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Michigan Chamber Of Commerce


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I was trollin and found this...

 

Michigan Chamber of Commerce and it's stance on Medical Marijuana

 

Marijuana Legalization Approved by Board of Directors, September 6, 2000

 

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce opposes any initiative to legalize marijuana in the state.

 

Background

 

Since 1995, the Michigan Chamber Foundation's DRUGS DON'T WORK program has assisted local chambers and employers in implementing drug-free workplace programs. A model progra consists of a policy, n Employee Assistance Program, supervisory training, employee education, and at least pre-employment drug testing.

 

This past year, a petition was undertaken in Michigan to qualify a constitutional amendment for the November 2000 ballot to legalize marijuana. Petitions circulated by a Saginaw attorney and a reported 3,000 volunteers gathered only half of the 300,000+ valid signatures required for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the statewide ballot. The initiative, called the "Personal Responsibility Amendment," would have allowed the possession of three marijuana plants and three ounces of marijuana. It also would have striped law enforcement of using forfeiture funds. (Forfeiture funds are assets such as cash and vehicls seized from drug dealers. These monies are then used for future law enforcement or prevention activities.)

 

This Libertarian approach has varied from other state initiaives that focus mainly on "medical marijuana." In 1996, both California and Arizona passed legalization propositions. California's Prop 215 allows individuals to use marijuana for any "medical condition" with just a doctor's verbal recommendation. There is no age limit or limit on the amount of marijuana. In Arizona, all Schedule I drugs were legalized for everyone. (Schedule I drugs are drugs for which there is a high potential for abuse, no currently acceptable medical use in treatment and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Heroin, LSD, and marijuana are Schedule I drugs.)

 

In both states, more than 70 percent of the funding for the pro-legalization campaign was from out-of-state sources. New Yorker George Soros gave $550,000 to the California effort and $430,000 to the Arizona initiative. Two other large contributors ($500,000 & $200,000) indluded Peter Lewis of Ohio and John Sperling of Arizona. Other states which have passed similar "medical-excuse marijuana" initiatives include Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Maine. Other pro-legalization organizations include the Drug Policy Foundation, NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and Americans for Medical Rights.

 

The Drug Free America Foundation, based in Florida, is working to educate Americans about ballot initiatives and other attempts to legalize as "medicine" unsafe, ineffective and unapproved drugs such as marijuana and heroin. In May, the Drug Free America Foundation came to Michigan for a two-day conference on potential consequences of the legalization movement. Participants in the conference included representatives from the Michigan Chamber Foundation's DRUGS DON'T WORK program community coalitions, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

Although the "Personal Responsibility Amendment" is not on the November ballot, any future attempt to legalize marijuana would be harmful for the following reasons:

 

  1. Creates conflict with federal law. Marijuana is a controlled substance under federal law, listed on Schedule I. In addition, marijuana is one of five prohibited drugs tested for in the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 which covers safety-sensitive positions (Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation, etc.) Under the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act, the recipients of certain federal grants or contracts must have policies that prohibit the use of illegal drugs.
  2. Removes marijuana from the drug approval process. Testing by FDA and other government agencies is designed to protect public health. Legalizing marijuana through a ballot initiative would circumvent this process. Smoking crude marijuana is an impractical delivery system. The dosage cannot be controlled and the chemical make-up of any two plants can differ significantly. Smoking is clearly a health risk and marijuana smoke contains even more carcinogens and tar than cigarettes (Jonsson Cancer Center @UCLA). Other approved drugs are generally more effective. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is available by prescription as Marinol (a Schedule II drug) to treat nausea associated with some cancer treatments.
  3. Raises concerns about the safety and health of employees. In a study by Workplace Consultants, results showed that drug-using employees are three times more likely than non-using employees to be involved in a workplace accident and are fivetimes more likely to file a workers compensation claim. Impaired employees hurt themselves, their co-workers and overall business productivity. Legalization would invalidate a drug-free workplace program, thereby losing a chance for early intervention and a resource for help. Legalization would also create a new group of people unfit to hire because of their drug dependence.
  4. Sends dangerous message to the future workforce. There is a direct correlation between perceived harm of a drug and its use. At the peak of drug use in the late 70s, results of the Monitoring the Future Study (U of M) 37 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana in the prior 30 days and 10.7 percent used marijuana daily. Following a solid national anti-drug message, the results were dramatically different in 1992. Marijuana use in the prior 30 days by high school students dropped to 11.9 percent and daily use dropped to 1.9 percent. Legalizing marijuana would certainly erode the perceived risk of drug use.

