said the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act "is perfectly clear" in establishing Michiganders' rights to use, grow and distribute medical marijuana. But he was in the minority of the 4-3 vote on the city's ordinance change, passed last month, to ban growing medical marijuana in Royal Oak.

After dozens of citizens signed a petition asking for a complete ban on the drug, city commissioners sided with allowing its use but banning its cultivation, saying that the state law voters passed in 2008 was vague and could lead to drug dealing in the city.

Michigan's new attorney general, Bill Schuette, said through a spokesman last week that he agreed.

"The law is an absolute disaster," Schuette spokesman John Selleck said. "It has created the No. 1 growth industry in Michigan, but these are not the kind of jobs we need. Our attorneys are looking at the issue right now to determine the best ways the law could be clarified."

It's too soon to say when the attorney general might issue an opinion on medical marijuana, he said. Such an opinion would not be binding on the courts, but it would help guide community leaders on the issue, Royal Oak City Attorney Dave Gillam said.

Gillam said he and the city's planning director hope to resolve a mushrooming legal quandary with their ordinance change: whether residents who are state-approved patients can continue to grow the drug in their homes and be grandfathered in to the new city zoning amendment, if they've grown the drug before, Gillam said.

Royal Oak officials admitted that they failed to anticipate the problem of grandfathering existing growers, who are guaranteed confidentiality by the state Medical Marijuana Act, Grosse Pointe attorney Paul Tylenda said.

He represents Steven Greene, a resident of Lyon Township, who filed a lawsuit last month against the community to challenge its total ban on medical marijuana use, Tylenda said.



These communities have been sued over ordinances restricting medical marijuana:

Bloomfield Township -- Sued last year in Oakland County Circuit Court by two anonymous residents who said the city's requirement that state-approved patients register with the police department violated privacy provisions in the state law that allows medical marijuana.

Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Livonia -- Sued in December in Wayne County Circuit Court by a Birmingham couple in their 60s, who said the communities' ordinances amounted to bans on medical marijuana. The couple said they want to use marijuana in their home, take it to a private club in Bloomfield Hills to control the wife's symptoms during long social events, and grow it in a warehouse they own in Livonia. Lawyers from the Detroit-based Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union represent them.

Lyon Township -- Sued last month in Oakland County Circuit Court by a resident who received a notice from the township Dec. 20, saying he had 30 days to destroy marijuana plants inside his mobile home. The lawsuit said he is HIV positive and uses marijuana to counteract nausea caused by his medications.

Royal Oak -- Sued Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court by a resident who said he suffers from cancer and back ailments. His lawsuit said Royal Oak's ban on growing medical marijuana and other restrictions conflict with the state law that allows medical marijuana.

Posted by MikeyZero Monday, February 07, 2011 (18:57:10)
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American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: How does his marijuana garden grow? Carefully and quietly, Ann Arbor caregiver s

By: Juliana Keeping
AnnArbor.com Health/Environment Reporter

How does his marijuana garden grow? Carefully and quietly, Ann Arbor caregiver says

Topics: Health, News

Posted: Jan 16, 2011 at 6:02 AM [Today]

Jude grew up in a rough neighborhood on Detroit’s east side and left home when he was 15.

Life hasn’t been easy.

He’s lost five of his close friends in drug-related deaths over the years — each to either an overdose or a violent end stemming from the use of heroin or methamphetamine. He’s dabbled in an array of drugs himself, he admits, and dealt drugs like marijuana on Detroit street corners as a teen. He came out of it with a terrible driving record but no misdemeanor drug or felony convictions.


Jude explains his growing process in the basement of his Ann Arbor home.

Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com

Now 30, the Ann Arbor resident is a caregiver — a person who grows and supplies medical marijuana to patients who qualify under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. It’s unclear how many caregivers are growing statewide; state officials say they’ll provide a figure when an accurate number is available. The state had registered nearly 50,000 patients as of Dec. 29.

In April 2009, it became legal to use and grow marijuana for patients with conditions like cancer, chronic pain, HIV or glaucoma.

With that change, Jude’s background in various illegal drug ventures suddenly had a legal purpose. But like other caregivers, Jude would only agree to be interviewed if his full name wasn’t used. Caregivers — citing legal and employment concerns — say state law may have legitimized the drug in part, but not in the minds of most people.

Jude said he learned how to grow marijuana when he was 20, as an apprentice of sorts in black market grow houses. He also has, at various times, been a theater or business student in college — endeavors that left him without a degree and $20,000 in debt.

"I ran out of money," he said of his choice to drop out of school.

At one point, Jude was a wedding DJ. Now he holds a professional day job and runs his own business — one that has nothing to do with drugs.

But he keeps a foot in his old life, growing marijuana in Ann Arbor and selling the product to those who are medically qualified.

