Trending
Most Read
  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll show Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll show Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Higher Ground

More Michigan cities to consider decriminalizing marijuana

Pot at the polls.

Photo: Illustration by Lee DeVito., License: N/A

Illustration by Lee DeVito.


Michiganders are gearing up for a lot of voting about marijuana over the next several months. In August, folks in Hazel Park and Oak Park will be voting on decriminalization of possession and transfer on private property of up to an ounce of the substance for those 21 and older. 

In Oak Park, the Safer Oak Park Coalition had to take it to court to force the city to put the question on the ballot, even though the Safer Michigan Coalition had successfully jumped through all the legal hoops to get it on. Oak Park officials tried to use an administrative maneuver to keep it off. They claimed that the ballot language had to be approved by Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. Schuette is no friend of marijuana decriminalization, and the AG stood mute on the language. Since the AG didn’t speak, Oak Park officials said the question couldn’t go on the ballot. The coalition sued, and an Oakland County Circuit Court ruled that the question must go on the ballot. 

But that’s just the beginning. In November, Utica, Lapeer, Port Huron, Onaway, Harrison Township, East Lansing, Clare, Saginaw, Frankfurt, Mount Pleasant, Portage, and Berkley will be voting on essentially the same question — except in Utica, where the issue is a lowest law enforcement priority (LLEP). That means police need to pursue any other crime as a higher priority than a marijuana offense. Utica is the first city in a presumably conservative Macomb County to have such an initiative.

Tim Beck of the Safer Michigan Coalition feels the initiatives will be successful across the board. 

“I’d say it’s definite,” he says. “We’ve never lost. These are not radical proposals. The majority of Michigan citizens believe that small-time marijuana should be way down at the bottom of the pile of offenses, and that’s why we’re winning.”

Safer Michigan has a record of successes across the state — Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, Ypsilanti, and Kalamazoo — where decriminalization or LLEP laws have been passed. Ann Arbor decriminalized marijuana in the 1970s. In 2012, five out of five initiatives passed in the November elections. 

It’s part of a long-term strategy to change things statewide, even if they have to go city by city. Beck suggests that there will be a few more cities considering new pot initiatives this fall before all is said and done, though he won’t speak publicly about them yet. 

“We’ve got this down to a science,” he says. “It’s probably going to be the tipping point for Michigan to become a decriminalized state.”

There’s another angle to this. Many people believe that House Bills 5104 and 4271 will be passed at some time this year by the Michigan Legislature. HB5104 would legalize medibles (edible marijuana-infused products), and HB4271 would allow cities to decide if they want to allow dispensaries to operate within their borders.

“It’s a purely local option as to how the dispensaries will be regulated,” Beck says. “I think it’s going to have a major impact; it’s going to be huge. The effect here is that in these cities, the political class cannot legitimately claim that the citizens are afraid of marijuana” when the question of dispensaries comes up.

This is how you change policy from the bottom up. 

If these initiatives are successful, there will be more than 20 cities in Michigan that have flipped on the marijuana question — and many of our biggest cities. Warren, in Macomb County, with some 134,000 residents, is one of the biggest that hasn’t faced an initiative — and there don’t seem to be any current plans to take that place on.

Still, the city-by-city approach in Michigan mirrors the state-by-state approach nationally. There are now 22 legal medical marijuana states, along with the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational use. Alaskans will vote on legalization this fall. As the tide turns through petition initiatives, legislatures in some states are beginning to smell the cannabis and are starting to scale back prohibition laws without waiting for voters to change things themselves. 

It shows how things can radically change. When my father, born in 1915, was 17 years old, marijuana was legal but alcohol wasn’t. Hmmm.

 

There’s been much hoopla over the passing of an amendment to H.R. 4660, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that forbids the Drug Enforcement Agency and Department of Justice from using federal funds to go after people operating state-legal medical marijuana or industrial hemp businesses.

I kind of downplayed the importance of this act partly because it still has to be OK’d by the Senate and the president. And who knows what kind of strategies the DEA and DOJ could use to get around the law. DEA chief Michele Leonhart has said that she thinks marijuana should remain a Schedule 1 drug, a classification that says marijuana has no accepted medical use. More sober speculation since the May 30 vote has taken a thoughtfully cautious stance — no more dancing in the streets and throwing foot-long colas in the air.

I’ve seen the high enthusiasm crash in the past when a representative introduced some pro-marijuana legislation that ultimately went nowhere enough times to take it all with a grain of salt. However, I do acknowledge that it was historic that this is the first time since 1937, when the Tax Act made marijuana sales illegal, that a majority of Congress has voted to substantially change federal policy on the subject. Hey, the fact that it even got to a vote was a big deal. Most of these things just melt away in committee.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus