Bruce Cain·Saturday, June 9, 2018
50 years ago (1968) I was a young Unitarian Hippie of 14 years of age. Despite the Viet Nam War the Hippie Era was well underway, throughout the entire planet. There was a widely held feeling that us Hippies were about the change the world for the better. If you were not alive then it is very difficult to understand how significantly the Hippie Era effected world culture for nearly 10 years (1965 – 1975). So it was in 1968 that I first smoked Marijuana and took my first hit of LSD.
For the life of me I could never understand why anyone would want to restrict adults from using or growing their own Marijuana. It had very little effect on one’s motor skills compared with Alcohol, Heroin and a whole long list of other drugs. So even back then I dreamed of a future society where adults could simply grow their own Cannabis without the fear of government oppression. Fast forward to 2018 I’m not so sure we are very much closer to that goal. In fact that dream of mine may be close to getting dashed forever unless we can foment a global movement to permanently guarantee our rights to grow and consume Cannabis.
In my last essay I made clear that I would not support the latest Marijuana initiative that will appear on the ballot in November of 2018. As I hope you will understand, by the end of this essay, it will probably have no effect either way. There is a much larger agenda at play for the global corporate control of Cannabis: both recreational and medicinal.
So let us start by summarizing the last 10 years of Cannabis activism in Michigan.
* In 2008 we passed Medical Marijuana Initiative by a landslide margin of 63% of the voters and majorities in every county. It was a stunning victory largely financed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) who put up between 2-4 million dollars to collect the signatures and get it on the ballot.
If you wanted to be a grower (e.g, caregiver) you could get 6 licences allowing you to grow as many as 72 plants. Dispensaries went up like Star Bucks Coffee shops and the growers were able to sell their overage to the dispensaries. It was not unussual to see growers rake in $100,000 a year due to the passage of this initiative. It created thousands of jobs and most certainly helped the local economies as they spent their money of food, clothing entertainment etc.
But it did not take long for the state legislature to begin gutting the new law. First they allowed the list of growers to be shared with local law enforcement which was prohibited in the original initiative.
* On September 21st, 2016 Governor Snyder signed to following 3 bills regarding Marijuana.
Here are the bills Snyder signed:
===== * House Bill 4209, now Public Act 281, creates the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to license and regulate the growth, processing, transport and provisioning of medical marijuana. The House approved it 83-22.
* House Bill 4210, now Public Act 282, amends the voter-initiated Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to allow for the manufacture and use of marijuana-infused products by qualified patients. The House approved it 93-12.
* House Bill 4827, now Public Act 283, creates the Marihuana Tracking Act and a seed-to-sale tracking system to track all medical marijuana. The House approved it 85-20.
Gov. Snyder signs medical marijuana bills clarifying dispensaries, edibles Updated on September 21, 2016 http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/gov_snyder_signs_medical_marij.html =====
This action, by Snyder and the legislature, basically paved the way for a “Corporate Cannabis State Monopoly” and the eventually elimination of “home grows” ability to sell their overage to local dispensaries. In the link above you will find links to all three bills. When these “Corporate Cannabis State Monopolies” are up and running, at the end of 2018, those that continue selling their overage will probably find themselves in prison. And as Kathleen Chippi (activist from Colorado) explained they WILL soon be coming after home grows as well.
===== Kathleen Chippi: It’s a shame people don’t realize that what THEY promise is the opposite of what you get. CO is witnessing the demise of 2 Constitutional Amendments that legally cannot be altered w/o a vote of “we the people”. Home grow after home grow being raided because some new neighbor who moved here complains about the LAWFUL smell of cannabis or some old neighbor who hates you just calling to ‘report’. Wait until the $1,000 dollar a day fines (per plant) start being ‘enforced’. Never thought I would dream the good old days of straight up prohibition. Now the fools who buy the pesticide/mold ridden state licensed weed put millions into funding (un-constitutional) home grow busts and DARE like propaganda–something we rarely read about is now a daily thing and the call it “legalization”.
Kathleen Chippi imho, states that have not fake legalized (ADDED 1,200 plus pages of new pot PROHIBITIONS) will be in a better position IF the Feds ever repeal prohibition-because you will start with a blank slate–states like CO now have to fund/repeal dozens upon dozens of what where un-necessary PROHIBITIONS…. =====
And as this article makes crystal clear the end of “home grows” and the rise of “Corporate Cannabis State Monopolies” is happening throughout the United States. In fact it is happening around the world.
===== But some potential growers believe the ruling will squeeze the smaller operators out of Michigan’s lucrative medical marijuana industry.
