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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 7th Annual THC Expo/The Detroit Cannabis Cup - by Ben Horner

Detroit, MI: The seventh annual THC Expo at the Roostertail Event Center hosted approximately 200 vendors and was attended by thousands who came to meet canna celebrities, sample the wares and enjoy the true spirit of Detroit in epic bad boy mentality. Bill Lambert and Denis Rodman would have been proud. Although most of those who participated had a great experience, a visit from the fire marshal and DPD left several of the vendors in the medicating area punked out. In the end the show had to go on, and the event’s staff pulled off a narrow victory holding things together,  preventing the event from facing further obstruction by Detroit’s finest and upset vendors.
    
Many people met with the on-sight Doctor to see if they qualified for medical marijuana, further adding to the rosters of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program. More came to meet Red Wings legend Darren McCarty, activist-comedian Tommy Chong and counter-culture legend John Sinclair. Mr. Chong was brought in again by the event’s main sponsor BDT Smoke Shop, who also brought him in for last years Hash Bash. Tommy explained to the crowd that when asked about the event by the local news channels what kind of people would be attending this event he explained with a smile, “Probably the happiest people in Detroit. And then they asked me, ‘why?’ So I said, ‘we just celebrated St. Patty’s day and on the news was how many people got into auto accidents because they where drunk driving, and now there is so many people smoking pot there is a shortage of donor organs (because there are less auto accidents) ... I reminded people at Fox News (Detroit) that St. Patty’s Day is a celebration of alcohol which causes many accidents and fatalities. I said, ‘the weed, which we celebrate everyday if your a medical person like I am, has been keeping me alive.” People lined up to get a picture with him for hours.


     Captain Kirk spoke about his experiences as an award winning cannabis chef and treating his MS with medical marijuana. Richard Clement asked us to “Free the Weed”, pumping up the crowd. However on Friday night, the first day of the event, whispers began circulating around the Roastertail about a raid at the medicating area. Soon medication vendors where coming back and confirming the rumors, to a certain degree. The fire marshal made a short surprise visit, but rapidly returned with DPD and began evicting the vendors. Witnesses reported that a mad dash pursued as ganjapenuers attempted to escape before getting arrested. In the end no arrests where reported but several folks where detained, while others the fled without gathering their products, losing thousands in inventory. Seems the rented location for the medicating area did not have the proper occupancy permit, and was not properly vetted.

     The following day a new location was found for the medicating area, but there wasn’t enough room for all the vendors that had paid to participate. Rage came from those who had lost out due to the raid and they decided to confront the event managers demanding immediate compensation for their loses. After some yelling and pushing the rabble-rousers were dispatched and told to call the office on Monday about any sort of refunds or compensation. “We worked for six months on this event, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a handful for disgruntled people mob up on me and rob me and my crew, good thing we had security and a back up plan. I feel bad for those who lost out, but I didn’t try to rob anyone,” defended the event’s manager, Tom French, remorsefully.


     At the tail end of the event almost all the contestants in the Detroit Cannabis Cup lined up as the MMM Report and Richard Clement handed out the trophies for best indica, sativa, hybrid, medible and concentrate. Leaf Doctor proudly held up his four trophies. He placed in four separate categories, announcing he was proud to be the most award winning cannabis grower in the world and winning four more in his home town. The boys from IDK Farms made sure to point out that none of his wins were for first place, like their single large first place sativa trophy. After some braggadocios words, they embraced as true brothers and reminisced about the exchange of strains they have done over the years. Its that spirit of competition as friends and the sharing of knowledge and stock that was a silver lining to the event.

