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Found 5 results

  1. Detroit has an interesting history of fighting voter ballot proposals. In 2012, The city of Detroit fought the ballot proposal in court , all the way up to the Michigan Supreme Court and lost. Finally these ballot questions would go to the voters! Why did Detroit fight so hard about decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana? Why exactly did they want to keep marijuana illegal and continue the war on drugs and prohibition? 80 years after prohibition of alcohol ended in a huge failure of organized crime, mafia bootlegging and bullet strewn alcohol turf wars on the streets. http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/07/detroit_marijuana_referendum_g.html In 2017, Detroit made an ordinance against the medical marijuana businesses, it's ultimate goal was to destroy the nearly 200 dispensaries that were licensed within the city. The citizens of Detroit then put the question on the ballot for the voters to decide. https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/marijuana-proposals-head-to-the-ballot/Content?oid=6169067 Again, in 2018, the city of Detroit continues fighting, this time against the new ballot proposal which the voters approved of, makes the Detroit ordinance in sync with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Detroit is going to lose, as it did in 2012, as it did in 2017. Three strikes and you are out, Detroit. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/02/19/detroit-medical-marijuana-law-appeal/350840002/
  2. I caught the introductions to the Feb 23 Detroit State of the City address. Mayor Duggan introduced maybe 10 council members. Each one receiving applause after the introduction. The last one was James Tate. Duggan said, "And the man responsible for the fact that we're finally going to start shutting down (medical) marijuana dispensaries in the city of Detroit, councilman James Tate!" Was it just me, or did Tate react with an uncomfortable smile like a traitor being discovered? Was it just me, or did the audience give a hesitant and more subdued round of applause?
  3. Simple as 1,2,3 - Will be the new policy for the MMMA forums So much ado has been made at our attempt to provide a reasonable policy for posting on the forums. Much debate has been had amongst the moderator staff and on the forums amongst our members. As is often the case and even more so on the Internet, communication and semantics are critical when trying to develop a consistent but clear policy regarding the Act that can be enforced easily and without issue. The unambiguous policy to date has created some confusion when its intent was just the opposite. Additionally and without merit many of the moderators have been under attack for attempting to enforce a policy that is designed only to protect patients from arrest, prosecution or penalty. The reference to Nazis is offensive and reflects an absolute lack of knowledge of history, common sense, and humanity. The comparison of anything the moderators do on this site to the devastation the Nazis did in world history is blatant ignorance. Let it be stated now, and made very clear that the MMMA does not believe that the proper interpretation of the law would prohibit any of the behavior that may fall into the so called ambiguous zone. The MMMA believes that the Act should be interpreted liberally, and with the sole purpose of protecting patients and caregivers. Further the MMMA does not believe that dispensaries, farmers markets, any registered caregiver transfers to any registered patient or patient to patient transfers are unlawful. In fact the MMMA believes and acknowledges that all of these acts and behaviors are critical and essential for the medical cannabis community to survive and flourish. Why then would the MMMA attempt to create a policy that purports to limit this behavior? The answer is simple, we are not! What are we trying to do then? The MMMA is simply trying to provide advice and direction for patients and caregivers to avoid arrest, and be forced to defend themselves in court. It is that simple. Perhaps as simple as 1, 2, 3. Simple as 1, 2, 3 will be the new policy for the MMMA forums. The behavior of patients and caregivers will be and should be assessed by a ranking of risk and liability scored by Level 1 risk, Level 2 risk, and Level 3 risk. Ask yourself the following question: is there a consistent and unequivocal interpretation of the behavior by patients and caregivers that LEO would agree is lawful? Said another way, would the behavior in question result in an arrest if you asked all LEO statewide? The focus here is not what the MMMA wants; the focus here is not what the MMMA believes the proper interpretation of the act should be. The focus here is not what LEO in your local community says is lawful. Instead the operative question is how do all Leo state wide interpret the act and what do they believe is unlawful behavior? Is there a consistent and unequivocal interpretation of the behavior by patients and caregivers that LEO would agree is lawful? If the answer is yes you are in a Level 1 Risk category and should be protected against arrest, prosecution, or any penalty. All other behavior outside of this definition falls into Level 2 and 3 risk categories. Level 2 and 3 behavior is not unlawful per se, but is behavior that may subject you to a higher risk or liability of arrest. The key here is that the MMMA is not calling this behavior unlawful. The Level 2 and 3 behavior however is behavior which may not without equivocation protect you from arrest, prosecution, or any penalty, although