Nov 172021
 

Friends,

I need to expose a lowlife who has victimized the people of Michigan and been particularly cruel and unfair to members of the Chaldean community. I am talking about the shameless booze jockey and greed mogul, Tom Celani.

For those who are unfamiliar with Celani’s machinations, this is a man who proudly traffics in vice and sin. He is the type of man who will happily sell hooch for alcoholics to go home and beat their wives and neglect their families. He will gleefully fleece the pockets of the ignorant and the destitute as they hand over their life savings at casinos where he exploits Native Americans in order to accumulate his nefarious millions.

Celani once served as chair for the Michigan Responsibility Council to oppose the legalization and mainstreaming of the cannabis plant. It was not because Celani, who revels in depravity and has earned the nickname ‘King of Sodom,’ wanted to protect the community or the children. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celani would sell Jim Beam to a six-year-old if he could get away with it. What Celani was worried about was protecting his profits, seeing cannabis as a competitor to his poisonous alcohol.

It should go without saying the difference between alcohol and cannabis is massive. Cannabis is legitimate medicine, a miracle drug that can successfully cure or treat many illnesses and alleviate symptoms for extreme pain in all cases. This is why the cannabis community defeated the most powerful interests on the planet. This is why we defeated the federal government, the corporate machine, systemic racism, some of the most powerful lobbies in the world, and a multi-trillion dollar propaganda campaign. We defeated the bad guys, we defeated Tom Celani, we defeated prohibition.

Celani grew up in the cutthroat beer wholesaling industry before reinventing his image as an upscale wine merchant. He learned the ins and outs from his father, who gifted him with his business, to ruthlessly snuff out competition by any means necessary.  This is why Celani is now coming to swallow up the entire cannabis industry that he fought to destroy for decades and to shamelessly take money out of the pockets of the small entrepreneurs who put up the initial capital and took the risk in order to thrive. Celani, whose sons run High Life Farms, a monopoly cannabis firm at war with caregivers, is a major proponent of the HB5300-02 bills that will create a “Big Weed” monopoly, squeezing every dime out of the medical patients, turning caregivers into criminals, and making marijuana a monopoly similar to his Beer and Wine Wholesalers monopoly.

Celani has reveled in putting his thumb over Chaldean business owners trying to make a buck. He laughs from his $12 million dollar mansion as he puts Chaldeans out of business and leaves our families broken and destitute. I am not sure if it is a racial superiority thing with Celani, but from all who know the man personally, they will tell you there is hate in this man’s heart. Hate for his fellow man. Hate for others who are doing well. Hate for anyone who wants to make something of themselves. The way Celani sees it, he owns the plantation, and Chaldeans may toil for a pittance while he lords over us and allows us our ability to earn.

We had to pay tribute to Celani and his Beer and Wine monopoly in order to stay in business owning our stores, our gas stations, our grocery businesses in order put food on our family’s plate for years. Celani was happy to exploit Chaldeans as we came over from Iraq, many of us with little resources. He used his power to squeeze us, forcing us to work those 20-hour days, while looking down on us in contempt. He sees us as less than human, as human chattel he and his minions can toy with to his heart’s content. We will allow him to pull the same scam in the medical marijuana industry.

We came from America to escape indignities. We came from America to enjoy our freedom and to thrive. We have done so, despite the best efforts of racists like Celani who wish to hold us down. We will kowtow to the likes of Celani no longer. Thousands of Chaldean families are THRIVING because of the medical marijuana industry and the caregivers system, which works so well for the patients. We are organized, we are formidable, we will not be exploited any longer. It is time to give Celani a much-needed reality check that we will not be his doormats and we will not settle for his scraps. I call on all Chaldeans to unite against Celani’s anti-American monopoly tactics that will hurt our community for his own ruthless profit-seeking avarice.

Oct 202021
 

Friends,

I have embarked upon a journey in recent months, through my organization, the Michigan Caregivers Association, fighting corruption in Lansing.

Sadly, there are members of both major political parties that are engaging in this illicit and unlawful process. Certain Republicans and Democrats are in on it and taking money from the bad guys to sell out the industry.

This is why House Bills 5300, 5301 and 5302 are moving at a lightning pace through the process. These monopoly bills have bipartisan support, with Democrats and Republicans down on their knees for reviled lobbyist Steven “Dr. Evil” Linder, the Chamber of Commerce, and other villains out to steal the marijuana industry from the caregivers, medical patients, small businesses, and other entities that have built it into an economic powerhouse.