     Tommy Chong was right. Marijuana users and advocates don’t get out of control and no one got hurt, as they tend to do when alcohol is involved. The drama mostly became just that. The shear entertainment of it all was worth it, but some of the negativity lingers on social medial as folks vow to seek revenge. Speculation regarding one of the currently licensed dispensaries in Detroit having tipped of the police ,and where the missing product from the event went is still undetermined. If the event returns next year, hopefully a better medicating area will be properly vetted, but with the corrupt City of Detroit, smash and grabs, and back stabbing business owners dropping dimes on their competition, the 8th THC Expo will inevitably be just as entertaining.

x

Thinking Outside the Box - by Rebecca Veenstra

 
 
India recently broke a world record that truly surprised me. Indian officials have reported that volunteers planted a whopping 49.3 million tree saplings blowing past the previous record for most trees planted in a single day --That record, a mere 847,275 trees, was set by Pakistan in 2013.  A reported 800,000 volunteers from Uttar Pradesh worked for 24 hours planting 80 different species of trees along roads, railways, and on public land. The saplings were raised at local nurseries. (1)

     Pakistan plans on increasing the number of planted trees to 1 billion by the end of 2018. The trees are being planted along the Hindu Kush mountain range in the northwestern region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The initiative, dubbed the “Billion Tree Tsunami” has also provided 500,000 jobs to impoverished locals. (2)

      I was a little bit shocked when I read that countries that I had always considered poor and underdeveloped were taking the lead in global revitalization in such an amazing way. I can’t help but wonder what Americans could accomplish considering we have much more vast resources at our disposal than many countries around the world.

Since the United States has suffered from massive unprecedented forest fires over the past few years I think a grand opportunity exists to establish a program for reforestation that could potentially put many of our nation back to work planting and managing forests.

      If we persevered to replant our forests future generations would reap the benefits of clean air and natural ecosystems that are currently declining. We could invest in our infrastructure in a revolutionary way by expanding our fisheries, putting American’s to work in agriculture, growing our own foods and raising our own meats, fuels and textiles.

People talk about the economy and jobs in such old terms these days. I hear a lot of banter about jobs, jobs, jobs… but it’s all centered around industry, refining, mining, oil production, harvesting—not replanting forests, automating and industrializing farming, reducing genetic diversity and modifying the environment to compensate for the negative effects of our industries.

     I think we all want clean air, blue skies, fresh water. I don’t think anyone out there is wanting smog, oil spills, toxic foods and waters. Maybe we aren’t all tree huggers but as a whole I think it’s fair to say basically all humans want a healthy environment that is safe with good opportunities to provide for themselves.

      There may be many things that divide us these days but I hold fast to the belief that the only argument anti- tree hugger people have is that they think the environment must be compromised in order for people to work and of course corporations enjoy higher profits when they cut corners at the expense of the environment. We all want clean air and water. “I could go for an oil spill, or some nuclear waste right now but I’ll settle for smog and poisoned water.” Said no one ever. Jobs and company profits do not have to go hand in hand with environmental destruction. What if we put on our thinking caps and thought ourselves out of that box?

     The new Michigan Legalization ballot proposal for 2017 takes that approach. Despite being lengthy and needing some important revisions to reign in government control the proposal could potentially clear the way for industrial hemp cultivation in Michigan. If this measure is successful, the potential for new jobs in Michigan could expand exponentially. Think of all the uses for hemp. Then, turn those ideas into jobs.

Hemp is well known for its fibers that can be used for textiles. If you look at the tags on your clothing I doubt you will find much of it was made in the US. Your tent, the rope in your toolbox, the particle board you just bought from the lumber yard…All of those things and much more can be created using hemp for less money and with less damage to the environment than cotton or wood fibers.

Hemp produces the strongest, most durable natural soft-fiber on earth. Until the 1820’s, up to 80% of all textiles and fabrics for clothes, canvas, linens and cordage were made principally from hemp. Hemp cloth is stronger, more durable, warmer and more absorbent than cotton. An acre of hemp will produce 2 to 3 times as much fiber as cotton, about 1,000 Ibs. of fiber per acre. Hemp requires no herbicide, fungicide or insecticide applications. Up to ½ of all agricultural pesticides used in North America are applied to the cotton crop. (3)

      Wouldn’t it be fabulous if Michigan built environmentally safe textile factories to make hemp fabrics? The market for these products would be global. Maybe Michigan could even land some military contracts to manufacture fabrics for uniforms and equipment. That sounds like good job potential to me. What if factories like Georgia Pacific re-opened to make hemp products for the construction industry? If clothing manufacturers built their factories In Michigan wouldn’t that be great?

