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Pre-Protest Media Coverage For 11/29


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SAGINAW -- Dr. Robert Townsend of Clare, who operates a medical marijuana certification clinic in Saginaw, regards a series of closed-door meetings being conducted by state Attorney General Bill Schuette with law enforcement and government officials as "really scary stuff."


(Read a previous story about Townsend, known as "Dr. Bob")


A release available for viewing online indicates Schuette has presented two such medical marijuana seminars named "Clearing the air: Implementing and enforcing Michigan's medical marijuana law" in Grand Rapids on Nov. 16 and in Livonia on Nov. 17.


The next seminar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State in Saginaw Township, and a final seminar is in Traverse City on Nov. 30.


The Grand Rapids Press reported that the media was excluded from the


View full sizeCourtesy

Attorney General Bill Schuette

Grand Rapids meeting, where a number of medical marijuana supporters picketed.


Presentations by Schuette, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, state police, medical experts, municipal law experts and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association will cover court rulings, the application process, challenges to law enforcement and "possible legislative corrections," according to the invitation.


Townsend said he and others within the medical marijuana community believe Schuette is attempting to severely restrict the use and availability of medical marijuana, made legal in 2008 when 63 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative.


(Related story: 'Weed warriors' campaign to recall Schuette)


"The purpose of the meetings is to educate local officials on legal ways to defeat the Medical Marijuana Act using federal law, zoning, and public nuisance actions," Townsend wrote in an email to The Saginaw News. "It is a continuation of his pre-election opposition to the voter initiative, and he is using public money to promote not only the bypassing of the act, but is actively lobbying to gain support for his revision of the act."


(Schuette opinion: Police may confiscate medical marijuana)


Townsend said "leaked" documents from one of the first two seminars outlines proposed changes to the law. The doctor created a Facebook page that links to the documents, accompanied by his own analysis.


See document here: Discussion of AG revision.docx


"Why would an elected official charged with protecting the safety of the


View full sizeBrittney Lohmiller | The Saginaw News

Dr. Robert Townsend

citizens of Michigan be promoting this?" asked Townsend. "Even though it will never pass, everyone that hears it knows they are being given an outline to bypass the law and permission from the AG to use it."


Medical marijuana advocates are planning a "large" protest at the conference center to begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, coinciding with the seminar, Townsend said.


"What are they ashamed of?" said Townsend. "No press, no voters, no members of the activist community or medical experts who are proponents of marijuana. Looking at the proposed changes to the act, I can see why they don't want the people to know about it."


Because this report was completed on Sunday, when municipal offices are closed, no officials were reached for comment about the seminar. Additional coverage is forthcoming.

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