the MMMA believes it should. Those seeking information and guidance from our site need to know that your protections do not include immunity from arrest. Instead your protections will come via the affirmative defense set out in section 8 of the Act. For those that are not aware, the Act is set up with 2 different levels of protection. There is a section 4 protection which is immunity from arrest prosecution or any penalty. Immunity means that after interacting with LEO, you are released without incident, no arrest takes place, medicine, money, and property is not confiscated. You are not handed an "intent to forfeit" document that requires you to post bond for your property. Immunity means you go home; you kiss your significant other on the lips when you get home and you thank the stars above that you are sleeping in your own bed instead of the concrete floor of the local county jail. Then there is a section 8 protection, which is an affirmative defense. These protections are as real and as important as the protections of section 4, but they occur in a completely different environment that is important to distinguish. The section 8 affirmative defense will take place in Court, before a Judge at an evidentiary hearing (first). This game will start with you waking up from the concrete floor of the county jail. It will include eating bologna sandwiches for breakfast, the mustard jar will have something that looks like an infection growing on of the top. It will have been at least 24 hours since you spoke to your family (72 hours is the maximum), and the return to your normal life will not yet begin until you post bond, get your car out of the lot, which will cost you at least $1000. Then you will have approximately 15 days to post bond on the forfeiture case. This amount is usually 10% of the total value of the property seized. Consider the forfeiture matter a second case, one that will put the burden on you to establish that the items sought to be forfeited were acquired through lawfully earned funds. Lawfully earned funds could be a definition that is in controversy in your forfeiture case. After the arraignment in your criminal case, usually done by video while you remain in the jail cell, you will be on bond. The conditions will likely include no use of medical cannabis while on bond. You will have to hire an attorney or rely upon the experience of the local court appointed attorney's knowledge of the MMMA. After many months of your case pending and when you find yourself at your evidentiary hearing for your section 8 defense much ado will be made about your bona fide relationship with your certifying doctor. "Is my doctor willing to come to court?" is a good question to ask yourself when engaging in Level 2 and 3 behaviors. Remember if your doctor is not your treating physician, in some jurisdictions you may fail to establish the first prong of section 8. Although the MMMA believes this is wrong, this is how it has played out in many jurisdictions. Awareness of these distinctions is all that is being sought by the MMMA. The point here is that the different levels of protection between section 4 and section 8 are significant; with the most important factor being one protects you from arrest (Section 4) while the other (Section 8) protects you from conviction in court. The previous policy and guidance provided on the forums for our members has merely embraced a policy to avoid arrest, or Level 1 risk behavior. Moving forward the key factor that will and should be expressed will be to point out and make known what behavior falls into the category that is a Level 1 risk that protects you from arrest, prosecution and any penalty versus what behavior is a Level 2 or 3 risk that offers its protections pursuant to section 8 in court. No one at the MMMA wants to be responsible for advising behavior that results in a patient or caregiver being arrested. Likewise no one at the MMMA believes patients or caregivers should be arrested. But we are living in a time when the Peoples' law has yet to be implemented as it was intended. There remain many different interpretations throughout the state that are not consistent or absolutely clear, to the extent that all LEO would agree. For example see the twisted interpretation of Court of Appeals cases from the "Legal Updates at the Michigan State Police," website regarding medical marihuana.** Please note that the MMMA disagrees with these interpretations, but would be acting neglectful if we did not point out these simple facts for our community. We are not taking responsibility for how LEO currently thinks, we disagree with it and have been and will continue to try to change how they think. In the meantime, we are simply reporting it for the benefit and protection of the medical cannabis community. ** http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._99_390580_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._96_382986_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._91_370314_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._89_362839_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._78_276204_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._69_259822_7.pdf Soon a day will come when we can all laugh about this but in the interim our community and those that post on the MMMA forums and our membership needs to be made aware and be informed. More importantly they need to act with knowledge, caution, and understanding the various levels of risk associated with the behavior they choose to engage in. With that being said what once was called the unambiguous compliance policy, or behavior that would conform to those