GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Michigan judge has thrown out a case against
two former corrections officers who lost their jobs after being
arrested and charged with possession of marijuana-infused butter.
Michael Frederick and Todd VanDoorne were charged in 2014 following an
early-morning, warrant-less search of their homes. Both were
registered under the state's medical marijuana law to use the butter
to control pain. Police allege they didn't comply with the law. They
subsequently lost their jobs in Kent County.
[continues 186 words]
LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the
prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her
back to the Great Lakes State.
For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has
her looking for partners in Michigan.
For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz
Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where
18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry
gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana
[continues 1137 words]
Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana?
Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he
worked in 2009.
Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.
Casias had been using marijuana at home to treat pain from sinus
cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf for wrongful
discharge in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
A U.S. District Judge sided with the company. The U.S. Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.
[continues 1250 words]
Nine years after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative
that permits doctors to prescribe marijuana for therapeutic purposes,
state and local lawmakers are still struggling to design a regulatory
scheme that balances the interests of patients, providers and residents.
Earlier this year, Michigan legislators finally adopted a new regime
that establishes distinct licensing criteria for growing, processing,
testing, transporting and distributing the drug, which is still
forbidden by federal law, and dividing the tax revenues generated by
those activities between the state and local governments.
[continues 630 words]
Medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to stay open while the
state decides who will get a license for the lucrative cannabis
business under a pair of bills to be introduced in the state
Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, and Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann
Arbor, will introduce the bills in the Senate and House this week to
counteract an advisory by the state to dispensaries that they should
close before Dec. 15 or risk their chances at getting a license.
[continues 466 words]
The medical marijuana business is expected to explode next year when
the state begins to hand out licenses, and rules released Thursday by
the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could prove to be
even more profitable for some budding marijuana entrepreneurs.
LARA said in an advisory that one person could apply for three of the
licenses -- grower, processor and dispensary -- and locate all of
those businesses in one facility.
"It's something that we've had a lot of inquiries about," said David
Harns, spokesman for LARA, as people looking to get involved in the
medical pot business get ready for Dec. 15, when applications for
licenses will become available from the state.
[continues 434 words]
Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance
to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities
to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne
County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.
If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a
wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.
Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press
that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have
been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact
[continues 940 words]
An explosion in a house Wednesday night in Redford Township seriously
injured three people, and police suspect it involved an explosive
marijuana processing operation.
The three people in the house when the explosion occurred, at 8:15
p.m. on the 20100 block of Woodworth, were hospitalized with
life-threatening injuries, according to a news release from Redford
A neighbor told the station she saw three men run out of the house and
"their clothes were melted off of them" after the explosion, according
to a report from Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV). .
[continues 117 words]
To weed or not to weed? That is the question for Michigan's
As the state board that will regulate Michigan's new medical marijuana
law begins to craft the rules that will govern the multimillion dollar
industry, the state's cities, townships and villages must decide
whether they want in or out.
As they are making their decisions, local officials are being
bombarded with phone calls from people who want to gain a foothold in
the medical marijuana business and are promising untold riches for the
communities that let them in.
[continues 1338 words]
Lansing - A member of a state board charged with creating new rules
for the virtually unregulated medical marijuana industry on Monday
called for all existing dispensaries to be shuttered until official
licenses can be doled out.
But the board tabled the issue until the Bureau of Medical Marijuana
Regulation and the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette can weigh
in after retired State Police sergeant David Bailey raised the idea.
Anxiety quickly rippled through the boardas second public hearing as
people lined up to express fear and anger that they would have to
resort to the black market to find medical marijuana.
[continues 187 words]
LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a
new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully
legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.
The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would
nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and
impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.
"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke
told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision
granting the right to bear arms.
[continues 403 words]
An initiative to amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow
dispensaries to operate near liquor stores, child-care centers and
parks could appear on the November ballot, after a group behind the
effort submitted thousands of signatures backing the measure.
Citizens for Sensible Cannabis spokesman Jonathan Barlow confirmed his
group submitted petitions late last month seeking to amend Chapter 24
of the city's code.
