Protest Held After Lansing Medical Marijuana Raids


lansing michigan medical marijuana raids protestOn March 22, 2016, Michigan citizens took to the Capitol Building steps to protest a new wave of raids conducted by Michigan State Police and narcotics raid teams, often against the wishes of local city/township leaders. In some cases, laws had been passed encouraging or embracing medical marijuana dispensaries in the cities raided.

Against a flag-filled background, elected officials Sen. Coleman A Young and Rep. Jeff Irwin addressed the crowd; Sen. Young finished his speech with a well-received chant of, “Free the weed!”

Other officials recognized by the crowd got a less-than-warm welcome. Recognized by organizer Charmie Gholson, the Director of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Mike Zimmer, received a general round of ‘booing’ when pointed out to protest attendees. Zimmer rejected the opinion of a panel of mostly doctors who advised him to add autism to the list of conditions qualifying a person to use medical marijuana, under a physician’s care.

Any parent who has seen the videos or spoken to a family member of an autistic child knows that these families need support and options. The Zimmer betrayal of people and process is a wound still fresh in the minds of Michigan voters, and his name is forever soiled in the minds of the state’s 180,000 registered marijuana patients of all ages. The administration of Governor Rick Snyder, who appointed Zimmer in December of 2014, was under fire for anti-citizen actions long before the Flint Water Crisis made national news.

Receiving an even worse reception was former industry hero, Rep. Michael Callton. In 2011 Rep. Callton was tapped by marijuana community representatives to sponsor legislation authored by patients and business interests, legislation intended to halt raids of medical marijuana patients and businesses, raids eerily similar to those 2016 raids that inspired the protest. In the interim period Callton has allowed out-of-state business interests and wealthy in-state special interest groups to remove language, alter intent and pervert the nature of that patient-initiated bill to the point where it is no longer recognizable as related to the original document.

The compromises made by Rep. Callton and fellow Republican Representative Lisa Lyons have caused the marijuana patient community to reject the current version of their former pro-marijuana bills and actually work against their passage. One of those compromises made by Republicans to law enforcement interests include forcing marijuana industry workers to quit the state’s medical marijuana caregiver program before they can even be eligible to work in the dispensary, grow house and transportation companies proposed in the legislation.

Rep. Callton, who is universally identified as the most hated man in Michigan by Medical Marihuana Program registrants, was shouted at as he passed by the protest, receiving catcalls of, “Traitor!” and “Benedict Callton!”

Gholson of Michigan Moms United led the protest. She acknowledged donations from the National Patients Rights Association (NPRA) and the help of people like Bryan Rice in the execution of the rally and protest. Recent raid victims from Gaylord and Burton addressed the crowed as did 2011 raid victim and MINORML/MILegalize Board member Rick Thompson (The Compassion Chronicles), Lansing attorney Joshua Covert, noted MILegalize activist and TrailBlazer Award Winner Jamie Lowell, raid victims Al Witt and Hemptress Jolene, Jackson NORML’s Roger Maufort, and Abrogate spokesman Tim Locke.

Many, many other activists, patients and community leaders were present, including businesspersons Bob Johnson from The Sweet Leaf, Joshua Keasler from SkunkwerksRX, Thetford Township Trustee Eric Gunnels, leaders from Ann Arbor dispensaries Arborside and People’s Choice, for-profit entity Women Grow, and others.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.

  • Why are we waging war on the sick in Michigan? The justice system can wait to raid these dispensaries after the damn Michigan congress gets off their ass to fix the system (that they messed up). No one is being saved, the sick and ill are dying over this political squabbling. No legal access for RSO is more than an inconvenience for people like myself diagnosed with terminal illnesses like cancer. The congress in Michigan has had more than enough time to pass legislation on this but prefers stalling and disagreeing.

    If this was a business I would not issue paychecks for these gentlemen until they did their jobs. They poisoned Flint. What do we do with these slackers? They should all be fired.

  • Jon Alan

    Another NY State Governor Cuomo alteration of the will of WE THE PEPOLE. Is this or IS THIS NOT A DEMOCRACY? WHAT MUST WE THINK?

  • SilentPatriot

    How many in MI are sick or dying from lead poisoning, thanks to the gov’t? How many are sick or dying from marijuana? Thought so. QUIT WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY!

  • sharpss

    I think maybe Michigan is simply getting what it deserves after voting in a Republican House, Senate, Governor and state attorney general. Crap in equals crap out. How many people know that Snyder signed a bill changing the petitioning process for the recall of the governor? A recall has to have approx. 760,000 signatures collected within 90 days. Snyder changed it to 60 days. Maybe he should have changed it to 3 days but that may have been a LITTLE TOO BLATANT. Please tell everyone you know about this total disregard for citizens and voters in Michigan. AND VOTE.

  • nixnoutz

    More protests are needed on the state and national fronts. Think about the veterans, aging, and the children.

  • JohnB

    In Ohio, we look with envy at the mere fact that our neighbor at least HAS legal medical cannabis.
    But if the entire system is dysfunctional, which is what this sounds like, then I suppose it’s no better than no law reform at all.
    One thing is certain, I will use this as an example when folks in Ohio question our putting MMJ in the constitution, where our lawmakers cannot touch it later.

  • Neil Samra

    Can you please spend our hard earned tax dollars on busting crack,heroin and meth houses and leave Cannabis alone!!!!!!!!! I am so tired of this! Where is the big bust on them drugs! They don’t even make the news or they don’t happen but you sure in the hell hear about them busting and raiding a dispensary, lame man. That’s why I have such a problem with the way the DEA works! There pieces of shit, straight up!!!! LEAVE CANNABIS the MEDICINE ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!