Sunday, November 4, 2012

DecriminalizeGR PULLS A BOLGER/SCHMIDT

GR POT PROPOSAL IS DISHONEST, DECEPTIVE AND JUST PLAIN DOPEY


If a person uses a couple ounces of marijuana in the privacy of their own home I don't care, but to permit ANYONE-- OF ANY AGE to use UNLIMITED QUANTITIES of marijuana in public is reefer madness in reverse!

Proposal 2 an attempt to amend the Grand Rapids City Charter to supposedly decriminalize "the possession, control use and gift of marijuana"(actual ballot language) is so poorly written it will result in bad public policy if approved by an electorate distracted by other better publicized and more clearly explained items on a long and complicated ballot.

I would welcome an honest debate over a fact based, carefully crafted measure to decriminalize marijuana, though I believe drug policy should be addressed on a state or even federal level not by a group of Grand Rapids citizens apparently spoiling for an expensive legal battle with our state government as the first step in a campaign of legalization with Grand Rapids taxpayers possibly footing the bill. Instead Proposal 2 is an irresponsible piece of pro-marijuana propaganda that would allow ANYONE, INCLUDING MINORS, to possess, use or gift ANY AMOUNT of marijuana under the threat of only a small fine.  

DecriminalizeGR the group behind the ballot proposal has waged a campaign of misinformation and distortion evading the truth in a fashion that would make Jase Bolger and Roy Schmidt proud!

Yesterday I received a flyer from them in the mail twisting the truth into a lie of Nixionian proportions falsely claiming on the front cover if you vote yes on GR Prop 2 you were voting to decriminalize SMALL AMOUNTS of Marijuana.  Who are we supposed to believe, the supporters of  Proposal 2 or our lying eyes when we read the actual ballot language and see the truth?  If what they claimed WAS the actual truth I'd vote vote for it.




DecriminalizeGR's  real goal is exposed by the number of national groups advocating for the legalization of marijuana that are rooting for GR to pass Prop 2 like JUST SAY NOW. Here is their take on the issue: "Detroit and Grand Rapids are the two largest cities in Michigan...it also would send a signal that a large segment of the state no longer believes marijuana prohibition is worth continuing." Michigan's Two Largest Cities To Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization This November/

For public disclosure when I was young I used marijuana and I inhaled AN AWFUL LOT- from 1970 to St. Patrick's Day 1973 when I quit because my example caused others to take drugs and I frankly did not see any real benefit as a user, it was illegal and I hate lying!  When I smoked it was a felony and then the State of Michigan wisely made first time possession a misdemeanor which fit the crime but if I would have been caught (I could  write a pretty good movie based on the times it almost happened) I would have paid the price and faced the consequences learning something in the process.

Marijuana is not a hard drug and has legitimate medicinal purposes. Knowing that I voted for the poorly designed Medical Marijuana Proposal that has caused so many problems and was really just a deceptive step towards legalization. I will not make that mistake again.

At times marijuana is compared to the legal drugs of tobacco and alcohol both of which have their own well known problems and history of regulation.  I can attest that while using alcohol to excess I never once got behind the wheel of a car, but I cannot say that I did not drive while under the influence of marijuana. Really I can't remember but suspect I did because you don't realize how high you are and the full impact it has on your reflexes and senses. Honest users of marijuana would admit they should not drive while stoned, but are not the best judges of their condition. Often you can enjoy alcohol without getting drunk but you smoke to get high. 






DecriminalizeGR also makes the dubious, unsubstantiated and widely dismissed claim that Proposal 2 will save law enforcement over $2.5 million. A contention dismissed by Police Chief Belk who opposes the measure and feels it could increase marijuana use adding to the GRPD’s workload and budget.