“They’re doing everything they can do to shut down the mom and pops,” said Jason Durham, a medical marijuana cardholder and caregiver, who grows medicinal cannabis for five patients, but hopes to be awarded a license to grow up to 500 plants. “They want it to be one corporation that has control so they only have to babysit and monitor one business.”
It will be more expensive for the large-scale growers to get into the business. Everyone seeking a license will have to pay an application fee that will carry a cost of between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the number of applications received. But the regulatory assessment will carry a sliding scale cost ranging from $10,000 for the smallest grower up to $57,000 for large growers, transporters and dispensaries.
The applicants also will have to prove they have the capital for the operation and carry enough insurance and security.
Applications for the five categories of medical marijuana licenses — for growers, processors, transporters, testers and dispensaries — will be available on Dec. 15, and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will begin awarding licenses in the spring of 2018.
The medical marijuana business, once the newly regulated business is up and running, is expected to generate $711 million in sales a year and $21 million a year in tax revenues for the state.
Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patients’ Rights Association, which advocates for safe and legal access to medical marijuana, said she understands the department’s desire to stick to the letter of the law, which said the number of licenses can’t be mandated, “But there is the potential that they’ll take away opportunities for smaller business owners.”
In other states, large-scale grow operations are well underway. In southern California, Canndescent, a 9,600-square-foot marijuana grow facility opened in September with plans to expand to 100,000 square feet of growing space now that voters have approved marijuana for recreational use in November. And in Massachusetts, Americann has the option to purchase a 52-acre parcel of land, which would be transformed into greenhouses and processing facilities.
Durham hopes that won’t become the landscape in Michigan.
“It will make it almost impossible for us small guys to get into the market,” he said.
Michigan regulators will allow mega-growers of medical marijuana into the state Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Sept. 28, 2017 https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/28/michigan-medical-marijuana-growers/714595001/ =====
The 2018 Marijuana Initiative: “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” (CRMLA)
So I spoke with Josh Hovey, spokesman for CRMLA on June 8th, 2018.
In defense of the ballot initiative he said it would allow adults to have 12 plants without getting a card. While I did think that was better than having to get a “card” I said it is probably not going to matter. It only took 10 years to debase the 2008 Medical Marijuana Initiative and chances are the legislature will soon legislate against home grows as they are currently doing in Colorado and other states. I told him I was not going to support it. Furthermore I said what will it really matter once the “Corporate Cannabis State Monopoly” is up an running by the end of 2018. This initiative will do nothing to stop the destruction of thousands of jobs (growers, trimmers, dispensaries, dispensary personnel etc.). Oddly he did not disagree.
The rise of the “Corporate Cannabis State Monopolies” reminds me of an old joke about “Potentially and Realistically.” And here is the joke:
===== A boy went up to his father and asked him, “Dad, what is the difference between potentially and realistically?”
The father thought for a moment, then answered, “Go ask your mother if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars.”
Then ask your sister if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars, and then, ask your brother if he’d sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars. Come back and tell me what you learn from that.”
So the boy went to his mother and asked, “Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?” The mother replied, “Of course I would! We could really use that money to fix up the house and send you kids to a great University!”
The boy then went to his sister and asked, “Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?” The girl replied, “Oh my God! I LOVE Brad Pitt I would sleep with him in a heartbeat, are you nuts?!?!? “
The boy then went to his brother and asked, “Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?” “Of course,” the brother replied. “Do you know how much a million bucks would buy?”
The boy pondered the answers for a few days, then went back to his dad. His father asked him, “Did you find out the difference between potentially and realistically?” The boy replied, “Yes… Potentially, you and I are sitting on Three Million Dollars..but Realistically,we’re living with two whores and a homosexual.” ======
So potentially you can grow a lot of Cannabis in a year. But since you can no longer sell your overage realistically there is no longer any point in growing any more than you can consume in a year.
For those that know anything about growing Cannabis here is a short summary of yields from indoor growing. The rest of you can skip this.
===== A typical indoor grower usually sets up a sustainable garden consisting of mother plants, veg plants, clones and bloom plants. The grower cuts clones from the mother plant. Once the clones root they are put in soil and grow into veg plants with a 16 hours light cycle. When they are of appropriate height they are put into bloom stage by altering to a 12 hour light cycle.
