Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Medical Marijuana Academy
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Medical Marijuana Academy

Rick Coates - August 6th, 2010
Clearing the Air: Medical Marijuana Academy aims to cut the fog on pot issues
By Rick Coates
The Michigan Medical Act passed by voters in 2008 seems to have created more questions than answers. Recent raids on compassionate care centers, medical marijuana operations and caregiver homes by law enforcement agencies have added to the confusion.
Now there is a Michigan House bill in committee proposing the ban of medical marijuana clubs and bars where those who are legal to medicate gather. Plus, medical marijuana patients remain confused as to where they may legally medicate away from their homes. Some patients have been fired by employers who view any use of marijuana as drug use, even if a doctor gives the employee a medical marijuana referral.
And some Northern Michigan residents who have asked their physicians for medical marijuana referrals have been denied by doctors who have responded that they have been advised not to make such referrals.

“Certainly, there are a lot of gray areas in this act,” said Derek Norman, CEO and founder of the Medical Marijuana Academy. “We hope to answer as many questions as possible this weekend as we bring the Academy to Traverse City.”
Based in Commerce Township, the Medical Marijuana Academy (MMA) maintains a campus with labs and research facilities along with classrooms where they offer a certification program for caregivers and teach the ins and outs of the medical marijuana business. They are taking their classroom on the road this weekend (Sept. 10-12) for three days of instruction at the Grand Traverse Resort; only a few seats remained at publication time.
“There are a lot of complexities to this, especially since this is new here in Michigan,” said Norman. “First of all, this is a business and we go into detail about setting it up as a business. We have an attorney that will present how to legally establish your business. We cover every aspect of how this industry works.”
The Medical Marijuana Academy has been advertising that one can earn up to $120,000 annually, and on average, a person can earn around $60,000.
“Certainly we know of at least one person earning the $120,000 figure,” said Todd Alton, botanist for the MM. “There are several career opportunities in this industry besides being a caregiver, and this weekend will help prepare you for them such as patient relations, garden workers, baker and administrative positions.”

In Michigan, a caregiver must be at least 21 years old and may not have a drug related felony on their record. Alton says, “to attend these classes you only need to be 18 years old.” The cost for the weekend is $495 and includes lessons on how to grow plants, market yourself and how to establish your business.
“We will be bringing our full team including a physician for patient certification,” said Norman.
Some have questioned the fee, including Bob Heflin of the Grand Traverse Chapter of NORML.
“I see the pros and cons of this weekend, certainly the opportunity to network with others makes it a valuable experience,” said Heflin. “But you can buy a book for a lot less and learn this.”
The MMA disagrees with Heflin’s perspective.
“What you are paying for is the advice of several experts who have years of experience in this industry. This is not something you can get from a book,” said Alton. “This business is more than just growing marijuana and selling it to patients. You have to pay taxes and do everything else that goes along with operating a business. You have to understand how to care for patients and the list goes on.”

As for the question as to where one is allowed to medicate with medical marijuana, no one seems to have a consistent answer, from local law enforcement agencies to the patients themselves.
“Yes this is frustrating, the act states ‘in private’ -- but is a business that you own considered to be private? No one is able to answer that,” said Norman. “The challenge is that people look at this as a drug versus the medicinal aspect of marijuana that has been proven to help so many where other drugs have failed.”
Norman continues with his frustration.
“Now they are proposing eliminating clubs for medical marijuana patients. No one is talking about restricting where a person who has been prescribed a narcotic is allowed to use that. Our focus is not on the politics but in teaching good business practices along with industry-specific knowledge. Our goals is to help you achieve a return on your investment responsibly, legally and ethically.”
Norman and his colleagues have also been generous in helping those in need. Earlier in the spring when a Battle Creek man with brain cancer lost his job at Walmart, the MMA provided him with a $2,500 scholarship package to attend the Academy at no cost and have his accommodations, transportation and meals taken care of.
“We have awarded a similar type of scholarship for someone in Northern Michigan,” said Norman. “We believe that education is key to being successful in this business; we are constantly educating ourselves. What you have to remember is this is not a business about getting people high, this is about helping people get well, about helping people who have some very severe medical difficulties to manage and cope with daily living.”

The success of pre-registration for this first MMA weekend has led to adding another session the weekend of December 10. To learn more about this weekend’s Medical Marijuana Academy Marijuana 101 24 Hour Class at the Grand Traverse Resort, check out www.medicalmarijuanaacademy.com or call them directly at 888-487-0005.

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