Check out the actual language appearing on the ballot: 
PROPOSAL II AMENDMENT TO TITLE XVIII
Proposed amendment to Title XVIII (Miscellaneous Provisions) of the Charter of the city of Grand Rapids, concerning the Decriminalization of Marijuana.  
A proposal to decriminalize possession, control use, or gift of marijuana, through a Charter amendment prohibiting police from reporting same to law enforcement authorities other than the City Attorney; prohibiting the City Attorney from referring same to other law enforcement authorities for prosecution; prohibiting City prosecution except as civil infractions enforced by appearance tickets with a maximum fine of $100.00 and no incarceration; waiving fines if a physician, practitioner or other qualified health professional recommends the defendant use marijuana; and providing an affirmative defense to prosecution for defendants intending to use marijuana to relieve pain, disability, or discomfort. GRAND RAPIDS PROPOSAL 2

As you can clearly see public safety is put at risk by “prohibiting police from reporting same to law enforcement authorities other than the City Attorney; (AND)prohibiting the City Attorney from referring same to other law enforcement authorities for prosecution”.   Drug crimes cross city boundaries and the GRPD needs to cooperate and work with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to protect us from violent gangs and criminals.

 If this was truly a pure and effective decriminalization effort it would limit the amount of marijuana a person could “possess, control use or gift’’ (GIFT! Approve it and you can HAVE YOURSELF A CANNABIS, MERRY CHRISTMAS) to a few ounces or a bag, but this generous measure put NO limits on the ounces or even tons of marijuana anyone can possess while gagging the GRPD from working with other law enforcement agencies turning GR into a pot pushers paradise.ACCUSED ROBBERS OF GRAND RAPIDS MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWER ARE SUSPECTS IN SEVERAL HOME INVASIONS  Where there are large quantities of marijuana home invasion, violence, guns and gangs flourish! Is that what we want for our neighborhoods?
Last of three men sentenced in robbery of medical marijuana provider in residential NE Grand Rapids Neighborhood 



Note this quote from one of Proposal 2's most outspoken supporters: Commissioner Ruth Kelly, who presented the two ordinances at the meeting, pointed out that Grand Rapids is a leader in the state when it comes to the implementation of the medical marijuana law. “We had to come up with some way to allow people to have access to medical marijuana and at the same time keep residents safe...” Kelly said. “So the city had to come up with both the zoning and licensing language, and that is what other cities, who are going to have to eventually do this too, want to copy.” GR LEADS STATE IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION

Ruth you admit we need to keep our residents safe but how do you do that with a ballot proposal that has NO LIMITS on the AMOUNTS of MARIJUANA you can POSSESS, USE, OR GIFT?

The City of Detroit’s ballot proposal LEGALIZING MARIJUANA IS WRITTEN BETTER! It exempts ADULTS, 21 years of age or older for use or possession (no gifts) of less than one ounce on private property and does not handcuff or gag their police officers from cooperating with other agencies. 

CITY OF DETROIT

PROPOSAL M: ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE 1984 DETROIT CITY CODE
“ Shall Chapter 38, Offenses, Miscellaneous Provisions, Article XL, Controlled Substances and
Drug Paraphernalia, of the 1984 Detroit City Code be amended to exempt adults, 21 years of
age or older, from criminal prosecution under the article for use or possession of less than one
(1) ounce of marijuana on private property in the City of Detroit by adding the following section:
Sec. 38-11-50. Applicability.
None of the provisions of this article shall apply to the use or possession of less than one (1)
ounce of marijuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years.

DETROIT BALLOT LANGUAGE



Conversely our Proposal 2 permits use in public by anyone, OF ANY AGE anywhere even in a moving vehicle.  City festivals could become hash bashes, parks pot playgrounds and think of the drivers smoking under the influence with only tickets to worry about courtesy of our enlightened leaders.

Seriously folks this measure reads like a surreal script of a Cheech and Chong movie.  

REEFER MADNESS TRAILER FOR REEFER MADNESS is a melodramatic exploitation film produced in 1936 giving an over the top misrepresentation of the "dangers" of smoking marijuana, while GR's Proposal 2 supporters overreach in the opposite direction.


OK these are NOT the ACTUAL supporters of Proposal 2 just tongue in cheek representations (but come on they scream Ann Arbor and sophisticated drug users don't they) and in the middle is the true object of their desire in all of its flowering beauty.

Shockingly for citizens who value elected officials governing with common sense the actual advocates of this proposal include Mayor George Heartwell, his predecessor John Logie, most of the current City Commission, Members of the Grand Rapids Board of Education, and a diverse group of other elected leaders current and former, along with various candidates.  All hopping aboard the Bong Express on a Magical Mystery Tour of cannabis confusion singing the praises of this misguided measure and by doing so placing minors in harm's way and sending a signal to our young people that marijuana is not only an acceptable drug but tells them and all of our citizens that passing this proposal is a step on the road to progress.