      If construction companies bought hemp products to build homes instead of things made from wood pulp from our over-harvested forests wouldn’t that have far reaching positive impact on both the economy and the environment? Think of the trade benefits of the US exporting high quality hemp textiles and construction materials worldwide.

Hemp can be used for paper making as well. From 75 to 90% of all paper was made with hemp fiber until the late 1800’s. The hemp paper-making process requires no dioxin-producing chlorine bleach and uses 75% to 85% less Sulphur-based acid. Hemp paper is suitable for recycle use 7 to 8 times, compared with 3 times for wood pulp paper.

     By utilizing hemp pulp for paper, we could stop the deforestation of our country and produce stronger, more environmentally sound paper for less than 3/: of the price of wood pulp paper. The paper mills now in place would need almost no conversion in order to switch from wood to hemp pulp. (4)

     Which leads me back to the tree planting. Think of how using hemp could salvage our forests from being ground to pieces to make envelopes, paper for our copiers, toilet paper and construction materials.

     Industrial hemp can be used to produce fuel for machinery and vehicles. Hemp is the #1 producer of biomass per acre in the world. Hemp grown for the production of biomass fuels can provide all of our gas, oil and coal energy needs and end dependency on fossil fuels. (5)

Imagine the impact that could have on the frantic escalation of fracking. If we don’t need to destroy the earth to make fuel shouldn’t we strive to use alternatives available to us?

     I’d rather my family and friends worked at a hemp fuel production plant here in Michigan than being shipped to other states to work on projects for oil companies that devastate the environment.

     In addition to the uses for the actual plant-- hemp benefits the soil it is grown in. Just think of how that fact alone could result in less toxic fertilizer being spread across the Great Lakes State?  Farmers could rotate crops with industrial hemp resulting in the potential for healthier produce for human consumption as well as feed for cattle.

     I’m all for new jobs. I agree wholeheartedly that we need more opportunities to work in the United States. However, the proposals to re-open mines and build factories to create products made from fossil fuels are counterproductive because the main benefactors are big corporations while the workers and the environment suffer.

I believe American’s given the choice are united in their preference for jobs that don’t include smog, polluting the waterways, and devastating ecosystems.

     I encourage you to explore the research and voice your opinions to our lawmakers. Also, take the initiative to read the 2017 Michigan Legalize ballot proposal. It has been posted on line and the organizers have asked for our help in molding a proposal we can all agree on. Just read it and then reply with your comments and suggestions. If we all put our 2 cents in, hopefully the ballot proposal will be one we can all enjoy the benefits of once it is voted into law.

We all know money talks and bullshit walks, but if the powers that be are presented with alternatives that will allow them to profit they will not turn a blind eye.

     In order for America to prevail in the neworld economy it is imperative that we think ourselves out of the box of the industrial revolution and fossil fuel dependence.

     Ireland just took drastic measures to begin divesting in fossil fuels. If new legislation is passed, Ireland would become the first country in the world to introduce legislation banning fossil fuel investment. (6)

     The new Michigan Legalize initiative’s declaration of the legality of industrial hemp production would unite us with our allies in the pursuit of more environmentally sound economics. Canada, England, France and Spain have all legalized low THC varieties of hemp for an agricultural crop. England planted 1,500 acres of hemp as a first-year crop. Reports from England state that farmers are receiving in excess of $3,000 per acre for their hemp crop. (7)

     The new Michigan Legalize initiative, if re-written to assure that it is inclusive to every Michigander and not just big corporations-- and if the new draft removes entirely the   opportunity for governmental over reach and over regulation--It could have the potential to change the fabric of our state, not only by removing the criminality of cannabis use and cultivation-- but also by catalyzing ground breaking changes in the way we perceive job creation and our role in industry and environmental responsibility.


