Iconic American author Mark Twain once opined, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe when the legislature is in session.” The legendary wordsmith understood how government operated very well. Our state legislators are off fundraising in their districts right now, begging for money from special interests all summer. So our freedoms and finances are no longer under attack… for now.
I have fought tirelessly – with help from other independent medical marijuana caregivers and dispensary owners – throughout the legislative process to stop the beer, wine, tobacco, and gasoline companies from receiving a state-granted monopoly over the distribution of marijuana for patients. These interests have used the millions of dollars at their disposal in an attempt to dominate the industry. We have been able to fend them off with energy, enthusiasm and the truth thus far, but the lame duck session is when they plan to strike, and they want to keep the public in the dark about their illicit scheme.
Our insider sources have informed us that there is a massive push in Lansing to get transportation regulations related to medical marijuana amended during the lame duck session at the end of the year. This is the time period when the worst bills are usually muscled through the process at the midnight hour right before the legislative year concludes. It is the Boji’s, who were infamously responsible for the Senate building heist, and their clientèle leading the charge. Wild Bill’s Tobacco, Tom Calani, Adnan Shango “Ryo Tobacco” and other rich well-connected goons are trying to amend what was already passed and signed into law. They are desperate to pull off their heist behind closed doors without the public becoming aware, which is why we want to “smoke out” this conspiracy before it can take shape.
These interests want full control over the distribution of marijuana throughout the state of Michigan. This distribution monopoly would impose unnecessary costs upon the entire industry. The distributors would be able to squeeze the life out of the manufacturers, and the retailers would be bent over as well. The cost would ultimately be passed down to the consumer. This would ensure that medicine prices skyrocket for the sick patients who desperately need it. The free market could provide transportation services, through a private armored car agency for example, at a fraction of the cost without stifling the industry.
While marijuana is likely to become legalized in November, that progress should not make us take our eyes off the ball. The side of our industry that provides the world’s best quality medicine with no serious side-effects to a countless number of people, improving their quality of life by leaps and bounds, is what we need to preserve. A tax-and-regulate plan works fine for recreational marijuana and will go a long way toward fixing our criminal justice system, but it is not right for the medical side of the industry. We have to keep the barriers between people and their life-saving medicine at an absolute minimum. Basic regulations were already approved, so no more are necessary. Just let the industry function like Michigan voters wanted ten years ago – without any of the special interest power-grabs Lansing is known for.
When the legislature is back in session, we will continue to give updates on this developing situation.