John Logie compares this pro-drug proposal to his needle exchange program and drug courts. He's wrong on both counts. Exchanging needles served a public health purpose and also attempted to get people off drugs which is the MAIN purpose of our drug courts. John always talked about the unintended negative consequences of poorly planned ordinances, but he has ignored his own wise advice in this case.



I always thought George Heartwell physically resembled Timothy Leary to some degree and now he seems to be linking drug use to progress and sustainability with a Leary like passion.  He claims we need to protect young people from having their lives "ruined" by a misdemeanor charge for marijuana use or possession by what he calls a "youthful indiscretion." Rosalyn Bliss and Ruth Kelly essentially parrot the same thing. http://therapidian.org/community-leaders-and-advocates-rally-around-decriminalize-gr 

Based on that logic Minors in Possession of Alcohol should also be a civil infraction.  When will they move on that issue? How about petty theft? Will these cutting edge innovators of public policy not intervene to stop the unjust harassment of youthful perpetrators of those small indiscretions or allow them to be branded for life?

Will the City and School Board be rescinding their Drug Free Work Place personnel policies to comply with their progressive stance on marijuana? They better--since use by students and others will be legal now in our cannabis friendly, cool city. George, John and company really want those Ann Arbor vibes!


Someone should ask George, Rosalyn, and Ruth if  personal responsibility, learning that consequences have actions, self-discipline and respecting the law are outdated and too hard for today's youth? 

I saw poor George in a debate on WZZM with Micheal Reagan of Cherry Street Health Services a genuine expert on substance abuse and all the Mayor could do is repeat his mantra on kids lives being hurt by the current law and repeated the canard that police resources are being wasted on marijuana enforcement.   Mike pointed out marijuana is a drug while outlining his principle opposition to this particular proposal.  Mr. Reagan also explained how marijuana negatively impacts young people in their ability to learn and their academic performance. http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/225214/2/GR-City-Leaders-Support-Decriminalizing-Marijuana Poor George has so much trouble navigating through the fog of moral relativism while also being  hampered by the confusion of his politically correct ideology. In other words-he had nothing.

I wasn't happy with Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth's prematurely stopping the investigation into the Bolger/Schmidt election rigging scheme but he is spot on in criticizing GR's Proposal 2 for handcuffing the police, not including age and amount restrictions and failing to distinguish between public and private property.  KENT COUNTY PROSECUTOR WILLIAM FORSYTH: VOTE "NO" TO DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA IN GRAND RAPIDS  To her credit Grand Rapids City Attorney Catherine Mish also raised objections to the measure. 

Truthful but misguided Commissioner Jim White blithely admits in a TV interview the truth about this flawed proposal.  White admits there are no limits and asks "Why should there be?" He also confesses it is true also that if Proposal 2 became law GR police officers could not share information with other law enforcement agencies. Jim declares "No one should ever go to jail for marijuana"(sounds like an imperial edict).  Grand Rapids Leaders Divided Over Pot Proposal

Commissioner White feels this proposal will take the profit out of marijuana dealing and stop the violence.

Wrong again! Time for a reality check.  Proposal 2 passes without age limits or amounts and  firm handcuffs on the GR police regarding marijuana busts.  Combined with the current medical marijuana dispensaries individuals can turn their basements or backyards into pot plantations.  Gangs and thugs raid these easy pickings for big profits. Home invasions increase as do shoot outs as some defend their weed while others take it. 

Students are used as mules for drug deliveries and when stopped by police are told, " F-off ! You can't arrest me. These are gifts for sick friends.  Besides man our Mayor, Commissioners and other important people are cool with it." Police harassment complaints sky rocket! 

Of course that CAN'T happen! Marijuana is cool and creates mellow vibes.  No one will smoke in public, parks, or playgrounds. Space brownies laced with grass won't become dessert for lunch or Halloween treats next year.

Sure, and cigarettes NEVER CAUSE CANCER.

Good luck trying to prosecute intent to sell since GRPD officers are gagged and this proposal was custom made to be a defense attorney's dream. Wonder if one of them wrote this proposal?