Resources/Links
http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/pakistani-province-grows-750-million-trees/ Pakistan trees (1.2)
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/02/india-plants-trees-breaks-world-record/ India trees (1,2)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/india-plants-50-million-trees-uttar-pradesh-reforestation/  India trees (1,2)
http://eap.mcgill.ca/CPH_3.htm hemp facts (3,4,5,7)
https://www.rt.com/news/375353-ireland-divests-fossil-fuel/ (Ireland) (6)



Grow Tip for April 2017 - by Ben Horner

Growing Outdoors

     In Michigan, an outdoor grow is only legal if done in a specific manner.. Collectively, judges have defined “locked and enclosed facility” through a number of case opinions. Paraphrasing from disparate jurisdictions, the judges collectively require 6 planes (roof, 4 walls and floor). Must be accessible to those without a key only if tools are required to enter (the enclosure must not be susceptible to spontaneous, casual break-in). It must not by itself be “bait”, making known that it is a grow.

     Many outdoor growers do soil testing which can give great insight as to what to feed your plants. Using peat based soil from the grow store to fill in is perfect. They don’t make the planting hole much bigger then a 15 gallon pot.  To keep those plants healthy,vibrant and at maximum production, using SkunksWerks is highly recommended. Because it is and ionic, all in one product the plants will only take up through their roots what the plant needs.  Advanced outdoor growers use 3 ounces of the SkunkWerks All-in-One mixed with five gallons of water one to two times per week, watering with straight water the rest of the time. This is the cheapest way to go to produce west coast quality buds.

     Plan on giving each plant plenty of space to grow. Green houses are great, but they after get crowded out. Chain link fence is a favorite, allowing greatest air flow and flexible construction.



An Interview With Mr. Hash Bash - by Ben Horner

   

     Adam Leslie Brook (AKA Mr. Hash Bash) was born in March, 28th, 1968. Adam’s first attendance of Hash Bash was in 1987 at the age of 19, and can be seen in the July 1988 Issue of High Times. “Its a crowd shot from the roof and you can see me in my tan cowboy hat and black leather jacket that had a grateful dead painting on the back,” reminisces Mr. Hash Bash. He gave us an exclusive in is own words.

Who was the first to call you Mr. Hash Bash?

     “I have no idea, but I resisted it for a while before embracing it. Just like being called a legend.... John Sinclair is a legend...but I have done some legendary stuff...so I begrudgingly accept it.”

     Brook became emcee of the Ann Arbor Hash bash in 1993 and continued the tradition until 2011. He was instrumental in the formation of the MMM Report and introduced us to John Sinclair. While in prison, Adam wrote a column in this magazine. 

     “2011 wasn’t anything spectacular other than it was my last Hash Bash in control.“ 

How did it feel passing the baton when you went to prison?

“The event has a much larger persona than it is in actuality. When I heard they flew a guy in (1st class), who took in $36 million I knew the event I loved and protected was now being pimped out.... “ 

How do you feel now being back? 

“I spent decades getting the who’s who of the cannabis world to come to Hash Bash on their own dime and these kids pay pay pay...”

What are you looking forward to most this year?

“I wait every year to be invited to speak. It’s a great feeling when that call comes, not as good as when I light that first joint up on the diag, but close.”

What is your favorite memory when you hosted the event?

     “I look forward to seeing the crowd build and getting the people to fire one up.”

What are some of your favorite memories?

     “My two favorite memories are the year I sat the crowd down to stop the arrest of smokers and the year I wrestled the flag away from a guy that was trying to burn it.... oh and the year a guy grabbed the microphone from Ed Rosenthal...”

Why did the guy grab the microphone from Ed Rosenthal?

“Crazy anti pot guy.”  Instigator? “Yes...just some guy wanting to get his ass beat.”

Would you describe Hash Bash as a protest?  

     “That’s all it ever was or should be...the ultimate fuck you to the man...pass any law you want...we’re still gonna get high.”

