Trending
Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards 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

The Marijuana Two-Step

The 42nd Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


The 42nd Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor was the highlight of a flurry of activities around marijuana the past few weeks. A reported 3,000 people were at the University of Michigan Quadrangle for the Bash — part pep rally, part political effort and part toke-down.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, was one of many speakers at the well-organized and well-run event, which included local and national activists. Mason Tyvert, who works for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, and who headed up the legalization campaign team in Colorado, spoke; other speakers included National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws founder Keith Stroup and seed geneticist D.J. Short.

Irwin got the crowd cheering when he said, “I believe we should legalize marijuana. … The good news today, on the 42nd anniversary of Hash Bash, is we’re winning. We’re winning the battle against marijuana prohibition.”

He cited electoral victories for legalization in Washington state and Colorado as evidence of the changing tide. Then he talked about how activist involvement had made a difference in softening some of the more draconian measures in bills passed by the Michigan state Legislature last December regarding medical marijuana, adding that he would introduce a decriminalization bill in the state Legislature. Irwin asked for help in pressing other legislators to support decriminalization.

“We’re going to end the drug war,” Irwin said. “We’re going to legalize marijuana here in Michigan. The amount of blood and treasure that we’ve spilled in this failed drug war are an embarrassment to our country.”

The Hash Bash came on the heels of a Pew Research Center poll showing that 52 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. Speaker after speaker referenced the poll that, for the first time, showed a simple majority in favor of legalization. In the past, polls have shown a plurality of Americans in support of legalization but never a majority.

“It smells like freedom,” said Tyvert. “This is not just the tipping point; this is the tip of the iceberg.”

 

No fool’s day: Things aren’t quite so friendly for the herb in the Michigan state Legislature, where folks still seem to look at certified medical marijuana patients as possibly criminal. Bills passed in December 2012, which went into effect April 1, 2013, put strictures on medical marijuana in Michigan. HB4856 stipulates that marijuana transported in vehicles has to be in a container in the trunk. If the vehicle has no trunk, then marijuana must be “enclosed in a case that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle.” That seems to follow the model of alcohol law, which prohibits open containers inside cars; however it doesn’t seem to regard marijuana as medicine because I don’t know of any laws forbidding carrying any kind of medicine inside a car.

That thinking seems to follow the same path with HB4851, which requires doctors who recommend marijuana use to establish a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” that involves reviewing patient records. This is all well and good, except it seems as if it’s more a view that medical marijuana patients are criminal.

Its (unstated) aim seems to be restricting access to patients seeking cannabis as a medical solution. For instance, in last week’s Higher Ground column, I discussed a medical marijuana patient who was addicted to painkillers. His pain management doctor knew nothing about marijuana and would not recommend it for him. The patient found another doctor who would. He then got off the prescribed opiates he was addicted to. He went back to his pain doctor and showed that he was off the drugs. Now, the doctor understands that marijuana can be useful. Still, with little training or understanding of marijuana, and legal issues remaining unsettled, many doctors are loath to recommend it.

A couple of years ago I reported about an HIV doctor who had been recommending marijuana for patients. After State Attorney General Bill Schuette said that federal law trumped state law, the doctor stopped recommending marijuana for fear of prosecution. In another case, a patient who had previously been recommended to use medicinal cannabis went back to his doctor for recertification. The doctor wouldn’t do it because he had been told that if he recommended marijuana to his patients he could no longer work at that clinic.

Doctors are being ostensibly pressured to eschew a course of treatment for fear of retribution should they prescribe — or even recommend — a substance that is purportedly “legal.”

There currently exists a punitive atmosphere toward physicians who choose a “legal” medical protocol, which effectively places undue hardships on patients who may be forced to “shop” for doctors who are even open to the idea that marijuana is a useful therapy.

Another part of the same bill allows outdoor grows. However, the garden must be enclosed on all sides and not visible to the unaided eye. The enclosure must be locked and anchored to the ground. Anyone planning to grow marijuana should be warned to take a close look at the law — as there are specific materials required for use in making the enclosures.

 

April 1 was actually a good day in Rhode Island:  A law that was passed last year decriminalizing possession of as much as 1 ounce of marijuana went into effect. The law, first introduced in 2010, makes possession a civil offense punishable by a $150 fine.

 

Getting spacey with time: We all know that time is relative, and that marijuana users’ time perception may get a little rubbery while under the influence. It seems like the federal government has fallen into that time-vortex when it comes to having anything to say about last November’s legalization votes in Colorado and Washington.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said at least a few times since late in 2012 that the Obama administration would “soon” have something to say on the subject. Last month, Holder said the administration was “still considering” its response. I’m wondering what “soon” means to those folks. Maybe they’ve inhaled and don’t realize that it’s been five months since the historic votes. On the other hand, they have been busy with the fiscal cliff and the sequester  — not to mention North Korea threatening to toss a nuclear weapon at its neighbor. So maybe we just have to hold our breath a little longer. As the old western swing song says, “Anytime you’re thinking ’bout me. That’s the time I’ll be thinkin’ of you.” … Anytime, Mr. Holder.

We may not have to wait for him. Last Friday, rumors began circulating about a proposed bipartisan bill in Congress that would protect marijuana users and businesses from federal laws as long as they are compliant with state laws. Like I said, anytime.

 

They really meant it: Meanwhile, things seem to be moving along in the legalized states. That is if you consider the 25 percent tax in Washington state and the 38 percent tax they’re considering in Colorado (in the Denver area) to be moving along. They must have really meant it when they said they wanted to “tax and regulate” the substance. Then again, the Colorado law allows folks to grow their own in an “enclosed, locked space.” Am I having déjà vu here?

 

Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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
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