This is a takeover by the interests that have opposed marijuana for decades. They fought for prohibition until they saw dollar signs after the marijuana industry started to take off. A great example of this phenomenon is former Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, a Republican who opposed marijuana until he realized he could enrich himself through the industry. Then he whored himself out to the highest bidder while probably breaking the law while doing so.

Meekhof appointed Rick Johnson as chairman of the Michigan medical marijuana licensing board. As part of what appears to be an evident quid pro quo, Johnson gave three licenses to medical marijuana concerns that had bought off Meekhof. He admitted in emails that were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that he was in communication with Johnson during the licensure process that ultimately favored Meekhof’s clients.

This seems to be in apparent violation of a 2016 law barring representatives of medical marijuana applicants from lobbying licensing board members. Meekhof’s clients, Chesaning Elite, Lapeer Infused and Power Play Sports 2, benefited from paying off Meekhof and his lobbying associates. Their licenses went from being denied to being approved. This is part of the same money-driven agenda of unfairness that is driving support for HB5301, HB5302 and HB5303.

A Detroit News article noted that Meekhof aligned “with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on 93% of its top issues in 2017 and 2018.” It should come as no surprise that the Chamber, a crony-capitalist institution that lobbies for corporate dominance, was at most recent committee hearing lobbying for the Linder monopoly bills. It is such an incestuous network and they all work together in concert to preserve the corrupt system because they know it benefits them at our expense at the end of the day.

Keep in mind that this is not anything new. These revelations did not come out yesterday. This has been open knowledge for years. It has been widely reported since 2019 that one of the most prominent Republican leaders was involved in an apparent pay-to-play scheme to abuse the rules, in a possibly illegal but certainly immoral act, in order to create a marijuana monopoly. There has been no accountability from the attorney general on this issue as well.

It appears that the powers that be are looking the other way, even though these are Republicans acting in an obvious conflict of interest, in a blatantly corrupt manner, and not even attempting to hide it. Everyone is seemingly lined up at the same trough for the corporate special interests that want to dominate the marijuana industry. This whole incestuous system is incredibly immoral and disgusting, but that is only a reason to fight harder.

There are certainly a handful of Republicans and Democrats who stand for the caregivers against corruption, and God bless them. But there are far too few. This is why the Michigan Caregivers Association does not lobby our lawmakers based on their consciences or their good faith. It usually does not exist. We instead prefer to lobby the people, inform them on what their lawmakers are doing, and then force the legislators to deal with the fallout if they refuse to do what is right.

The Michigan Caregivers Association has set up a web portal making it very easy to oppose monopoly bills HB5301, HB5302 and HB5303 in Lansing. That portal can be accessed at mi-caregivers.com. For additional information, visit our main website where you can make donations to this noble cause and check out our Facebook page where there are daily updates about the fight to prevent a corporate monopoly and stop the Uniparty system from strangling our freedoms and suffocating our livelihoods.

Sincerely,

Your Friend,

George Brikho

Oct 182021
 
The update about the HB5300-02 (“Big Weed” Corporate Monopoly Bills) is that the bad guys are attempting to buy off patients to accept the special interest takeover.
Our sources have told us that lawmakers are going to create a special fund that can be used by certain patients in order to get rebates or stipends for their medicine within the new corporate monopoly marijuana distribution system proposed in Lansing.
Really, this is just another subsidy for the corporations and special interests who want to dominate the industry. All of the money in the special fund will eventually make its way into the pockets of the corporations and special interests who are monopolizing the industry, as patients are forced to settle for substandard medicine and become completely dependent on these seedy profit-driven interests.
This is not acceptable. We will not allow them to paper us over as they destroy the industry, and patients will not be tricked by this disrespectful pittance.
Although the legislation is not on the committee agenda for Tuesday, the committee reserves the right to address “any business properly before this committee,” which means they may try to slip these bills through without making it public beforehand. This is a violation of the spirit of the law, but this may be what they resort to in order to try and slip this through.
I will be in attendance tomorrow at the House Regulatory Reform Committee to have eyes on these interests to make sure that their sinister dirty tricks do not go unexposed. Then, we will continue the fight regardless of what happens in committee. Rick Thompson of NORML MI is providing intel that they are planning to rubber stamp these bills in committee tomorrow morning.
The lobbyists are no doubt making it rain all over the lawmakers. They hope to demoralize us and to satiate us with their concessions. This is not acceptable, and we will push this fight to the bitter end if we have to do so.
We will make sure this bill dies in committee or on the House floor.
In the mean time, contact your lawmakers and urge them to oppose House Bill 5300, 5301 and 5302. Our petitioning tool makes it very easy for you to do so: mi-caregivers.com.