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What I Did On Summer Vacation


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By Brad Forrester

27 August of 2011

 

My group up north is fighting for the cause by waging a media campaign in our local newspaper with full page ads. Today, our first ad was published and here’s the rest of the story...

 

When I opened the door at the paper to drop off the ad, it finally hit me that I was about to publicly declare war on Bill Schuette and my local officials. When I left their office I wondered if I hadn’t just phucked myself royal, and maybe even harmed our community. 2 hours later, this anxiety had increased and I started firing off text messages including one to Matt Abel, seeking reassurance that what I had just done was the right thing to do.

 

In between frantic texts, I got a call from a supporter who was so happy that the ad was going to be in the paper. I told him of my worries and he laughed at me. Surprised, I asked him what was so funny. He asked if everything in the ad was truthful, I told him I believed it true although I had no proof that Schuette pressured judges. He said not to worry, and that the ad was necessary to fight for patients and caregivers in the county.

 

Another hour passed after my boy settled me down a little and the 11:00 news came on. It mentioned that Bill Schuette was going to be on Mackinaw Island addressing the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan [PAAM] about medical marijuana [it must have said he was at Mack Island]. That’s when it hit me! I had to take copies of this ad to that conference. After all, those gentlemen were conspiring, and right in my own backyard! I had to do something.

 

So I sent my boy a text asking him if he wanted to spend the afternoon on the Island. I explained that I wanted to go to the hotel, try to speak to Schuette, and leave a bunch of copies of the paper, surely one of those jadrools would see our ad and show it to Bill. He loved the idea. He used to work on the Island and he still knows alot of people there. Any reason is a good reason for him to visit!

 

This morning I helped another friend move and got back home at 12:30, took a shower and called my boy to make sure he was ready. He was, so I picked him up and we left for Mackinaw City to catch a ferry to the Island with a dozen copies of the paper in tow.

 

It was a beautiful day and we arrived at the Island around 2:30. We ordered a horse-drawn taxi to take us to the Grand Hotel, a magnificent and historical inn where the conference was held. We walked through the hotel and found the reception desk for PAAM. The sign said the session lasted until 4:30, so we went to the Cupola Bar at the top of the hotel overlooking the straits. It was a stunning view and I even considered ordering a cocktail, but some cannabinoids stored in the fat cells of my body kicked-in and I settled for a fresh pepsi. We left copies of the paper there, opened to our ad, sitting right on the bar, then went down to the Jockey Club and had lunch at 3:30.

 

At 4:20 we went back into the hotel to wait for the sharks to swim out of the conference. We waited by the check-in table, and even chatted with the 2 very nice ladies who were attending it. We talked about the conference a bit, but I never asked where the hall was, I assumed they set-up in front of it as there were two sets of French doors directly in front of them. But by 4:45 there were no prosecutors anywhere and the 2 nice ladies were packing up. I didn’t ask them where the conference was at because I didn’t want to alarm them. Finally one asked why I was at the hotel and I told her I was there to lobby on behalf of medical marijuana patients and caregivers. I told her that I just wanted prosecutors to see the ad so she took a copy and said she would pass it on. As they left I thought, YES, and I snapped a picture of their sign [i don’t know how to get them from my cell to my email or I would post them]. We also spread copies of the paper at tables near the check-in table hoping that just one of these clowns would see the ad.

 

We were at the wrong place and decided to go back up to the Cupola Bar for a fresh pepsi, my boy had a Grey Goose. While we were sitting there several prosecutors whose names I do not know came in and out. Then I recognized Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings coming into the bar. He bellied up right in front of the newspaper, with the ad prominently displayed on top of the stack. After he ordered a double, he looks down at the paper. He picks it up and starts reading! He kept reading till the bartender brought his drink, then paid and left. That was the only person I saw reading the ad and he did not take the ad with him, but 2 papers had been taken from the stack we left earlier.

 

Thinking we had achieved victory, we finished our beverages and went to the elevator to go down to the 1st floor. Me and my boy got in the elevator, and as the door was closing two different ladies walked up to the elevator. Like the gentleman I try to be, I opened the doors and welcomed the ladies in. I noticed that one of them wore a PAAM badge. They thanked me and I asked if they were here for the conference. They said yes and asked if I was there for the conference too. I swallowed hard and said: “Yes I am, but I represent the medical marijuana community”. One lady just cracked up and kept repeating: “Oh, too funny!”. The other lady introduced herself as the wife of the Director for PAAM, Mrs. Ronald Schafer. It was a bit awkward, but we all smiled and I told her I hoped she would tell her husband to be fair with the medical marijuana community, that we are mostly law-abiding citizens who deserve fair treatment. I’m not sure who was more relieved when the doors opened, but we all got off at the same floor. I wanted to see where they were going, maybe I would get to see Bill Schuette after all.