Most growers use 1000 Watt High Discharge Lamps (HDL’s) for both Veg and Bloom stage growth. You can put a single large veg plant of a few smaller plants under each 1000 Watt Lamp. The bloom cycle is ussually between 8 and 9 weeks. If you are a seasoned grower you can get as much as 1 gram per watt. If you are a rank beginner you can still get about .5 gram per watt. So every 2 months you can basically get between 16 and 32 ounces of bud from each lamp. Yes this is a vast simplification of growing under lamps. Some Sativa varieties can have a bloom cycle as long as 13 weeks. ====
Then I asked him if it was possible to determine who is really putting up the money for this. Both the 2008 and 2016 initiatives are being financed by MPP. But where is MPP getting all the money I asked. So he said I could go to the Secretary of State Campaign database which I did.
The numbers just don’t add up. Not even close. After about a half hour digging through the state website I finally found the list of contributors but the information was sketchy and they don’t even have a total figure. My own guesstimate is that they collected about $217,000.
Here is the document from which I calculated that figure:
Michigan Campaign Statement Contributions Committee Name: COALITION TO REGULATE MARIJUANA LIKE ALCOHOL https://cfrsearch.nictusa.com/documents/453526/details/filing/contributions?schedule=%2A&changes=0
You can also go through all the campaign finance data here:
===== Michigan Campaign Finance Statement Detail Committee Name: COALITION TO REGULATE MARIJUANA LIKE ALCOHOL Statement Type: ANNUAL CS Statement Year: 201 Select the section of the filing to be displayed:
Cover Page Summary Page Contributions Itemized Direct Contributions Itemized Other Receipts Itemized In-Kind Contributions Expenditures Itemized Direct Expenditures Incidental Office Expense Disbursements Get Out the Vote Activities Itemized In-Kind Expenditures Debts & Obligations Fund-raisers
That does not even come close the the 5 to 8 million they expect to spend before November 2018.
===== The group pushing the ballot proposal spent most of the $651,736 it had raised so far on paying the National Petition Management team, which collected the signatures for the ballot proposal.
And the Committee to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is now in debt to the tune of $257,484 owed to consultants, attorneys and fund-raisers.
“We’re focused right now on paying off our campaign debts. But our fund-raising continues to go strong. We have a lot of large and small donors across the state and country,” Hovey said. “Ideally, we’d like to raise $8 million for the campaign, but we’re aiming at between $5 million and $8 million.”
Marijuana legalization effort vaults a hurdle with no outside challenge to signatures Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Feb. 9, 2018 https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/02/09/marijuana-legalization-effort-signatures/321236002/ =====
So I will press Hovey to provide a complete list of contributors though I highly doubt that will EVER be provided.
The Real Global Forces behind the Corporate Control of Cannabis
The biggest contributor to Corporate Cannabis Legalization is George Soros who has spent over $80 million dollars between 1994 and 2014. He has financed, or help finance, every Marijuana State Initiative since the first Medical Marijuana Initiative: Prop215 (CA, 1996).
===== Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there.
With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere.
Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.
His spending has been supplemented by Peter B. Lewis, the late chairman of Progressive Insurance Co. and an unabashed pot smoker who channeled more than $40 million to influence local debates, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The two billionaires’ funding has been unmatched by anyone on the other side of the debate.
Mr. Soros makes his donations through the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit he funds with roughly $4 million in annual contributions from his Foundation to Promote an Open Society.
Mr. Soros also donates annually to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in turn funds marijuana legalization efforts, and he has given periodically to the Marijuana Policy Project, which funds state ballot measures.
George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S. By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times – Wednesday, April 2, 2014 =====
Another article puts his contributions (1994 – 2014) at $200 million.
===== Financier George Soros has become one of the largest supporters of drug reforms ranging from medical marijuana use to the easing of sentencing for drug charges. His foundation has donated about $200 million to drug reforms since 1994, double what most people had estimated until now.
An Inside Look At The Biggest Drug Reformer In The Country: George Soros October 2, 2014 https://www.forbes.com/sites/chloesorvino/2014/10/02/an-inside-look-at-the-biggest-drug-reformer-in-the-country-george-soros/#78d492e31e29 =====
===== George Soros appears to be a hero of the cannabis movement — helping states (and even an entire country) pass legislation for medical and recreational use. But he also has strong ties with the pharmaceutical industry and Monsanto as a major stock holder — the same chemical corporation and biotech giant that developed Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, toxic pesticides, rBGH, Roundup Ready and genetically engineered Frankenfoods. While the widely circulated urban myth that Monsanto is currently developing genetically modified cannabis is false, if you dig a bit deeper, it turns out the corporation quietly conducts research projects on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana for the apparent purpose of genetically modifying the plant at a future date.
