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    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.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Higher ground

Why Bill Schuette Hates Patient Rights

Nobody fighting to end marijuana prohibition is saying anything about giving it to children.

Photo: wiki commons, License: N/A

wiki commons


SINCE BILL SCHUETTE was elected Michigan attorney general in 2010, he has fought tooth and nail against all but the strictest interpretation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and aided municipalities in finding ways to thwart and circumvent provisions of the law.

Actually, his efforts started even earlier, as he led the forces fighting against the MMMA before it was passed in 2008. Since then he has been a holy terror, ripping away at any interpretation of the law that was not strictly set out in writing. The attorney general’s office has joined in county prosecutions against medical marijuana defendants and shut down dispensaries across the state. He has intimidated patients, caretakers, doctors, municipalities, police and county prosecutors by declaring that federal marijuana law supersedes state law.

For instance, Schuette has said that police who confiscate marijuana from patients would run afoul of the law if they returned the medication to them even after they prove they are certified by the state. He said that police who return it risk criminal prosecution as drug dealers because marijuana is illegal under federal law. Of course, Schuette’s opinion of the supremacy of federal law doesn’t extend to other things, such as the Affordable Health Care Act, which he opposes.

So it was no surprise when I saw a headline on the MLive website the other day declaring, “Decriminalize marijuana? Michigan AG Bill Schuette doesn’t want to go down that road.”

Schuette was responding to proposed legislation introduced last week by Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine for the first offense. There would be no criminal record involved.

“We should not go down this road of legalizing drugs,” Schuette told a Lansing television newscaster. “It exposes young kids, children, to ever more potent drug use, and I think that’s not good for them in the future.”

Apparently Schuette still considers Reefer Madness to be the cutting edge of information about marijuana. Others in his camp seem to be hanging on to this concern for saving children from the scourge of marijuana. It may be their last gasp.

On Tuesday, CARE of southeastern Michigan, an agency that gets 60 percent of its funding from the Macomb County Community Mental Health Office of Substance Abuse, kicked off its “Protecting Kids from Marijuana” statewide campaign.

That’s fine, but I wonder why they think decriminalizing marijuana or having medical marijuana is a threat to children. Nobody fighting to end marijuana prohibition is saying anything about giving it to children. They tend to argue that legalizing and regulating marijuana will do more to keep it away from children than the current situation. Nobody is asking to see their ID when they go to buy marijuana from an illegal dealer. When I was in college there were two guys on my floor of the dormitory who sold marijuana to anybody who wanted it.

By the same token, if I wanted a beer I had to find someone who was old enough to buy it — and then go off campus to get it. Under the MMMA, anybody who wants to procure medical marijuana must have a card (although recent court rulings have pretty much stopped all above-the-board marijuana sales). And, in the case of minors who may have a medical need, a custodial parent and two doctors have to sign the application.

Protecting children is why, despite Schuette’s and others’ opposition, two bills recently introduced in the state Legislature are so important.

Irwin’s bill to decriminalize marijuana would go a long way toward keeping families together and not stigmatizing marijuana users for life after a conviction for (a small amount of) drug possession — making it difficult for them to find jobs, get education or get government assistance. This helps children if families are intact and breadwinners can bring some pay home. Also, decriminalization takes some of the profit out of sales and disincentivizes drug gangs from running the market, which has been found to be pretty deadly.

“Despite the fact that we’re spending a minimum of $325 million a year on arresting, trying and incarcerating marijuana users in this state, we know marijuana has never been more available,” Irwin said in a press conference, pointing out that the status quo is not working.

The other bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, would give local municipalities the choice to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate in their areas — or not. One of the biggest issues around the MMMA is that it allows for patients and caregivers to grow marijuana, there is no provision for those who can’t or don’t want to grow their own, or for those who have had some kind of disruption of their garden. Having places where patients can go to buy marijuana is a common sense solution that also aids the state economy through fees and taxes. It also wouldn’t hurt the state economy if we stopped chasing marijuana users around and incarcerating them.

Both state bills have bipartisan support. However, just because they were introduced doesn’t mean they will be passed — or even see a vote. Still, the fact that people in our state Legislature are bringing these issues up is a huge step forward. Nothing

is going to change if we don’t talk about it.

 

HERE’S A LITTLE something else regarding federal supremacy. A recent report from the federal Congressional Research Service on legal issues around marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state pretty much agrees with Schuette about the pre-eminence of federal law. At the same time, however, the report concludes that, at best, only the biggest commercial enterprises would be under possible federal scrutiny and prosecution. The report also cites legislation introduced allowing those operations to continue, such as the Ending Federal Prohibition of Marijuana Act of 2013 and the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2013.

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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.
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