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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

The Marijuana Two-Step

The 42nd Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor

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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.

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