Engdahl believes it doesn’t take a large stretch of the imagination to see that Monsanto could very well be laying the groundwork for a future controlling patented cannabis seeds, especially since Uruguay’s president Mujica has expressed a desire to create unique genetic codes for marijuana within his country in order to undermine the blackmarket. Monsanto could easily step in and accommodate Mujica’s wish, considering the history the biotech corporation has had in Uruguay over the decades growing GMO soybeans and maize.
Back in the United States, it’s interesting to note that the criminalization of both industrial hemp and marijuana has been financially lucrative for a range of industries, like the prison system and military-industrial complex, along with the banking, fossil fuel, timber, cotton and pharmaceutical industries. In light of this, Conrad Justice Kiczenski warns:
“The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use through the only practical means available to the corporate system, which is through genetic engineering and patenting of the Cannabis genome.”
Monsanto, Big Pharma, George Soros, and the Push to Legalize Marijuana https://wakeup-world.com/2016/07/20/monsanto-big-pharma-george-soros-and-the-push-to-legalize-marijuana/ =====
So where is all of this leading?
I predict that the first thing we can look forward too (just kidding) is that State Governments will start cracking down on anyone the tries to sell their overrage. Next they will start instituting “cards,” zoning ordinances, home inspections and various fines for home growers in general. It is already well underway in Colorado where the “Corporate Cannabis State Monopolies” are all ready up and running. At some point expect that they will try to criminalize home growing in general.
The next thing that will happen is that Big Pharma will start patenting seeds, patenting various Cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBG etc.). Next there will probably be a war between “Corporate Cannabis State Monopolies,” Big Pharma and perhaps Big Tobacco. How that will unfold I have no idea. But what IS clear is the Big Boys are going to have a huge incentive to put home growers completely out of business.
So what do we need to do to stop this?
I think we need to begin working both locally and globally. After all you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and you don’t fight global corporations through local initiatives. Yes we need to fight this at a global level by uniting Cannabis consumers and producers throughout the planet.
I already did this with International Drug Policy Day (1990 – 1996) which grew to about 66 worldwide protests/teach-ins annually by 1996. Dana Beal continued this tradition in 2000 with the Million Marijuana March which has grown to nearly 800 worldwide events by May 2018. You can read more about that in this essay:
The Global Marijuana March originated with International Drug Policy Day in May 1990 https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruce-cain/the-global-marijuana-march-originated-with-international-drug-policy-day-in-may-/2393282000697774/
Both IDPD and the GMM occur on the first Saturday in May. I see no need to change the date as there are many good reasons for this particular date. But this time around we need to make very specific demands that are both clear and specific. The most important will be a demand for “True Legalization.” And basically this will mean all adults should have the absolute inalienable right to “grow their” own Cannabis. No “cards,” licences, home inspections, zoning prohibitions etc. The government should have no more control than a dead ghost on a bright sunny day. It might also be nice to develop an open source community to teach the masses as to the best practices for growing, making butter, oils etc.
The second demand should be for a free market for the production of dry herb, oils and anything else individuals might want to produce. I would suggest that dispensaries should be wholly dependent on small growers in order to provide millions of jobs and keeping the profits within local communities. I think we should also eliminate any more taxation, regulation or control over this most sacred plant. This is what I proposed years ago with my MERP Model which is really an extension of the “Hippie Distribution Model” that was wholly responsible for production and distribution between 1965 and 1996. In essence you are not taxed but you cannot write off anything on your taxes: nutrients, electricity, lights etc. And with this model there will be no need for government involvement.
There are also other provisions that should probably be added:
* No patents on seeds or Cannabinoids.
* No GMO Cannabis period. ===== Why it is important to fight against GMO Cannabis and patents on Cannabis seeds, Cannabinoids — anything pertaining to Cannabis — right NOW!
I would not support this bill Trump may support. If you are not going to completely deschedule Cannabis, from the CSA schedule then, as far as I’m concerned, it is Dead on Arrival. IF you read the article carefully it is clear the bill does not do that. LOL
Let us get beyond the Reefer Madness Bullshit. Read my essay above and just think about this for a moment.
Soros has financed every damn initiative back to Prop215 (CA, 1996). In Prop215 “card” were encouraged but not required . . . I do believe. All succeeding initiatives: “cards” required.
I have always suspected the cards to be somewhat of a “poison pill” with origins back to 1996. Perhaps they didn’t see the smart meters coming later, that could achieve the same purpose — identifying home grows when the time came to get rid of them.