Is it still a protest, or is it a cannabis industry takeover?

     “There is no “industry” behind it or they would figure out how to make money off of it as that’s what industry does.... no it’s been taken over by the out-of-towners who have their egos and local businesses to promote.”

Is that an ok thing?

     “It is what it is.... not something I would do, but I’m old fashioned.” 

What does Mr. Hash Bash have planned for the future? And how can people get a hold of you?

     “Events, a few weed events over the summer... got invited to do an Expo in Detroit (sans cop raid), and of course the planning for Hash Bash Cup 2018 has already began.... I can be reached at (313) 999-0329”                       

IG - @adamlbrook    

FB – adamlbrook


Free the Weed 72 - by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from downtown Detroit, where I’ve been ensconced in a splendid inner-city apartment by my old friend Joel Landy, who used to run the printing press at the Detroit Artists Workshop some 50 years ago. Now he’s arranged for a place for me in my old neighborhood while I’m in Detroit, and I’ll be broadcasting from here on my internet radio station, RadioFreeAmsterdam.com for the next several weeks. 

     Special thanks to another old friend, the prominent boogie woogie pianist, Chuck Berry keyboard man, producer and attorney Bob Baldori of Okemos, who hooked me up with Joel again after an incredible length of time. I first met Bob when his band called The Woolies played the Grande Ballroom in its second or third week of operation in October of 1966; we came together again in Lansing in the early 1980s and have been close friends for the past 35 years or so.

     I’m going to be playing with Baldori at the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor on April Fools Day, and I particularly want to welcome everybody to this 46th edition of our annual celebration and public plea to FREE THE WEED that takes place on the first Saturday of April on the UM Diag and along Monroe Street. 

    
    Weed smokers in Ann Arbor held the first Hash Bash on April 1, 1972 to thumb our collective nose at the State of Michigan’s new “controlled substances” law, passed in December 1971 and put into effect on April Fools Day 1972. My own challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s drug laws, which classified marijuana as a “narcotic” and provided sentences of 10 years for possession and 20-to-life for sales or distribution, was successful in the Michigan Supreme Court on March 9, 1972 and for three glorious weeks there was no marijuana law in the State of Michigan whatsoever.

     You can imagine the celebrations that took place during that 3-week period, with music, dancing, and open smoking of the sacrament, but the ugly hand of the law was about to descend again at the beginning of April and we wanted to demonstrate that we weren’t going back to being controlled by the drug laws. So we got a bunch of people together on the Diag on a sunny afternoon and smoked a lot of joints.

     The next spring we elected two members of the Human Rights Party to the Ann Arbor City Council and passed the local ordinance limiting punishment for marijuana offenses to a $5.00 fine, issued in the form of a ticket with no arrest. This ordinance was also adopted in Ypsilanti and East Lansing and opened the door for the eventual city by city legalization of marijuana in the state of Michigan that’s taken place in the past several years.

     Now I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve made hundreds of friends all over the western world since I was a teenage rhythm & blues fanatic in Flint in the second half of the 1950s. Now I’m based in Amsterdam half the year and I’ve made a lot of good friends since I enjoyed my first visit there as High Priest of the Cannabis Cup in 1998.

     As you know, during the past year I’ve been dedicated to establishing the John Sinclair Foundation to support my projects and serve as a repository for all my literary and musical copyrights and other intellectual properties in perpetuity. Our progress was guaranteed by the gift of a substantial sum of money raised by Bob Whitall and Dennis Hayes at my 75th birthday party in Ann Arbor last October and gifted to Stichting John Sinclair, my non-profit foundation based in Amsterdam.