 

 

 

 

NOW 2008

 

 

 

 

 

Medical Marijuana Approved by Board of Directors, January 23, 2008

 

The Michigan Chamber is neutral on a proposed ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medical proposes.

 

 

Background

In September of 2000, the Michigan Chamber’s Board of Directors adopted Board policy to “oppose any initiative to legalize marijuana in the state.” This Board policy was developed and adopted in response to a petition drive undertaken in Michigan to qualify a constitutional amendment for the November 2000 ballot to broadly legalize marijuana. The initiative, called the “Personal Responsibility Amendment,” would have allowed the possession of three marijuana plants and three ounces of marijuana for any purpose. It also would have stripped law enforcement of using forfeiture funds (i.e., assets, such as cash and vehicles, seized by drug dealers then used for future law enforcement or prevention activities). Ultimately, the petition drive failed when petitioners failed to gather more than half of the 300,000+ valid signatures required for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the statewide ballot.

 

Although in 2000 the so-called “Personal Responsibility Amendment” failed to qualify for the ballot, the Michigan Chamber’s Board of Directors reviewed the issue and voted to oppose any similar initiative for the following reasons: it creates a conflict with federal law; removes marijuana from the drug approval process within the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA); raises concerns about the safety and health of employees; and sends a dangerous message to the future of the workplace.

 

In November of 2007, the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care submitted just under 500,000 signatures to qualify a carefully drafted and more narrowly focused initiative for the ballot to allow seriously ill patients to use, possess and grow their own marijuana for medical purposes with their doctors’ approval. Under this initiative, if certified by the Michigan Board of Canvassers and passed by the voters in November 2008, Michigan would become the twelfth state – and the first in the Midwest -- to have a law on its books to allow patients to use medical marijuana despite federal law.

 

The ballot initiative being proposed in Michigan would do the following: allow terminally and seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with a doctors’ approval; protect these patients from arrest and prosecution for the use of medical marijuana; permit patients and caregivers to cultivate their own medical marijuana for medical use, with limits on the amount they could possess and where it may be grown; create registry identification cards for law enforcement purposes and establish penalties for false and fraudulent ID cards; allow patients and caregivers who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court; and prohibit the use of medical marijuana in public places. It is important to note that the language expressly states that the proposal would not require “[a]ny employer to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marijuana.”

 

Although the proposed ballot initiative seems to legalize medical marijuana under state law, its use would remain a criminal offense under federal law. However, proponents are not deterred by this fact, arguing that the federal government cannot force states to have laws that are identical to federal law, nor can the federal government force state and local police to enforce federal law. In addition, proponents’ claims 99 percent of all marijuana arrests in the nation are made by state and local (not federal) officials, thereby protecting 99 out of every 100 medical marijuana users who otherwise would have been prosecuted.

 

In December of 2007, the Chamber’s Health and Human Resources (HHR) Committee heard a presentation from a spokesperson for the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care regarding their proposed ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana. Following this presentation, the HHR Committee overwhelmingly voted to recommend to the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce that the Chamber remain neutral on this latest ballot proposal. The Committee’s recommendation was largely based on the language in the most recent ballot proposal, which minimizes the impact on the workplace, agreeing that employers could work with the language as they do with other “no tolerance” policies for alcohol and other drugs. The Committee acknowledged the concerns raised by the Chamber Board in 2000 (i.e., that the widespread legalization of marijuana would be harmful because it removes it from the FDA approval process and creates conflicts with federal law), but felt the priority of the Chamber in reviewing this legislation should be to look at it from a workplace/employer’s perspective. In addition, the Committee felt the benefits this legislation could potentially offer the seriously ill, in the form of pain management, outweighed these concerns."

 

 

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Calvina Fay is the head of the Drug Free America Foundation (formerly known as “Straight, Inc.”, read up on that horror story!) and founded with Betty Sembler a group called “Save Our Society from Drugs”. Right off the bat, you’ve got to distrust anyone called the Drug Free America Foundation. Might as well be called the Coalition for an Ice-Free Antarctica or the Alliance for a Sand-Free Sahara. Not only is it a completely unattainable goal, but also an undesirable one. Do we really want a America without Lipitor, Viagra,and Prozac?

Edited by wingnut
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