Elections Director Daniel Baxter said the group met the threshold of
required signatures and his department has since turned the initiative
over to the Detroit City Council, which is expected to consider it
[continues 935 words]
Chronic pain is a tremendous public health problem. The Institute of
Medicine estimates chronic pain affects 100 million Americans at an
estimated annual cost of $600 billion. But the rampant use of opioids
to treat chronic pain stands out as the least-defensible and
most-harmful of our maltreatments. Many U.S. physicians remain
resistant to this, though I would argue other options should be considered.
More than 14,000 Americans died in 2014 from unintentional overdose of
prescription opioids, making this the leading cause of death among
younger individuals in many states, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Countless others continue to take
opioids not because they have meaningful pain and functional
improvement, but because they enjoy feeling numbed, or simply have not
been presented with more appropriate and helpful therapeutic options.
[continues 692 words]
Marijuana ballot campaign's donors include "Big Tobacco," say critics.
But supporters say smoke-store chain in Michigan is not typical donor.
A campaign to once again try to fully legalize marijuana in Michigan
is getting big support from a Washington D.C. nonprofit activist group
and from a tobacco store company that has talked of opening a chain of
marijuana shops in the state.
The donor list, revealed in the latest campaign finance statements
filed by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, alarmed
critics who have long contended that marijuana's nationwide march
toward legalization is being funded not by the idealistic stoners and
medical-marijuana users long linked to the politics of cannabis but
instead by a pack of profit-minded investors and corporate types said
to be similar to Big Tobacco -- the nation's cigarette and cigar industry.
[continues 1140 words]
Investigators found more than 87 pounds of suspected heroin Monday
during a raid at a Novi apartment, according to a federal criminal
DEA agents and the Oakland County Narcotics Investigation Team entered
the Brownstones apartment complex unit shortly after 9:30 a.m. on the
42200 block of Joyce Lane to find three men inside, along with eight
bricks of a light-brown substance on a table in plain sight, according
to the complaint from special agent Michael Reamer in U.S. District
[continues 228 words]
Auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman called "terrible" and
"unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband searches of inmates,
cells and staff.
The Michigan Department of Corrections said Thursday it may take
disciplinary action after auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman
called "terrible" and "unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband
searches of inmates, cells and staff at a women's prison.
Auditor General Doug Ringler said during two five-day periods last
year, the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti did
not conduct or document nearly a quarter of the required cell searches
and prisoner shakedowns. Using surveillance video, auditors also found
that 58 of 170 required cell searches were not backed up by the
footage -- meaning they were potentially falsified.
[continues 272 words]
Could Michigan be next to legalize marijuana? The stars are aligning,
say fans of legal cannabis.
After a flubbed effort last year, supporters of marijuana legalization
in Michigan can celebrate reaching a milestone at a posh $250-a-plate
fund-raiser Thursday night.
Their new petition drive has gathered 100,000 signatures in just six
weeks, putting the campaign well ahead of schedule and giving leaders
reason to believe that this year's petition drive will manage to put
the legalization question on Michigan ballots, spokesman Josh Hovey
[continues 535 words]
Wayne police say the man had taken a toy dragon head from a local park
and turned it into a marijuana pipe.
A 19-year-old Wayne man faces criminal charges after police say he
stole a dragon head from a playground and turned it into a marijuana
Wayne police say [name redacted] was recently arrested and charged
with larceny -- $1,000 or more and malicious destruction of
property -- $1,000 or more. The charges stem from an incident Wayne
police responded to on Christmas Day in 2015.
[continues 171 words]
Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana
dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation
efforts began last year and dozens more are expected.
Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press
that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were
"None of them were operating lawfully," Hollowell said. "At the time I
sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a
fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk."
[continues 665 words]
Over a 12-hour period in Beverly Hills, two sisters and a boyfriend of one
of the them were rushed to the hospital after accidentally overdosing on
Police say all three are lucky to be alive.
"The boy was the luckiest," said Detective Sgt. Lee Davis of the Beverly
Hills Public Safety Department. "Two of our detectives went to his house
about the two prior overdoses and they found him totally unresponsive and
all alone. If they didn't show up, this probably would have been a totally
[continues 495 words]
LANSING Lawmakers gave final, and unanimous, passage to a bill Wednesday
that they hope will help lower the number of drug overdose deaths from
The Good Samaritan bill, which passed the state Senate on a 38-0 vote,
would provide immunity from criminal charges for people under the age of
21 who are seeking emergency medical assistance for themselves or friends
as a result of a prescription drug overdose.
