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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Higher Ground

Outlaws we remain

Despite Prop 19 defeat, we've still come a long way

It was kicks to see my caricature on the cover of last week's Metro Times, and I'd like to thank my editors for the honor as well as the many friends who've called the cover to my attention since the issue appeared.

Seeing the Metro Times pot issue and reading the fervent editorial by my esteemed colleague Curt Guyette sort of took some of the sting out of the extremely disappointing defeat of Proposition 19 in California the night before.

Combined with the even more chilling effect of the right-wing takeover of the House of Representatives and many of our governorships — including the victory of the "Tough Nerd" and his slate in our own state — the rejection of the "Tax and Regulate Cannabis" initiative means that we're in for at least two more years of the invasive police-state assault on marijuana smokers that we'd hoped so fervently would begin to come to an end last week.

There remain many positive signs that the idiocy and viciousness of the War on Drugs with respect to marijuana users may finally be overcome sooner rather than later. A respected poll released last week revealed that nationwide support for legalization of recreational use of weed has reached a new high of 46 percent.

And in California, David Borden reports in AlterNet that the list of mainstream organizations that endorsed Proposition 19 includes California NAACP, Latino Voters League, National Black Police Association, National Latino Officers Association, California Young Democrats, several trade union organizations, and a number of current and former California politicians from the local level up through Congress.

"Win or lose this time," Borden concludes, "a page in history has turned — drug policy reform is an issue whose time has come, and time is on our side."

In the meantime, however, those of us who enjoy a smoke without the benefit of possessing a Medical Marijuana Patient ID card will continue to be ostracized and victimized by the greedy mongers of the War on Drugs and the morality police, suffering the consequences of workplace drug testing and job loss, unreasonable searches and seizures, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, impoundment of homes and vehicles, mandatory subjection to the vast drug treatment industry, and the entire range of humiliating and repressive treatment they have in store for us.

"The simple truth about America's marijuana prohibition," radical historian Harvey Wasserman points out in a recent essay, is that "any law that allows the easy incarceration of any citizen any time those in power want to do it is the ultimate enemy of democracy. With 800,000 annual arrests over an herb used by tens of millions of Americans, it is the cornerstone of a police state."

It's worth following Harvey's argument further as he enumerates the forces prosecuting the War on Drugs, starting with "the drug dealers who profit directly, ... the prison builders and operators, plus the lawyers, judges, guards and street cops who make their livings off the human agony of this endless stream of meaningless arrests.

"Then come the alcohol and tobacco pushers who don't want the competition from a recreational substance that can be raised and controlled locally. Ditto Big Pharma, which fears marijuana as a superior anti-depressant with healing capabilities far beyond a whole multibillion-dollar arsenal of prescription drugs with deadly side effects.

"Ultimately it's the politicians who cling to a prohibition that enhances their power. One after the other, they endorse more arrests and fiscal insanity."

Consider the economics of this pitiless drive to control our lives and curtail our mental activity that has absolutely no chance of succeeding.

In an era when law enforcement has been forced to lay off staff, reduce patrols and even release jail inmates, officers have found that going after marijuana growers and smokers makes them eligible for hefty federal anti-drug grants, Justin Scheck reports in The Wall Street Journal.

"The U.S. Justice Department is spending nearly $3.6 billion this year to augment budgets of state and local law-enforcement agencies," Phillip S. Smith reports in Drug War Chronicle at stopthedrugwar.org. "In addition, the federal government last year set aside close to $4 billion of the economic-stimulus package for law-enforcement grants for state and local agencies.

The White House also is spending about $239 million this year to fund local drug-trafficking task forces, Steve Elliott adds at newsjunkiepost.com, "which in the real world, usually means local cops dressing up like Rambo and tramping through the woods in a wasteful, quixotic and doomed attempt to stop the burgeoning marijuana industry."

The sickest thing about this situation is that you can stack up huge piles of shocking facts about the evil nature and heartless tactics of the War on Drugs, and it doesn't seem to make a whit of difference. These mind-boggling sums are regarded as money well-spent by the people who run our country, and the relentless persecution of recreational drug users will continue as part of the Judeo-Christian proscription against people getting high so long as the current laws remain in effect.

The organizers of the California Marijuana Initiative, led by Richard Lee of Oakland, promise to take up the cudgel again in 2012 in a serious attempt to gain the support of another 5 percent of the voting population to take legalization over the top. The losing side in the 46-54 decision reflects the national poll numbers cited above and reveals just how close we are to achieving our goal.

In a fascinating aside, the California polls before the election showed a 42-47 for-and-against split, but that was when the question was asked by a person. The response to automated polling devices minus the human interrogators was more like 57-43, demonstrating the reluctance so many citizens share about identifying themselves as smokers or even supporters of legalization.

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