Attention supporters of this dopey law NEWSFLASH from a new U of M survey (yes located in the Mecca of marijuana itself) showing marijuana use has reached a 30 year high in teens at every grade level while alcohol and tobacco levels are falling.  Peer and societal approval, the reduction in perceived risk, and availability are all a factor in increasing teen drug use. MONITORING THE FUTURE

What message are we sending to the youth of our city when elected officials, candidates, ministers, lawyers, teachers, a social worker, and EVEN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS support a marijuana for all ordinance.  You have endorsed marijuana as a non-harmful, socially acceptable, even progressive lifestyle drug to our kids!

You are ignoring real studies that show marijuana comes out of the body 150 times slower than alcohol,  is addictive and serves as a gateway drug to nearly a quarter of teen users, smoking a lot embeds marijuana in your cells walls biologically slowing the thought process, and long term use can lower your IQ.  That's just for starters.

OK Prop 2 supporters when the victims of your pot proposal blow dirty on drug tests, fail in school and have trouble getting jobs how will YOU help them?

So let's try and figure this out. Educating kids about the dangers of using alcohol and tobacco along with penalties for use and limiting the availability seems to be working.  

Now is Proposal 2 going in the right direction?  John, George, Rosalyn, Ruth and others crazy for cannabis in GR have you REALLY thought this out?

Have any of you asked the Superintendent of Public Schools if she supports no age limits or endorses this proposal?  How about Lynn Heemstra Executive Director of Our Community's Children? At any rate they SHOULD have weighed in and their silence is deafening!

How could the City Commission's Public Safety Committee and the Joint City School Liaison Committee not hold hearings and ask questions?

There is no excuse for the City Commission and School Board not 
doing their due diligence on this matter BEFORE it went before the public for a vote unless you feel you had to pass it before knowing what was in it.  

Even after this was placed on the ballot both bodies could have solicited testimony from experts and had public hearings to educate the public and get their valuable input.

The City Commission could have heard testimony from the Police Chief, Vice Officers, neighborhood groups, health care professionals, substance abuse experts, Drug Court Judges, and our citizens. 

The School Board could have heard from their Superintendent, principles, teachers, and DEFINITELY from our parents and kids. 

There could have been real dialogue with the community AND ELECTED OFFICIALS might have been educated.

People could have asked supporters of Proposal 2 questions:
Where is your statistical evidence of young people being harmed  by marijuana records more than MIP or petty theft offenses?  How many also have other offenses on their records? Why did you not set limits on age and amounts? Is marijuana a safe drug? How many kids in GR are addicted or just use it?  How about students in the GRPS?  Is this another step towards legalization?  Is handcuffing police officers from doing their job a good idea?  Why do we have to be like Ann Arbor with drugs?  

I cannot understand why any elected official or candidate would support such a poorly written proposal that puts kids in harm's way, interferes with police, does not have age or amount limits and ACTUALLY LIES ABOUT THE AMOUNTS IN A CAMPAIGN FLYER! 

If the public knew the truth about GR's Pot Proposal it would be never pass. A campaign based on distortions and deception can fool the public ESPECIALLY if people they trust are urging passage and claiming this is something it's not. However if it passes I predict next year you will see a repeal and people held accountable for tricking the public.

If this was a REAL decriminalization  proposal that was well crafted I'd support it, but as it is currently written I hope our citizens defeat Proposal 2 and tell our leaders to quit blowing smoke and get serious about public policy.

John, George, Rosalyn, Ruth and company should realize Grand Rapids does not want, and we certainly don't need to be, Ann Arbor West or the Cannabis Capitol of West Michigan.

If you want that go to Ann Arbor's Hash Bash or just go down John's basement and hold a private Heartwell Hemp Harvest Festival.  George could preside over a Christians for Cannabis religious service or non-religious to be inclusive. Christians For Cannabis You could all break out the old bongs, roach clips, and FURRY FREAK BROTHERS comic books.  John could play guitar with Rosalyn, George, Ruth and Jim on tambourines while  passing around a Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket to raise money for persecuted pot smokers defense funds, and sing PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON or even better Dylan's Rainy Day Women Everybody Must Get Stoned to your heart's content--BUT QUIT TRYING TO PUSH POT IN GR.  Let that kind of grass remain greener in Ann Arbor.  











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