The bill, which would require health care facilities to notify the parent
or guardian of the young person suffering from an overdose, was passed
unanimously in the House last month.
[continues 162 words]
Former Fox 2 Detroit anchor Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh is throwing her
support behind a movement to legalize all forms of marijuana for
adults over 21 in Michigan.
Sarfoh was previously on a leave of absence from Fox due to medical
issues related to her multiple sclerosis condition and announced her
decision to retire on Tuesday. Sarfoh will be introduced as a leading
member of the grassroots organization MILegalize at a fundraiser
Wednesday at Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor.
"I loved my job, but multiple sclerosis was making it harder and
harder to do it," she said in a video post on social media Tuesday
[continues 252 words]
Security director says it's unclear whether move will cause delays
DETROIT - Could a pot-smoking Canada trigger congestion along the
United States border?
As the Trudeau government presses ahead with plans to legalize the
sale and purchase of pot, some are wondering whether it could result
in longer wait times at the approximate 120 official ports of entry
along the northern border.
"It's an unknown now, but it could have the effect of really slowing
down, not just travellers, but truckers, too," said Stan Korosec,
director of security and Canadian government relations for the Detroit
International Bridge Co.
[continues 599 words]
Huge bust halts MMJ grower
On Aug. 18, the Colorado Springs Metro Vice, Narcotics and
Intelligence division assisted with the execution of three search
warrants that resulted in the arrest of one person and the seizure of
537 marijuana plants, three firearms, ammunition and an undisclosed
amount of cash. The raid took place within city limits and included
agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Georgia
Bureau of Investigation.
Felipe Hurtado, the 51-year-old man arrested, had six outstanding
felony warrants in Georgia in connection with the 2014 theft of
around 8.9 million hydrocodone tablets - an opioid medication that's
widely prescribed and highly addictive. According to CSPD's statement
following the bust, Hurtado was associated with an unspecified
criminal organization and fled to "the general area of Colorado
Springs [...] to grow marijuana under the pretext of medical marijuana."
[continues 571 words]
"I hurt daily," says former NFL and Michigan State University
football player Andre Rison. "Marijuana candy helps."
Rison has been in the news recently due to legal troubles in
connection with his child support payments and testing positive for
marijuana while on probation. I don't know anything about his child
support issues, but I sympathize with the guy when it comes to his
pain. Football players work in a physically violent arena, and most
of them suffer debilitating pain on a regular basis. I've met people
who still suffer from having played high school football. Imagine
what it's like after having banged around with massively muscular
300-pound people for a living. That's why I totally support the
choices of players such as Barry Sanders, who walked away from the
game hopefully while they were still ahead.
[continues 1054 words]
State Rep. Jeff Irwin recently made Cannabis Business Executive's
list of "100 Political Influencers in Cannabis."
It's no surprise; Irwin has been the biggest cannabis supporter in
our state legislature. Over the years, the Ann Arbor Democrat has
introduced or supported various decriminalization or legalization
bills in Lansing. And he's consistently spoken up about marijuana
legalization at the annual Hash Bash. Irwin doesn't seem to care much
one way or the other about being named as a political influencer on
[continues 1177 words]
A new study put out by University of Michigan researchers suggests
that over time, marijuana use dampens the response of the area of the
brain that responds to rewards.
Researchers with UM's Addiction Research Center and Department of
Psychology found over time marijuana use shifts the brain's reward
system so that a person may need more of the substance to get that
level of satisfaction they would normally get from "natural rewards,"
such as food.
"This kind of suggests that marijuana may be biasing the brain's
reward system away from things the brain would normally find
pleasurable," said the study's Senior Researcher and UM Assistant
Professor Mary Heitzeg.
[continues 543 words]
Detroit - Several medical marijuana caregivers and patients have
filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the Michigan State Police crime
lab intentionally misrepresented test results that expose thousands
of people to possible felony charges.