So “why” might Soros demanded the “cards.” Could it have been he foresaw monopolizing Cannabis via GMO Cannabis (terminator genes etc.). I mean Monsanto has pretty much done that with the US supply of Soy, Corn etc. And after all GMO farming did begin in the early 1990’s. AND he is heavily invested in Monsanto and favors GMO Cannabis.
Furthermore Rescheduling Cannabis would give great advantage to Big Pharma or even Big Tobacco. That has pretty much been agreed upon from many articles I’ve read.
So then comes the question with Trump . . . who I did vote for by the way. How cozy is he with Monsanto (or whatever it is called now, LOL) and how cognizant is he of the real underlying issues. And even if he is cognizant . . . does he care. Like I said I voted Trump because I could not vote for Hillary. But I do not agree with all he’s done and he is what I call a “blunt instrument.”
Any thoughts on this theory?
===== I’m sure I’m missing a few things but this is a good starting point. I would encourage people suggest additions of their own.
During the research for this essay I have found some very informative articles that should help expand and clarify what I have just finished writing here. Please take some time to read through them at your leisure.
===== Ohio’s Weed War: Corporations, Activists Clash Over Legal Pot Why are corporate raiders and old-school activists locked in a battle for the soul of the marijuana movement? 10/23/2015 https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-ohio-weed-war-20151023
An Inside Look At The Biggest Drug Reformer In The Country: George Soros OCT 2, 2014 https://www.forbes.com/sites/chloesorvino/2014/10/02/an-inside-look-at-the-biggest-drug-reformer-in-the-country-george-soros/#78d492e31e29
Monsanto, Big Pharma, George Soros, and the Push to Legalize Marijuana https://wakeup-world.com/2016/07/20/monsanto-big-pharma-george-soros-and-the-push-to-legalize-marijuana/
The War on Weed: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for “Corporate Cannabis” https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on-weed-monsanto-bayer-and-the-push-for-corporate-cannabis/5534771
Cannabis -Marijuana: The “War on Weed” Is Winding Down – But Will Monsanto/Bayer Be the Winner? https://www.globalresearch.ca/cannabis-the-war-on-weed-is-winding-down-but-will-monsantobayer-be-the-winner/5532555?
George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S. By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times – Wednesday, April 2, 2014 https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/2/billionaire-george-soros-turns-cash-into-legalized/
Michigan regulators will allow mega-growers of medical marijuana into the state Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Sept. 28, 2017 https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/28/michigan-medical-marijuana-growers/714595001/
Why Pro-Pot Advocates Are Happy Michigan Didn’t Just Legalize Weed (06/2018) https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/michigans-marijuana-law-w521129
The War on Drug Laws: Fundraising in Marijuana Legalization Campaigns by by J T Stepleton | 2016-06-23 https://www.followthemoney.org/research/institute-reports/the-war-on-drug-laws-fundraising-in-marijuana-legalization-campaigns
Marijuana Policy Project https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00389882
The Money in Marijuana: The political landscape https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/marijuana/
Marijuana Policy Project https://www.mpp.org/
Marijuana Policy Project From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijuana_Policy_Project
Marijuana Policy Project cuts staff amid funding challenges Published June 7, 2018 | By Jeff Smith https://mjbizdaily.com/marijuana-policy-project-cuts-staff-amid-funding-challenges/
Marijuana Industrial News http://mjinews.com/ http://mjinews.com/tag/ballot/
New ordinance may cap number of marijuana dispensaries in Detroit Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press June 7, 2018 https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/06/07/new-ordinance-may-cap-marijuana-dispensaries-detroit/681024002/
Do Lotteries Really Benefit Public Schools? The Answer is Hazy Updated June 12, 2017 https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/do-lotteries-really-benefit-public-schools-the-answer-is-hazy
What percentage of lottery money goes to Michigan schools? Kim Russell Feb 12, 2016 https://www.wxyz.com/news/what-percentage-of-lottery-money-goes-to-michigan-schools
Cannabis Prohibition Nullification and the 10th Amendment Posted on September 25, 2013 https://xcannabis.net/2013/09/25/cannabis-prohibition-nullification-and-the-10th-amendment/
I would have never supported legalization if I knew it’d end this way Posted on September 12, 2017 https://xcannabis.net/2017/09/12/not-support-legalization/
Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol https://www.regulatemi.org/
Canada’s Senate votes to legalise recreational marijuana Long-term goal of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party set to be realised after Conservative senators defeated https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-weed-legalised-marijuana-recreational-senate-vote-justin-trudeau-a8388996.html