 

We followed them into the lobby and watched them go into an art exhibit, so we kept following. When we got to the exhibit, I was blown away. I have never seen fine art up close before and gained an immediate appreciation. The exhibit was a collection called PETS that mostly featured dogs and cats. It’s the private collection from the Manoogian Mansion and includes the original painting by C.W. Coolidge entitled, “The Poker Game”, painted in 1894. Most people know it as, “Dogs Playing Poker”. It’s currently valued at $7,000,000 and I could have touched it, I was that close! All the paintings were marvelous and as I said, I now understand what others see in fine art. Additionally, there were maybe 200 original sketches created for Vanity Fair from early last century and maybe over $20,000,000 worth of art in that exhibit. Just breathtaking!

 

As we were looking at the paintings, several couples walked past, many who I thought were prosecutors I had seen before. So we walk up another flight of stairs in the gallery that lead to the Theater where PAAM was hosting an evening social. I continued to mill around looking at old pictures that lined the walls when I came across photos of when the Theater was added to the hotel as a casino back in the 1920’s. Together with all the pictures of politicians who have been to the hotel, I realized that this is where the political elites come to “do business” including 5 presidents and numerous other heads of state. If only the walls could talk! I had been at the entrance to the social event for nearly 10 minutes looking at photos, then I stepped out a side door for a smoke. As I exited, I was greeted by the smiling face of Mrs. Schafer again, she was going into the social. I lit up a smoke and asked myself, do I have the balls to walk into that social and speak to Bill Schuette? I crushed out the hots, brushed off my shirt, and decided that I did have the nerve. I walked back inside and right past the attendent at the door, right into the Theater with 200 prosecutors, judges, wives and god only knows who else!

 

I do stick out like a sore thumb with my long curly locks and gray bushy beard, but I had a suit on and cleaned up as best I could. Instantly it seemed, everyone looked at me as the room quieted. I don’t know names and didn’t see Schuette, but there were faces there I recognized and I returned every steely glare with a smile and a nod. I only went in about 20 feet, even though I have balls of brass, I was not invited and these phuckers were not happy I was there! I stayed about a minute, turned and walked out. My boy said he couldn’t believe I would just walk into their party, and I could see him grinning when I came out. I could feel the icy stares on my back as I walked away and my boy said the guys at the door sure looked pissed.

 

My goal was to give Schuette a copy of our ad and ask him point blank; If dispensaries are not legal because they are not authorized by the MMMAct, why are local municipalities allowed to pass ordinances that prohibit medical marijuana, The MMMAct does not authorize that either! And while I didn’t get to ask that question directly, it’s quite possible that my visit and the full page ad will be a topic of discussion for some attendees, maybe even Bill Schuette. After reading Jerry’s post I understand why I didn’t see Bill, but I still had a very exciting day and got to tinkle off a bunch of prosecutors.

 

So that’s how I spent my afternoon. What do you think? Was the ad and visit good or bad for our community? It did announce to our opponents that we might start disrupting their conferences, and that we have begun to publicly refute all the moo poo Schuette has been spewing lately. Or did it harden their resolve to fight us, and will they move faster to push through legislation. I weighed those possibilities before I did this, that was the anxiety I felt the night before. Did my actions have any effect at all other than my own edification about the Grand Hotel and fine art.

 

ALSO....

 

Jerry Glasscock from the U.P. found out that Bill Schuette was actually in Escanaba yesterday and made a dinner reservation at the same restaurant. He asked to talk to Bill and was given 5 minutes! Jerry asked Bill to tone down the rhetoric and urged him to work with us. He said it was very cordial and afterwards everyone dined and left.

 

Northern Michigan is keeping a close eye on Bill. Nobody comes into our backyard that we don't know about it!

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you know what I felt like I was there with you ,what detail you have and a great story teller,I think you did a marvelous thing for the cause of your brothers and sisters!!Nice.

And I think your on to something as far as showing up to their events,not to be dis-respectful or dicks,but to share our stories as well and ask them how thy can think they can change to will of the ppl,i love that idea. Lets show up to these town hall meetings,and call them out,its time they start answering to We the people!

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You did good dude. This whole situation will never be resolved until there is a conversation between the two sides. Their side doesn't appear to want to have this conversation. Their minds are made up and no amount of facts will alter their point of view. Too many Republicans view "facts" as pesky things that get in their way. A lot of religious people are the same way. A conversation must take place in full view of the public so that people can see how baseless the prohibitionist's arguments really are. To this end, you have tried to engage the opposition in a conversation. Apparently they didn't want to talk about it. What a surprise.

 

 

"If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain." Thanks for going to the mountain Brad.

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Thanks Brad and Jerry.

 

Cooler heads will prevail. As long as we continue to show respect, but don't back down, we will win...eventually.

 

We will continue to prove to them we are normal people and won't allow them to bully us.

 

Hope to see you both again soon, maybe September 7th at the rally? MOCC is bringing another bus load. I suspect I might make public comments again!

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Thank you all for the blessings.

 

My story illustrates that each one of you can do the same thing and make a difference. Find out when the bigwigs are coming to your area and go to them! Let's start engaging them on their level, at places they visit, and on their turf. Thats why it's so important for us to be united in Lansing and follow our leaders. We will be on their turf, demonstrating our grievences. We must do it professionally!

 

Now go do something!!!!!

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