The civil rights lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Detroit,
alleges the state police acted in concert with the Prosecuting
Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) and other law-enforcement
agencies, including the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.
The lawsuit was triggered by an alleged ongoing policy by the state
to produce inaccurate test results that show marijuana seized during
criminal investigations contained the synthetic cannabinoid
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for marijuana's
psychoactive effects. THC has little or no psychoactive effect when a
marijuana plant is converted to an oil or edible, according to the lawsuit.
[continues 350 words]
"I had a run-in with Vicodin; that turned into a habit that I had to
kick," said Laurent. "Opiate withdrawal - I never want to deal with
Laurent isn't this Detroiter's real name. He didn't want to use it
because he uses marijuana both medically and recreationally, and
because he's young and hopes to become a social worker - maybe a
substance abuse counselor - and doesn't want this column to pop up in
some employer's search.
[continues 1360 words]
Roadside Drug Testing Is a Back Door Prohibition on Marijuana, a
Nightmare for Medical Users
Before breaking for the summer, the Legislature approved an
extra-constitutional one-year pilot program that allows police
officers to conduct roadside saliva testing on drivers they suspect
might be under the influence of a variety of drugs.
It's the kind of legislation that sounds beneficial, but threatens
privacy and due process rights. Gov. Rick Snyder should veto a bill
that is bound to be a litigation machine.
[continues 420 words]
MI Legalize's Lawsuit Challenges Law, Policy That Nulls Signatures
Lansing - A Michigan group seeking to put a marijuana legalization
question on the November ballot is taking its fight to court.
MI Legalize on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the state in the
Michigan Court of Claims, challenging a law and policy that
effectively invalidated its petition signatures collected outside of
a customary 180-day window.
Attorneys Jeff Hank, Thomas Lavigne and Matthew Abel, members of the
MI Legalize board, argue the law and policy are inconsistent with the
Michigan Constitution, which allows for initiated petitions but does
not specify a time limit for signature collection.
[continues 680 words]
Lansing - A group seeking to legalize marijuana in Michigan submitted
an "insufficient" number of valid signatures to qualify for the
November ballot after collecting outside of a traditional 180-day
window, state elections officials said Tuesday.
In a staff report, the Bureau of Elections recommended the Board of
State Canvassers reject the MI Legalize petition at its Thursday meeting.
The activist-led group last week submitted an estimated 354,000
signatures, more than the 252,523 required to make the ballot, but
the bureau said only 146,413 were collected within 180 days of the
filing. State law, updated Tuesday to tighten that window, had
treated older signatures as "stale and void."
[continues 456 words]
MILegalize is still kicking. The effort to legalize recreational
marijuana in Michigan turned in more than 350,000 signatures in its
attempt to put the question on the fall ballot. It was the only group
out of a number of petition efforts to actually turn in their
petitions with the qualifying 252,523 signatures.
To the organizers, activists, petition circulators, and petition
signers, I say: "Well done." But the main question being asked now
is: Was it done quickly enough?
MILegalize spent a year collecting signatures, and overcame numerous
obstacles, from challenges to the petition print size, to a lack of
money and no support from national organizations. That's something
the Michigan Cannabis Coalition's competing ballot initiative
couldn't do. Neither could the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan
and a handful of others.
[continues 1115 words]
Lansing - Michigan marijuana activists on Wednesday submitted more
than 350,000 petition signatures in hopes of putting a recreational
legalization question before voters this fall, but the prospects of
making the November ballot remain cloudy.
"It was a huge effort," Jeff Hank, executive director of MI Legalize,
told reporters outside the Michigan Secretary of State's Office. "We
had thousands of people volunteer to circulate petitions, and we had
all sorts of people donate small amounts of money."
MI Legalize needed to submit at least 252,523 signatures by
Wednesday, but it's unclear how many of its signatures will be
considered valid because the group collected well beyond a
traditional 180-day window written into state law.
[continues 316 words]
When the MILegalize petitions proposing the legalization of
recreational marijuana in Michigan hit the streets last summer I
signed the first one that came my way. That was sometime in July.