Inside one caregiver’s world

Jude, like other caregivers interviewed by AnnArbor.com, keeps the fact that he grows and distributes marijuana to himself. He only lets his landlord, a close circle of friends and patients know what’s really going on in the basement of his rental home. State law may have legitimized what he’s doing, but medical marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government.

Jude fears being exposed would make him a target for those who illegally deal marijuana. And there’s a stigma associated with the drug that he fears will hurt him professionally.

Jude is exclusively a grower and is not a medical marijuana patient himself, as some caregivers are.

Jude, who talks like a botanist, learned most of the technical skills involved in growing marijuana indoors from reading books and papers on the subject — in addition to his work in the illegal grow operations of his past.


Jude takes meticulous notes about his plants and has done extensive research on growing techniques.

Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com

Plywood boards form a makeshift room in the basement of his small rental home. There, his marijuana operation is padlocked shut. The paperwork required of caregivers from the Michigan Department of Community Health, which runs the state’s medical marijuana program, is affixed to the door.

His landlord supports what he is doing, he said.

“It’s really been just like any other part of my life,” he said.

A lighting system worth about $2,000 is switched on at 11 p.m. and runs for 12 hours overnight, when the electricity rates are lower than they are during the day. The plants are in darkness for the other 12 hours. On a recent night, three 1,000-watt light bulbs illuminated 24 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.

Inside the grow room, silver reflective material lined the walls to capture light — Jude casually uses the term lumens, a measurement of light streaming out of high-pressure sodium bulbs. He said he consulted an electrician when he set up the lighting system, which has to be vented to keep it and the plants from getting too hot. Fans and air conditioning control the temperature, 72 to 78 degrees, and humidity, 35 percent to 45 percent, inside the room.

Jude’s growing system is homemade. A Rubbermaid container acts as a reservoir, and a submerged pump circulates water constantly through the soil-free system of PVC pipes propped up about two feet off the ground by a base made of two-by-fours.

Inside the pipes, sprayers disperse the water and keep the environment humid. Jude has added microorganisms to the water to help replicate what would be found in soil. He feeds the microorganisms sugar or molasses.

He keeps meticulous notes on everything he does, like the pH level in the water and the growth rate of each plant.

Where does he get them? That’s tricky since nothing in the state law addresses seeds or seedlings, which can’t be legally acquired. Jude said he trades cuttings — a trimming from a mature female plant — with friends. It takes about six weeks for a cutting to take root and start to flower. It takes months more before the buds can be harvested, dried and then cured to avoid molding. Once a grower harvests a plant, the plant is done producing. Each can produce between 0.5 and 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

All the plants grown have to be females; male plants would pollinate the buds, rendering them unusable.

Jude said marijuana caregivers bristle at the drug language used in manufacturing what the state now considers medicine. That's one of the reasons they sell it by the gram, he said. For his patients, one gram costs $10. There are 28 grams in an ounce.

Jude dismisses hydroponics as a general term and said he’s combined several techniques. He described his process with a rapid-fire combination of horticulture acronyms and street terms like “bubble-ponics,” which means pushing air into the water to add oxygen to the environment.

Buckets and other household containers hold the more mature plants, while smaller plants thrive in their respective pods cut into the pipe system.

A strain called Northern Lights was growing for one of Jude’s patient in Folgers can. He said he likes to give each of them a free ounce of marijuana each month, and he’s not making much money on the endeavor.

Jude said he simply likes to garden, and not just marijuana — his mother was a florist and he helped out with her flower garden as a kid. He also often grows his own vegetables.

The caregiver’s patient

Dale Franz, 73, is one of Jude’s patients. The retired journalist said severe sciatic nerve pain keeps him up at night.


Each marijuana plant produces 0.5 to 2.5 ounces of product.

Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com

Marijuana he inhales via a vaporizer helps with the pain and helps him sleep. The Northern Lights plant Jude was growing is for him.

“The difference between using something like medical marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs, for me, is that pain management is a more complex thing than just suppressing pain,” Franz said. “It involves what your feeling about it is, your perception of pain, and I think that the marijuana allows you to examine that subjectively, with your own reactions, much more easily than if you just cover it up with some kind of powerful drug. You can feel the pain, but adjust to it somehow, rather than just try to make it go away, so you’re aware that you’re still on the planet.”

Franz said one of the reasons he uses medical marijuana is to avoid opiate-containing narcotics with ingredients derived from the same plant that produces heroin. He appreciates the relationship he has developed with Jude and his product.

“I’m familiar with his operation,” Franz said. “I’ve seen how he grows his plants. He’s very careful. He’s reliable he’s consistent and he’s very supportive. It’s also a part of the local economy, and it’s a program that ought to be provided for people.”

Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at julianakeeping@annarbor.com or 734-623-2528.

