The State of Michigan is at a crossroads. We must either define ourselves as a State that places a profit motive on Justice, and prioritizes funding corrections and law enforcement with seizures and forfeitures above other means, or to instead boldly go forward on a new path. The new path that realizes the true potential of a well modeled medical marijuana industry and all the related industries, commercial interests, cottage-industries, and home based businesses it supports. And of course all the increased tax revenue such a boom in productivity would create. The benefits of the latter are so great, that I shall only be able to address a few of the most tangible reasons to move in that direction.
Both the State, and the private citizen will benefit greatly if a model that is safe for the public can be settled on. The State of Michigan has already made several million dollars from registration fees alone, depending on how many people were discounted for having Medicare. And every year they renew at the same price, so this represents perpetual income the State of Michigan sorely needs.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg of the true potential for tax revenues raised simply for allowing Americans to farm (a strange thing to even have to defend, isn’t it?). C.A. alone has a staff of 6 and 2 co-owners, and we have also paid over $7,000 to the State of Michigan for Sales Tax under a “flea market” filing. We also run a small home farm of our own. But the farmers that make C.A.’s unbeatable display of the best medical marijuana services possible all purchase goods from Home Depot, and hydroponic gardening centers, they buy soil and nutrients, and light fixtures. All of these are taxable items and raise revenue for all Michigan citizens, not just a few. And now that they can continue to farm and pay taxes without fear of seizure, they can settle and improve their homes. This means hiring out contractors like licensed electricians, and plumbers (I personally have receipts and estimates to prove this). Whereas when a profit motive is attached to justice, these same gardeners often feared investing in proper wiring, or even being present at the garden (which was often not their primary residence, who wants to lose that to seizure and be homeless?), increasing the chance of safety issues arising. Now that this is not the case, we will see a rise in property values in Michigan.
It is also worthy to note that these are not all retail or commercial jobs. This is the engine of tangible industries and manufacturing jobs. For instance, were you aware that one of the major producers of safe nutrients for plant growth, and a national leader in that science and technology, is a Michigan company called General Hydroponics. And most halogen and other light lamps are produced right here in the USA, and their business is also booming. The same potential for increased productivity and jobs holds true for producers of glass and bulbs, cables, Mylar, and many other products.
So we can continue to incarcerate non-violent people at the tax payer’s expense, and allow others to seize their primary residence, and all their assets, using laws that were meant to stop people like Al Capone from having 9 houses and a yacht. We can continue to ruin many lives in the process, and give many more people ‘unemployable’ records. Or we can get over the years of fear and mistrust, and move forward with what Michigan voters have already clearly decided they support, and do so in a way that benefits everybody, and keeps everybody safe.
If a demons ratably workable model can be chosen or formed with help, we can move forward in a spirit of co-operation in light of the new law and it’s finding that Michigan’s ailing patients should have immediate and un-interrupted access to the medicine that most benefits their particular condition. We can help people while helping Michigan provide tangible jobs in manufacturing, retail, administrative services, data entry, logistics, and hopefully therefore keep more of our educated population here in the State. We can improve property values, and reduce crime, and raise needed tax revenue for the State of Michigan to spend anywhere it chooses, including law enforcement and public safety, education, and healthcare.
That model is what Brandon and I have attempted to achieve safely and professionally from the outset of Proposal 1. Our Mission Statement is “To bring Proposal 1 2008 from a state of theory into a state of practice in such a way that it benefits not only patients and caregivers, but the entire state of Michigan as well.” We find better and better ways of doing this everyday at C.A., but we have also invited co-operation and assembly at every step of the way to discuss how best to do this while keeping everyone in the community comfortable. But we feel that we have achieved a lot at C.A., and we are optimistic that we can one day achieve that as well.