Hello and Welcome To Another Edition Of:
How Police and Prosecutors Decrease Public Safety - Kent County Edition
I’m your Host, Charmie Gholson. Let’s get started.
Attorney Michael Komorn is arguing a racketeering case in trial this week in Kent County. Here’s an article about it. Never mind the obviously slated reporting, if you can, but go ahead and try to calculate the resources it took to investigate, raid and prosecute this 52-year-old woman. Remember, she did not commit any violent or non-consensual crime.
Now I want you to take a good look at what was going on in Kent County during the time law enforcement was focusing on these consensual, nonviolent, so-called crimes. Here are the arrest rates for the past two years in Kent county, so you can see these numbers don’t change. Where do you think police should be focusing their efforts?
First number = number of reported incidents for each crime
Second number = number of arrests
Confused? Don’t’ be. You see, Michigan is a great place to live if you’re a rapist, but not so much if you’re a legal medical marijuana patient or caregiver. Here’s why:
After the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (The Act) was passed with overwhelming support in 2008, we saw one after another attacks on patients and caregivers in the forms of horribly violent raids and over the top prosecutions. We honestly thought with the passage of our Act, police and prosecutors would leave us alone.
FUN FACT: Michigan has seen a 17% increase in marijuana possession arrests rates since 2008, the year we passed our medical law.
It wasn’t until Grand Rapids City Attorney Catherine Mish spelled out the strategy to remove protections provided in the Act at a Michigan Municipal League Seminar in September 2010 that we understood how brutally dedicated to maintaining the failed drug war our law enforcement is here in Michigan. They were not, under any circumstances, going to respect the will of the people.
Here’s that video of Mish’s presentation. She comes in at the 37-minute mark. Mish repeatedly called for arrests and prosecution of medical marijuana patients and caregivers under both state and federal law and urged some 75 municipal leaders in that room to join in a lawsuit to challenge the Act base on Federal Supremacy (meaning that federal law supersedes our state laws). She instructed prosecutors to appeal medical marijuana cases when dismissed in order to work these cases to the highest courts, with the hopes that the courts would redefine the Act in accordance with their narrow interpretation. She also gave suggestions as to what types of offenses police can write in order to create tests cases; such as a when a caregiver’s spouse lives in the house where medicine is grown and has access to the plants, even if they are in a closed, locked facility.
It’s been an effective campaign. Case after case has reached the higher courts, and law enforcement continues to arrest, raid, incarcerate and extract thousands of dollars from Michigan families who thought they were protected by the law.
That’s all for me today. Please contact your legislator and share these crime statistics. You can find statewide numbers in this blog right here.