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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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). .
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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."
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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
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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.
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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."
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"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.
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