principals has been morphed into what will now be described as Level 1 risk behavior. Strict compliance with section 4 of the act is what will be advised to all who care to listen, as the type of behavior that has the lowest degree of risk of arrest. Everything else is Level 2 or 3 risk. That is to say if an encounter with law enforcement occurs the level of risk of being arrested, and being forced to defend yourself in court is higher. Is Level 2 and 3 risk behavior lawful? I personally think so, but who cares what I think. The analysis here is what we know of how LEO sees it collectively throughout the state. It may not be that way in your jurisdiction and it may be that way for a very good reason, but until all LEO acknowledge it as so, that behavior is just simply of higher risk. Please notice that nowhere in any of this analysis is the word unlawful or illegal used we are simply pointing out that there may be a higher risk of a negative outcome. So please understand, that no one at the MMMA wants to impede the success of the medical cannabis community growing and thriving, we just want those that care to listen to understand the difference of how the Act is being interpreted by LEO,the courts, and the impact it is having on patients and caregivers. Knowledge of these distinctions will make for a better understanding of how the lines have been drawn temporarily by the courts and law enforcement, and give our community proper notice of the risks that they may be taking when engaging in the medical use of cannabis. In closing I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion created earlier, and we all look forward to your input and an educated discussion which evolves this community. Thank you for your support and understanding. Michael Komorn President of the MMMA
  4. The Right & the Drug War – From the American Conservative Conservatives are the last prohibitionists, but that’s changing. By Anthony Gregory • September 12, 2012 http://www.theameric...t-the-drug-war/ Pat Robertson began publicly criticizing the drug war in December 2010, and he has become more vocal since. Unlike the vague critiques often heard from prominent figures—even Barack Obama has called the drug war a failure—Robertson’s insights have been precise, and consistent, and deeply-rooted. “We here in America make up 5 percent of the world’s population, but we make up 25 percent of jailed prisoners,” he noted in March, appearing genuinely moved by the issue. “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat … alcohol,” he told the New York Times. Beyond the practical argument, Robertson sees the moral dimension: “I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up.” In light of his key role in the religious right, Robertson’s comments take on special significance. The man speaks to a particular strain of social conservatives, not straying from their rhetorical comfort zone even as he champions drug legalization for principled reasons. He even blames the left for a burgeoning police state: “Every time the liberals pass a bill—I don’t care what it involves—they stick criminal sanctions on it.” Should “theocons” adopt a more tolerant view on drugs, it would shake the entire right-wing on the issue. They would be the last prominent faction to demonstrate skepticism. The American right has long had its share of drug-war critics. William F. Buckley articulately defended legalization on a half-hour PBS special in 1996. George Will has often explained the unintended consequences of prohibition, although he still falls short of calling for decriminalization. Barry Goldwater expressed skepticism toward the criminal-justice approach. Neocons have either not cared much about drugs and other domestic matters or have sometimes embraced drug decriminalization as a nod to their social liberal side. Fusionist and libertarian-leaning conservatives have tended toward decriminalization. Right-wing talk radio, the information source for millions, has also featured many voices skeptical of drug laws, from the sensationalist Michael Savage to Jeffersonians like Mike Church. The common-sense center-right has often decried the futility of marijuana prohibition in particular. Missing in the conservative approach to the issue has been an understanding of the grave threats prohibition poses to the social institutions that cultural conservatives, including the Christian right, hold dear. If Robertson foreshadows a coming shift in the Silent Majority’s sentiments, this void will finally be filled. Despite the prominent critics among their ranks, everyday conservatives have consistently revealed themselves in polls as more hostile to decriminalization than liberals and moderates. A socially conservative turnaround on the issue would change everything. Just as many moralists who championed temperance turned against alcohol prohibition after seeing the social destruction it unleashed in the 1920s, today’s social conservatives could play a defining role in ending drug prohibition. The drug war embodies secular leviathan like few other government efforts. The federal anti-drug crusade began with Woodrow Wilson’s signing of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, escalated with Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, and tyrannically expanded to cover previously legal psychedelics and other substances during Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Bill Clinton increased marijuana arrests and drug task force spending, greatly accelerating the Reagan-Bush drug war. Under Obama, the policies have once again enjoyed a boost: his 2009 stimulus bill included major hikes in drug enforcement spending