Now my signature probably won't count. That's the big issue facing
the folks who organized the legalization effort right now: whether or
not petition initiative signatures collected outside of a 180-day
window are valid. And it doesn't look good. The most immediate answer
to that question will be rendered by Gov. Rick Snyder when he decides
to sign, or not sign, S.B. 776, the recent legislation that sets a
hard 180-day window for collecting signatures on a petition initiative.
[continues 1181 words]
Lansing - An increasingly long-shot effort to put a marijuana
legalization measure on Michigan's 2016 ballot suffered another
setback Thursday, when the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on a
policy revision for proving the validity of old signatures.
The two Republicans and two Democrats on the board were at odds over
state Bureau of Elections recommendations that would have updated and
eased the state policy for "rebutting" and rehabilitating signatures
collected outside a traditional 180-day collection window. The
proposed updates stalled in a series of 2-2 votes.
[continues 633 words]
One of the burning questions about cannabis use is: How high is too
high when operating a motor vehicle? It's befuddling to the legal
system, as driving law is not moving as quickly as marijuana law.
Many want to establish a "per se" level of THC in someone's blood
that indicates being under the influence. That comes from loosely
equating alcohol and marijuana intoxication. In Michigan, the per se
blood alcohol content for driving under the influence is .08.
Regardless of a person's behavior, if his or her blood alcohol level
is .08 or above, they are legally under the influence. With
marijuana, it's not clear what that level is.
[continues 1220 words]
With the legalization of marijuana possibly being added to the state's
November election ballot, police are speaking out about the dangers of
Flat Rock Police Chief John Leacher has been meeting with Downriver
groups to ensure there is an "educated election this coming fall."
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and
expecting a different result," Leacher said, commenting on the
legalization of marijuana in Colorado in 2012.
Colorado Amendment 64, which amended the state's constitution,
outlined a drug policy for marijuana that passed with 55 percent of
[continues 580 words]
We're in the midst of the cannabis holiday season. The Ann Arbor Hash
Bash and Monroe Street Fair were a few weeks ago, and the Global
Marijuana March is May 7 (Grand Circus Park in Detroit). Smack dab in
the middle was 4/20.
The first place I hit was the B.D.T. Smoke Shops in Hazel Park, which
proudly notes that it has been there since 1973. The folks there held
a pig roast in the parking lot, and visitors played on fowling lanes
from the Fowling Warehouse - throwing a football at bowling pins -
and were medicating with cannabis as they munched their pork
sandwiches. 89X FM had a booth, and retired Red Wing Darren McCarty
was there hanging out and signing autographs.
[continues 1080 words]
GAYLORD - Two more suspects were arrested Friday follow the March 10
Otsego County medical marijuana dispensary raids, bringing the total
arrest number to four.
According to Detective Lt. Ken Mills, unit commander for the Straits
Area Narcotics Enforcement (SANE) team, a 21-year-old male and a
56-year-old male, both owners of Gaylord medical marijuana
dispensaries, were arrested Friday.
The names of both men are being held pending their arraignment. Mills
said the 21-year-old was arrested and lodged at the Otsego County Jail
and was released after posting bond. The 56-year-old man turned
himself in at the Michigan State Police Gaylord post, posted bond and
was released without being lodged.
[continues 316 words]
GAYLORD - It's been nearly six weeks since all of the medical
marijuana dispensaries in Otsego County were raided by law
enforcement officials, resulting in two arrests and an ongoing investigation.
As of Friday afternoon, the execution of search warrants at nine
dispensaries in Gaylord and one in Vanderbilt March 10 have been
proceeded with the arrest of two men, including [name1 redacted], 45,
of Gaylord, and [name2 redacted], 36, of Gaylord, though more are
expected to be made, possibly by the end of the month.
[continues 706 words]
Will the marijuana game change this year?
There has been a good bit of speculation that President Obama will
reschedule marijuana before he leaves office. I first heard that
concept a couple of years ago from somebody at one of the national
marijuana policy organizations. I took it for wishful thinking. We
can wish Obama reschedules marijuana, but that doesn't make it true.
But maybe we can stop holding our breath about that. Last week the
Washington Post reported that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sent
out a memo to lawmakers that it plans to decide in the first half of
2016 if it will reschedule marijuana. I'm assuming that the "first
half of 2016" means by the end of June.