     To help me establish my foundation properly I’ve assembled a close group of friends and caretakers in Amsterdam led by Sidney Kuijer, proprietor of Ceres Seeds and the Hempshopper stores, who’s helped me with my projects for the past 10 years; Hank Botwinik, a professional mime, actor, internet genius and my original partner at Radio Free Amsterdam at its founding in 2004; Steve “The Fly” Pratt, my drummer, producer, frequent roommate, blogmaster and now Director of the John Sinclair Foundation; and two new friends: Tariq Khan, a Dutch rapper, record and video producer, and community activist; and Christian Greer, a professor at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and scholar of psychedelic culture.We’ve also formed an Advisory Board of more than 50 friends and colleagues who have pledged to assist us in our efforts. 

     We engaged our friend Kai van Benthem to design the new website for the John Sinclair Foundation and upgrade our internet radio service at Radio Free Amsterdam, and the new site is just about to launch with everything you ever wanted to know about me available on the one site. This has been a dream of mine ever since there’s been an internet, and now I can have all my records, books, and achievements right next to my seed company, this column, Radio Free Amsterdam, my archives, and a bunch of historical information.

     Here in Detroit I’m still celebrating the availability of my book It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader from Horner Books and the release of my new record Mobile Homeland, produced by Tino Gross in a CD version on Funky D Records and as my first 12” vinyl album issued by Jett Plastic Records, headed by the 17-year-old record mogul named Jared Cowal whom I’ve known since he was five years old. Now he’s putting out my new record—on vinyl!

     I’ll be doing a series of appearances, readings and performances in support of my book and record throughout April, starting with performances at the Clarion Inn in Ann Arbor after the Hash Bash as part of the Hash Bash Cannabis Cup and at the Blind Pig later that night with the Macpodz. On April 2 I’ll be doing a reading from It’s All Good at the Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 114 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor at 4:20 in the afternoon.

     The next weekend, on both April 7 and 8, I’ll be part of the bill at the Funky D Records Revue at Callahan’s Music Hall north of the city along with Tino G & The Howling Diablos, Robert Bradley, Rebecca Saad and the Funky D Horns, with Linda Lexy of Radio Free Amsterdam and Doug Podell serving as emcees. The next day, at 4:20 pm on April 9, I’ll do a reading from It’s All Good at the Cannabis Counsel headquarters at 2930 E. Jefferson in Detroit.

     Other things are bound to come up, but for sure I’ll be present on 420 (April 20) at the Clio Cultivation Club with my man Buddy at 4:20 in the afternoon, and later that night I’ll hopefully be celebrating the grand opening of my Coffeeshop John Sinclair in Dr. Bob’s Psychedelic Healing Shack on Woodard Avenue near 7 Mile Road. Of course you’re all invited to participate in any or all of these events.

     That’s the end of my space for this month, and I’ll promise to return to my usual topics in next month’s installment, but I thought I’d begin my seventh year in this space with these personal thoughts and reminiscences in honor of the Hash Bash. Thanks for your indulgence, and Free The Weed!

                                 
—Detroit
March 23, 2017

© 2017 The John Sinclair Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

V.G.I.P. Update for April 2017 - by Ben Horner

 Legalization Language 2018

     The Marijuana Policy Program has released the second draft. After polling and analysis, many of the most substantial reforms remain intact. Leaders of MI Legalize are split on supporting the language. Former board member of MI Legalize Chuck Ream gave us his thoughts:

Chuck Ream’s Analysis of the New Language:

1) The draft guarantees all rights currently protected by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, and does not alter that act.

2) This text is extraordinarily strong in terms of “expungement”, or the “setting aside”, of former convictions for marijuana offenses.

     If you petition the court to get your former cannabis convictions “set aside”, the court has to “set aside” your former cannabis convictions unless “you present an unreasonable risk to Public Safety” at this time. That is very strong wording.

3) Micro business. This is a great new concept that will improve the type of cannabis products that are available to consumers, and will allow more people to participate in creating products. However, “micro businesses” can sell their products to any individual “over 21 years of age or to a marijuana safety compliance facility, but not to other marijuana establishments”.

     Wait a minute, isn’t this backwards? The micro business should be able to sell to other marijuana establishments but not to just anybody over 21. That would make them a retail store. You can’t put that in neighborhoods. There would be constant parking and foot traffic. How in the world would you zone that? This needs to be thought through.