Posted by MikeyZero Sunday, January 16, 2011 (17:58:14)

American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: Rally in LANSING and GRAND RAPIDS WEDNESDAY 1/12/11
For Immediate Release: January 10th, 2011
Medical Marijuana Patient Advocates Stage Rallies in MI & NV Against Federal Interference
Patients, providers, lawyers, public officials speak out against aggressive, unnecessary & harmful raids

Las Vegas, NV; Grand Rapids & Lansing, MI -- Angry but peaceful protests will be held this Wednesday in response to what patient advocates are calling an unnecessary escalation of federal interference in medical marijuana states. Protests are scheduled to occur at various times Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan, in response to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids that have occurred over the past 6 months in the two states. Most recently, fifteen patients and providers were arrested last week in Las Vegas as a follow-up to aggressive raids conducted last year. The Justice Department is also pursuing medical records for 7 registered Michigan patients, despite strong privacy provisions in that state's medical marijuana law.
What: Coordinated rallies in Las Vegas, Grand Rapids & Lansing to protest recent federal interference
When: Las Vegas at 12 Noon; Grand Rapids at 9am; Lansing at 1pm
Where: Las Vegas - Federal Building, 333 Las Vegas Blvd.
Grand Rapids - Federal Courthouse, 110 Michigan St. NW
Lansing - East steps of State Capitol, Michigan Ave. & Capitol St.
"It's time to end federal enforcement of local and state medical marijuana laws," said Caren Woodson, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access, the country's leading medical marijuana group. "Not only are the recent raids inconsistent with the spirit of the Obama Justice Department memo, but they are harmful and counterproductive to the full implementation of local and state medical marijuana laws." Despite an October 2009 Justice Department memorandum de-prioritizing federal enforcement in medical marijuana states, aggressive raids, arrests and prosecutions have continued unabated.

Posted by MikeyZero Monday, January 10, 2011 (23:59:12)
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American Prisoners of the Drug War Medical Marijuana: Medical marijuana political action committee plans to raise $500,000
Medical marijuana political action committee plans to raise $500,000 in 2011
to support sensible policies and candidates

Detroit, MI, January 7, 2011: A group of individuals has announced today
that they are now registered as a PAC (Political Action Committee) in the
state of Michigan with the purpose of supporting candidates who will back
the existing law governing medical marijuana which was approved
overwhelmingly by voters in 2008. Organizers stated that due to developments
in state government as well as actions that have already been taken across
the state at the local level, it is especially necessary to form a group to
defend a good policy that is under fire.

“It isn’t the job of politicians who are in the business of pandering to
narrow, yet vital constituencies to second-guess such a strong majority of
voters”, said Ryan Richmond a co- founder of the new PAC that the founders
have decided to call Sensible Michigan. Richmond states that the name goes
to the heart of what he believes is the key to defending and upholding the
law and moving forward with a reasoned approach to medical marijuana in the
state of Michigan: common sense. He states that he and his team plan to
raise $500,000 for the 2012 election cycle so they can adequately defend the
law from detractors.
“Opponents of the existing law often enjoy portraying the people associated
with medical marijuana as drug users and drug dealers when the reality is
that there are many business and health professionals who are in the
business of helping acutely sick and disabled individuals in a safe and
professional manner.”, stated attorney and board member Paul Tylenda. “Safe
access is the current policy and the current policy is the logical one.
Appropriate zoning is fundamental to creating safe access policies that
communities and their leaders can get behind.”

When asked about the primary activities that the PAC will seek to engage in,
Joseph Fisher, an organizer working with Sensible Michigan was very upbeat,
optimistic, and confident that the group would go beyond just supporting
candidates financially, but participating in grass roots activities such as
canvassing and letter-writing campaigns. “Money talks but so do people. Our
organization isn’t only going to posses the capability to help financially
back candidates, but to turn out the vote and remind politicians that this
is an issue that many voters deeply care about as well.”

Richmond says that these very efforts are going to be buoyed by the
contributions they expect from a wide cross-section of supporters including
health professionals, attorneys, entrepreneurs, patients, and those who
support a just law and safe access in general. “It’s a shame that we need to
put this much effort in to defend something so logical, so strongly
supported by voters, but it would be a greater shame if we were to allow
this law to be eliminated by a strong and vocal minority.”

More information can be found on their website, www.sensiblemichigan.org

Joseph Fisher
Sensible Michigan PAC

Kim Koper Davis
St. Clair County MINORML

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines
which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and
mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” - Henry Ford

"An acre of the best ground for hemp, is to be selected and sewn in hemp and
be kept for a permanent hemp patch." -Thomas Jefferson's Garden Book, 1849

Posted by MikeyZero Monday, January 10, 2011 (20:43:35)
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