[continues 1267 words]
The Iconic Stoner Chats With Us About Detroit, Cancer, and Donald Trump
It's a Friday morning, and Tommy Chong is about to ride up John R in
a replica of The Love Machine, the 1964 Chevy Impala from Up in
Smoke. He has one hand on the chain link steering wheel and what
Cheech Marin might call a Led Zeppelin-sized joint in the other.
When asked if he wants to blaze, though, the most iconic of stoners
declines. "It's still Michigan," he says.
[continues 1307 words]
The Family Trees dispensary near Seven Mile and Plainview sits within
eyeshot of a vacant liquor store and small storefront church, which
are less than 1,000 feet away.
As of April 1, that means Family Trees is breaking the law. While the
business has provided marijuana to patients at the location for two
years without incident, owner Reginald Venoy, like many of Detroit's
dispensary operators, faces an uncertain future.
Will the police kick down his door and seize his marijuana and
assets? Or will he answer a knock at the door to find he's being
served? Or will nothing happen?
[continues 1492 words]
The Justice Department recently announced that it is resuming the
"equitable sharing" part of its civil asset forfeiture program, thus
ending one of the major criminal justice reform victories of the
Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool by which police officers can
seize and sell private property without a convicting the owner of any
crime, and equitable sharing is a process by which state and local
police can circumvent state restrictions on civil asset forfeiture
and take property under the color of federal law.
[continues 472 words]
As a Colorado voter who helped end cannabis prohibition in my state,
I've observed the current laws work as planned, protecting
responsible adults who choose to use the extremely popular, God-given
plant. Every subsequent poll indicates Colorado voters continue to
support it, and there's every reason to believe Michigan voters will
end the discrimination and continue supporting it in the future.
By any measure cannabis is safer than alcohol, and it's less
addictive than coffee. In over 5,000 years of documented use, it has
not killed one person, while cigarettes kill over 1,000 Americans
daily. That's safety on a Biblical scale.
A sane or moral argument to continue caging or punishing responsible
adults who use cannabis doesn't exist.
As Michigan considers marijuana, ("Michigan voters would OK legal
pot, poll says," March 28), it is important to understand the impact
on public health, especially the health of teens. The debate over
legalization may be confusing and contributes to the perception that
marijuana is harmless.
Research shows otherwise. For example, one in six teens who start
early will become addicted to marijuana, a statistic that rises to
25-50 percent with daily use. Legal-pot states are beginning to see
the effect. Colorado, for example, now leads the nation in past-month
marijuana use by young people.
[continues 66 words]
March 31 marks a new day in Detroit for medical marijuana. It's the
last day for Medical Marijuana Caregiver Centers to apply for a
license to operate in the city.
Before this, provisioning centers multiplied in a gray area of the
law where they weren't exactly legal but were tolerated. That's an
outgrowth of how Michigan's medical marijuana law played out when the
courts ruled patients can have marijuana but didn't allow for venues
to sell it. It's right in line with the weird machinations
prohibitionists have always gone through to keep people away from the weed.
[continues 1143 words]
A new survey of state residents likely to vote this fall found that a
clear 53% majority of Michiganders would just say yes to legalizing
and taxing marijuana.
The survey's result was no surprise to groups hoping to gather
253,000 signatures in Michigan to get a marijuana measure on November ballots.
"Support for legalizing marijuana continues to increase here at a
rate of at least 2% per year - that's what we've been tracking in
Michigan, and it seems to be roughly the same across the country,"
said Detroit lawyer Matt Abel, a long-time supporter of legal pot.
[continues 884 words]
The first time Brandy Zink lobbied in Congress for medical marijuana,
she wasn't taken very seriously. But that was in 2000, long before
the dam burst on the bud.
"Capitol Hill is very intimidating with those big stone buildings;
you can hear every step you take echo down the halls," says Zink, a
then-fledgling lobbyist in her early 20s. "At first it was very
difficult to get an appointment with a representative. We'd be
received politely, but there would be no follow-up. They would make
jokes like asking, 'Do you have any samples?' or 'Are you high right
now?' We were not taken seriously."
[continues 1091 words]