4) A felony pertaining only to marijuana does not prevent you from getting a license, your felony does not even need to be 10 years old.

5) Petition form: why choose MCL 168.482 rather than MCL 117.25?

6) Two year protection/preference for current residents?
Why?

     It looks like someone is just trying to get a business advantage, and we do live in the “United States”.
     The best cannabis service for patients/customers would come from NOT limiting investors – and most of the actual jobs would go to Michigan people.

7) OhMyGod, what!? “Secure transporters” somehow got into OUR draft!
   
     (This is our draft, not the draft of the fascists who want to get their cut of the money and don’t give a damn about more bureaucracy, increased cost to consumers - or the continuance of the black market and mass incarceration).

     The draft says that a worker at a licensed facility can only transport 15 ounces at one time, but where can they transport it to? A grower or processor could not even carry 15 ounces to another licensee!

     A grower cannot sell until the excise tax is collected by a “marijuana secured transporter”. Disgusting stuff. (This is not even what Robin has been saying ...the tax is supposed to be collected at retail.)

     There are other ways to see that “seed to sale” inventory is kept track of and taxes are properly paid!

PLEASE NOTE: A micro business does not have to use a “secure transporter”. They may “remit tax directly to the department of the treasury”. (How is this monitored – I don’t know).

SO, does this not show that the “secure transporters” are purely an absurd layer of superfluous bureaucracy? Why can’t the other licensees also “remit tax directly to the department of the treasury”? All goals can be fully accomplished with no “secured transporter”.

8) Here is the one Schuette will use to kill us:
(Section 16c).
I can see the headline now, “New pot legalization law encourages teens to grow and sell pot”.
If a teenager sets up a robust business growing and selling marijuana the most they can ever be fined is $100.

Police may not bother with someone for a fine that is less than a traffic ticket. For the kid $100 would be a tiny cost for having a fine business – they would laugh at the cop, and hand over the money with a smile - and keep their businesses flourishing.

     This is pure red meat for Schuette...you can imagine the shady looking kids in the ads that will be run. We can’t allow this to happen. We need to win.

     The fine for kids who set up pot businesses should be enough to discourage the behavior.
It must be at least $1000 for the first offense. $2000 second offense, $3000 third offense, and you take a class or something. (This is a fraction of the retainer that you otherwise might pay your attorney.)

We CANNOT allow ourselves to be defeated because we are demanding to protect marijuana growing and selling by children!

9) This law does give the state of Michigan a lot of power to set up regulations - we will have to keep a very close eye on them, and be sure that regulations are updated periodically.

I am super proud of the drafting committee and everyone who gave suggestions! This is one of the best, maybe the very best, state wide marijuana legalization initiative that has ever been written - but it does need a bit of change, and I have just put my thoughts out there without asking everyone’s permission!

MPP is still taking input. Final draft language is scheduled for some time April with hopes to begin circulation in May. Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is the name of the new ballot committee.

World News for April 2017 - by Rachel Bunting

Police Find a Ton of PotSerbia: Six people have been arrested on charges of trafficking marijuana throughout Europe. Serbian police found over a ton (2000lbs) of cannabis in special compartments hidden in multiple fuel trucks. Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic stated the seizure was the largest in a single haul commending law enforcement for their efforts. The confiscated material is estimated to be worth 4 million euros ($4.3 million US). The marijuana was packaged in Kosovo and was being transported to Western Europe. The Balkans, where the trucks were found, has been a key route for smugglers since the 1990s.


