Mich. Pot Proponents Cancel Marijuana Contest
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Mich. Pot Proponents Cancel Marijuana Contest
Posted by CN Staff on January 25, 2010 at 13:44:06 PT
Gannett News Service
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Michigan -- Organizers have cancelled a contest to pick the best medicinal marijuana in Michigan, after pressure from local authorities on whether the event was legal.Anthony Freed, executive director of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce in Ypsilanti, said he wanted people to be able to attend this weekend's Michigan Caregiver's Cup without a cloud of controversy.
Classes and exhibits on how to legally grow, disperse and use medicinal marijuana are now the sole focus of the event, scheduled for Friday through Sunday in Ypsilanti, Mich.Freed Monday cancelled the contest in which card-carrying medical marijuana patients were to test marijuana from certified caregivers, after Washtenaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steve Hiller called the event illegal last week."It's probably too early," Freed said Monday. "In the interest of the politics behind the event, I don't want to ruffle any feathers. It's a business decision, I understand that this event has a profound effect on people's lives, and I would hate for that effect to be negative. For me, the most important thing is just making sure everyone has a good time at the (expo) itself."He said 30 exhibitors have paid $1,000 each to have booths at the expo. There will also be a series of classes on everything from cooking with cannabis to the history of pot and home hydroponics.Hiller questioned the contest's legality, claiming there was no way to legally distribute the pot under Michigan law, which says a caretaker may provide the drug to five ongoing patients. The event was set to have 50 caregivers and 50 patients."That was a good choice," Hiller said Monday. "I'm still not going to discuss any planning that may or may not have taken place."He said local officials have no problem with the expo aspect of the event."The educational component of that, so far as we can tell, is perfectly legal," he said today. "Everyone's got a right to free speech and we respect that."He wouldn't discuss if law enforcement would attend the event."If they comply with the terms of the Michigan medical marijuana act, they fall within the safe harbor and they're not going to be bothered," Hiller said. "If they don't, then nothing has changed." Growing Pains  Michigan medical marijuana proponents will literally go through growing pains, say supporters in states where the drug's use for medical purposes has been legal for years."I compare it often to the Jim Crow laws, where they gave people the right to vote but not the right to practice it," said Nathan Sands, communications director for the Compassionate Coalition, an activist group based in California - the first state to approve medical marijuana use, in 1996."So if you give them the right to use it, but no ability to obtain it, it is the exact same thing as a Jim Crow law."On Nov. 4, 2008, Michigan joined 13 states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington - in allowing pot's medicinal use.Freed designed the first Caregiver's Cup on Jan. 29-31 in Ypsilanti as an educational forum to teach people how to do it right.Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)Published: January 25, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Sun-Times Co.Contact: letters Website: URL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 31, 2010 at 05:39:15 PT
More Than 1,000 Attend Marijuana Convention
More Than 1,000 Attend Marijuana Convention Held in Ypsilanti HotelJanuary 31, 2010Michigan -- DVDs on how to grow your own sold for $20. Lawyers with business cards talked up pot users' rights under Michigan's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 2008. And doctors made appointments for those seeking state approval for medical use of marijuana. More than 1,000 people took that in and more as they milled by exhibits and crowded into lectures Saturday during opening day at the Marijuana Caregivers Cup Expo, held at a Marriott hotel in Ypsilanti.URL:
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