I have some great news that should give hope to every activist in the state who cares about freedom, liberty, democracy and accountability in government.
The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association (MCMA), the “Big Weed” lobbying firm that is working to destroy the medical marijuana caregivers system in order to seize a monopoly, has fired Steve Linder, the dark money kingpin who had been working behind the scenes to coerce lawmakers into passing HB 5300-02.
The Michigan Caregivers Association (MCA), a group which I founded to protect the rights of the caregivers, put Linder at the forefront of the policy debate – considered a controversial move at the time. We plastered his greasy mug all over ads, billboards, and made him the focus of the debate, comparing him to Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers flicks. Our heavy-handed tactics changed the debate from being centered around Linder’s phony talking points on “patient safety” to the Big Weed takeover that was actually taking place. We made a lot of noise, and it paid off.
Rats like Linder do not like when the light is shined directly upon them. They prefer to work in the shadows and make their dirty dealings without scrutiny. It’s called “dark money” for a reason. These lowlifes want their money and influence hidden from the public. We took the battle to the public. Linder cracked under the pressure. He made a fool of himself repeatedly. Lawmakers no longer wanted to be associated with him. His legacy is permanently tarnished as a result of our due diligence. The age of gangsters like Linder controlling the legislature are coming to an end.
The Michigan Caregivers Association claims the proverbial scalp of Linder. This is just the beginning. This is not an aberration. We are growing rapidly and building the infrastructure to expose the bad guys like never before. We put all other Linder wannabes on notice: You will be next. You will be pissed out of Lansing in disgrace just like Linder. You will be exposed, you will be righteously vilified, the public will view you as the pariah that you are, and then your Big Money backers will toss you out unceremoniously like a used condom from a strip club backroom session with Matt Hall, Lee Chatfield and taxpayer-funded escorts.
We know that the MCMA and the wannabe cannabis monopolists are not throwing in the towel just because Linder is history. They will continue to agitate against small home growers, medicine providers, cancer patients, small business owners, and others who stand in the way of swelling their bottom line. MCMA board chair Shelly Edgerton is expected to take a more substantial role in the organization after Linder’s ouster. Edgerton, while certainly a less odious and grotesque figure than Linder, has the same establishment Republican and Lansing bureaucratic ties as Linder and is pushing for the same agenda. She wants to crush the little guy and pave the way for a monopoly. She will be thwarted as well.
It has been proven that the current testing regime is a joke and potentially-contaminated weed will always make its way on the shelves when the big players want to make profits. State regulators have focused on restricting caregiver product, and this has caused tremendous damage to the cannabis industry in Michigan already. Now, tons of inferior product are being flooded onto the streets, including contaminated flower, and the industry is in shambles. If this continues, the compassionate caregiver system that produces life-saving medicine for thousands of patients across the state will be crushed forever. This is economic terrorism by the corporate machine. It will not be tolerated.
The Michigan Caregivers Association will enjoy this victory and this momentum we have built, but we will not take our success for granted. We know this is a never-ending fight to sustain our freedoms. If we take our eyes off the ball, that will allow the MCMA and their new henchwoman, Edgerton, to come closer to achieving their marijuana monopoly. Cannabis cannot become corporatized and corrupt like every other industry. This is the final frontier where the little guy can thrive in a free and fair market based on their ability to grow the best product. We demand a broad and shared prosperity. Nothing else is acceptable.
Be on the lookout for legislation that is in the works in Lansing that will prevent municipalities from adopting ready-made ordinances created by the MCMA and their cronies to destroy the caregivers at the local level, now that their monopoly bills have stalled in Lansing. We are going on the offense and beginning to roll out our Caregivers’ Bill of Rights that will give additional opportunities for superior caregiver product to be enjoyed by Michigan residents. Cannabis is now an unstoppable powerhouse, the nation’s #1 cash crop, and the individuals who put their lives on the line to create this essential industry ought to reap the full rewards of their blood, sweat and tears.