I wanted to take this moment to congratulate Michigan and our MINORML supporters on progressing toward our goal of marijuana liberalization. Our state is advancing rapidly with the MILegalize/CRMLA legalization ballot initiative, the rollout of the MMFLA program, candidates who embrace cannabis as a debate topic and a citizenry who seem unwilling to buy into the standard drug war lies any more.
2017 was a year of great progress and great sadness; our business community has been dealt a severe blow and many patients in large portions of the state are without any organized distribution centers for medicinal cannabis. Although the new dispensary system is forming it has been a slow process. Many of the faces we have come to know in the Michigan cannabis community will fade and other faces will rise. Change is upon us.
Although the environment in Michigan for the reform of marijuana laws looks positive, pitfalls await. National groups will descend upon our shores to deliver anti-cannabis messaging in advance of the 2018 Gubernatorial election, and will hit us hard if the MILegalize proposal is on the ballot. Anti-cannabis Attorney General Bill Schuette is the most likely Republican to run for the state’s top political position. Lobbyists in Lansing are still trying to shape our laws to their client’s advantage, and they have the ear of important people in decision-making positions. Citizen groups have faded; the public’s response to cannabis emergencies is tepid. Our protests draw a fraction of the attendance they did just a few years ago.
In this past year of change and the future year of hope, the role of organizations like Michigan NORML cannot be understated. The real PEOPLE have no voice in our state’s capital. Even lobbyists we trust are still advancing their client’s agenda, which may or may not