that had dwindled under George W. Bush. If alcohol prohibition qualified as the progressives’ greatest domestic triumph in the early 20th century, drug prohibition has achieved even more as a usurpation of traditional morality and the social order. Constitutionalism, states’ rights, subsidiarity, community norms, traditional medicine, family authority, and the role of the church have all been violently pushed aside to wage an impossibly ambitious national project to control people in the most intimate of ways. For years, the federal DARE program encouraged children to rat out their parents for minor drug offenses, an intrusion into family life all too reminiscent of Soviet Russia. Prohibition-fueled gang warfare has not only inflicted violence upon the social fabric; the crime wave has also served as a rationale to weaken the very civil liberties that conservatives most cherish—particularly Second Amendment rights. Bloodshed on city streets attributed to the 1920s liquor trade spawned the National Firearms Act of 1934. Congress specifically targeted drug users in its Gun Control Act of 1968. The 1990 Crime Control Act focused on creating drug-free school zones, but semi-automatic rifles also came under its ambit. Even the 1993 Waco standoff, rationalized by the Clinton Justice Department as an anti-assault-weapons operation, started with search warrants dubiously directed at finding a meth lab. In the 1980s drugs had served as the excuse to carve out exceptions to the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act forbidding military involvement in domestic law enforcement. The radicalized grassroots patriots in the post-Cold War 1990s who saw national police power as a threat to their liberty, their guns, and their families should have recognized America’s drug laws as a principal culprit. Today drug money finances not just domestic gangs but foreign thugs as well. In the last decade many reporters have commented on how opium profits have enriched the Taliban—a nearly unavoidable result of America’s drug policies, which keep narcotics highly profitable. But today the most conspicuous violent foreign threat comes from Mexico. The cartels, whose killing spree has taken tens of thousands of lives in just the last couple years, have shattered the peace on the border and become the subject of the Obama administration’s most notorious scandal. Some conservatives have wondered aloud whether the “Fast and Furious” program of arming Mexican drug gangs was intended to create an excuse to crack down on American gun ownership. Regardless of the ATF’s intentions, the drug violence has indeed served as a rationale to restrict American liberties, including the right to bear arms. But very little of this would be possible if these cartels could not fund themselves with the amplified profits that drug prohibition produces. (No wonder all of the conservative movement’s heroes of economic science—Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman—were unambiguous in opposing the drug war, on practical as well as moral grounds.) Recent polls indicate that a slight majority of Americans is now open to legalizing marijuana. Somewhat surprisingly, residents of liberal California are less likely than the nation at large to support the idea, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, although Democrats and voters in the lefty Bay Area favor decriminalization in far higher numbers than Republicans and the rest of the state. Conservatives are still the main ideological barrier to drug liberalization. But the tide may be turning. At a Republican primary debate in South Carolina last May, Ron Paul likened the freedom to use drugs to the freedom to worship according to one’s faith, a radical insight about the liberty of conscience usually heard mainly from proud proponents of psycho-pharmacological experimentation. Moderator Chris Wallace asked the Texas congressman whether using heroin was simply an “an exercise of liberty.” Paul responded with a rhetorical question: “How many people here would use heroin if it were legal?” He mocked the very idea of paternalistic prohibition: “Oh yeah, I need the government to take care of me. I don’t want to use heroin, so I need these laws.” The audience erupted in laughter and enthusiastic applause. Many of Paul’s supporters sat in the crowd, but more important was the lack of booing from the more conventionally conservative attendees. In this Republican audience in a right-leaning state, some of the most radical arguments for heroin legalization fared surprisingly well. Even if today’s conservatives do not buy into all the reasons to end prohibition, they no longer find them as dangerous or worthy of ridicule as in years past. Also in May, a survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found that 67 percent of Republicans wanted to see an end to federal medical-marijuana raids. President Obama’s policies are not only out of touch with his liberal base, they are far more draconian than what most conservatives want. On the issue of national power, this is not a completely new development on the right. Citing states’ rights, George W. Bush suggested he would put a stop to the raids in 1999. After becoming president, he stepped them up instead, but not nearly as much as Obama has done. According to Americans for Safe Access, the Obama Justice Department conducted 170 SWAT-style raids of medical-marijuana dispensaries between October 2009 and Spring 2012. Given his campaign promises to the contrary, Obama has “gone from first to worst,” according to Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia. “There’s no question that Obama