What are the Laws Around the World?EARTH: We know that the marijuana laws in the United States are constantly changing and progressing, but what about other countries? There are many places around the world that have been making progress in the last few years. These progressive countries include: Australia, which became the first continent to legalize medical marijuana, Mexico, who is slowly taking steps toward legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana, and Uruguay, which is pricing recreational marijuana at $1 a gram to combat organized crime and match black market prices. Israel has had legal medical marijuana since 1992 and has since become the global leader in marijuana research, but recently they have begun taking steps to legalize or decriminalize recreational use. The Netherlands have always been known for their lax views on marijuana use, with Amsterdam being the cannabis tourist mecca, but marijuana manufacturing and distributing has never been legal in the country. Lawmakers have recently proposed legalizing cultivation of the drug, something that was never allowed previously. Though many parts of the world are moving forward with their marijuana laws, there are others that have not changed their stance or have increasingly harsh punishments for pot related offenses. Marijuana users in Japan, United Arab Emirates, and Nigeria face 5-12 years of prison time for possession and a possible life sentence for trafficking. In Malaysia and Saudi Arabia possession of marijuana could be a death sentence, especially if there is a suspicion that selling has occurred. Marijuana has long been scrutinized and stigmatized around the world, but finally views are slowly, but surely, changing for the better.

Insomnia InhalerIsrael: CannRx, a U.S. company that develops medial applications for marijuana, is teaming up with iCAN: Israel Cannabis to create the first marijuana inhaler to help users sleep. Many insomnia sufferers find that taking a puff of marijuana before bed helps to get to sleep and sleep through the night. CannRx and iCAN are working to create i.can.sleep, an inhaler that will deliver a stable and controlled dose of cannabis that will last throughout the night. William Levine of CannRx told Forward, “You take a puff of two depending on the dosage and in ten minutes you will be drowsy enough to sleep.” Israel will be giving final approval of medical marijuana exports later in the year.

Evidence Missing: Blame the RatsIndia: Police use a large warehouse at the Nagpur railway station to store confiscated marijuana and bootleg liquor. The illegal substances cannot be destroyed without a court order so the evidence has been piling up. Recently 55.11lbs of marijuana has gone missing from the warehouse. Abhay Panhekar, a senior inspector, claims rats are to blame for the missing cannabis. Panhekar told the Asian Age, “Rats are a huge menace here, they keep nibbling at plastic wrappers containing marijuana and alcohol bottles.” Though the rats could be to blame for the missing marijuana, there also seemed to be 25 plastic bottles containing alcohol that disappeared. The incident is being investigated, and officials say they cannot confirm that theft took place.

Cannabis Cures SoilItaly: Farmers in the Taranto region of Italy were once known for the meat and cheeses they were able to produce from their land. However, in 2008 the government slaughtered every herd in the area after detecting dioxin in the animals. The toxic chemical was coming from Europe’s largest steel plant, located near the affected areas. Farmers are still unable to have animals on the land due to contamination levels. One grower in the area, Vincenzo Fornaro, is aiming to fix the problems with his soil using cannabis. There is little to no THC in the hemp being grown on his farm, but the plant will pull the pollution from the soil with its fast growing roots. The process is known as phytoremediation, and involves the plant storing or transforming the dangerous substance into a nontoxic chemical.  This method was also used after the meltdown at Chernobyl to remove radioactive substances from the area. Fornaro, whose family has raised sheep on his land for generations, hopes that he will be able to bring life back to his home while helping others in the same situation.



Drug Dealer Nabbed at Train StationLuxembourg: After a long, two month investigation 4 people were arrested over a week long period at the end of March. Officers found over 60 cocaine pellets, €5,600 cash, and 4kg (8.82lbs) of marijuana. The investigation came as the result of the train station becoming a major drug trafficking center for the country. The investigation is ongoing, but the arrested suspects will face charges of possession as well as dealing.



Yummy GummiesSpain: The Civil Guard of Torrevieja arrested 27 people in connection with a large grow operation in the city. The suspected cultivators are being charged with crimes against the public health, illicit possession of weapons and belonging to a criminal organization. Officers confiscated 1,122 marijuana plants, 14 kilos (30 pounds) of marijuana, 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) hashish, and more than a quarter liter of cannabis oil. Owners of the operation were claiming to be cultivating industrial hemp, but were instead extracting cannabis oil. The company was creating vape pen oil as well as cannabis-laced gummy bears. The investigation is ongoing.