is the worst president on medical marijuana.” The federalism argument against the raids has always seemed more appealing to conservatives than liberals. In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the marijuana raids in Gonzales v. Raich in the name of preserving an expansive federal commerce power. Antonin Scalia joined the majority, but Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O’Connor, and William Rehnquist dissented. Justice Thomas, the court’s most conservative member, issued the most stirring rebuke, which he grounded in a restrictive reading of Commerce Clause power: “If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers—as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause—have no meaningful limits.” Tellingly, the Supreme Court’s opinion upholding Obamacare this summer cited the precedents of Raich many times. Dissenting conservatives on the court attempted to find a distinction between the two rulings, but many commentators noted the corner into which Scalia in particular had painted himself, viewing federal power as nearly unlimited concerning medical marijuana but restrained on health insurance. Thomas was right in Raich that a federal police power that can supersede state marijuana laws, bust down someone’s door, and jail him for growing a plant for personal use, faces no effective limits and is the very face of tyranny. The liberals who endorsed unmitigated federal power on Obamacare as well as on medical marijuana were being completely consistent. The logic of the drug war is the logic of the New Deal, national supremacy, and everything conservatives profess to hate about Obama-style governance. Drug laws expose the tension within the conservative movement: devoted to localism and nationalism, freedom and law and order, today’s conservatives, if they are to mount a meaningful resistance to the unrestrained bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., must choose between their conflicting values. Many on the Tea Party right have come to regard the Bush-created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as clumsy and despotic. They cling proudly to their guns and religion. They worry about their privacy in the face of a relentlessly growing central state. But it was the drug war that first shredded the Bill of Rights in modern times. Public opinion has gradually been turning against the militarized Just Say No approach. Meanwhile, special interests like the tobacco and law-enforcement lobbies continue to put pressure on politicians to maintain the status quo. Democrats do not have the political will or capital to push for major changes. Perhaps Republican leaders—unafraid of accusations of being soft on crime, emboldened by a conservative movement increasingly skeptical of unlimited police power—are the ones most likely to lead the charge toward liberalization. This prospect leaves much to be desired, but for the first time in many years perhaps there is some hope on the horizon, and from an unexpected direction. Michael A. Komorn Attorney and Counselor Law Office of Michael A. Komorn 3000 Town Center, Suite, 1800 Southfield, MI 48075 800-656-3557 (Toll Free) 248-351-2200 (Office) 248-357-2550 (Phone) 248-351-2211 (Fax) Email: michael@komornlaw.com Website: www.komornlaw.com Check out our Radio show: http://www.blogtalkr...lanetgreentrees CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626 Live Every Thursday 8-10:00p.m. PLANET GREENTREES w/ Attorney Michael Komorn
  5. Detroit to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in August Detroit, MI (Shawn Wilson/Wikimedia) DETROIT, MI — The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way — finally — for Detroiters to vote on a marijuana legalization initiative. The high court Friday refused to hear an expedited appeal of a February appeals court ruling that Detroit election officials had acted improperly when they blocked the measure from getting on the ballot. That means Detroit residents can expect to see the initiative on the August 7 primary ballot. The initiative, sponsored by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and over by amending the city’s controlled substances ordinance to say that it does not apply to small-time pot possession by adults. Although initiative supporters had cleared all the legal hurtles to making the ballot back in 2010, the measure was opposed by the Detroit City Council, especially Council President Charles Pugh, who also serves as chairman of the Detroit Election Commission. The commission voted 3-0 to block the measure from appearing on the city ballot. But initiative advocates were undeterred and persevered in pursuing the matter through the courts. Now, with the Supreme Court rejecting the city’s motion for immediate consideration of its appeal, they have prevailed. “A long trail of voter abuse by the City of Detroit has come to an end,” said the Coalition’s Tim Beck, in an e-mail to supporters. “We got everything right. Our petitions were flawless,” said Beck. Detroit Mayor Bing had no comment Friday evening, but a Detroit police spokesman told the Detroit Free Press the department could adapt to legalization “if it’s handled in an appropriate way, and this is what the citizens of Detroit choose.” That’s a remarkably open-minded and democratic statement from Detroit police, especially when compared to law enforcement reactions elsewhere to legalization, lowest law enforcement priority, and medical marijuana votes. It will be up to the voters of Detroit to ensure that the department lives up to its word. http://www.thedailyc...tion-in-august/ Trix
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