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What Does Masturbation and Marijuana have to do with Each Other? - By Tim Beck: Chairman of the Safer Michigan Coalition

Randy Richardville
Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a rising star in the move to stop legalization of cannabis for adults in Michigan, graduated from Monroe Catholic Central High School (MCC) in Monroe Michigan, class of 1977. Coincidentally, I too graduated from the place in 1970. MCC was an all boys college prep school run by the "Brothers of the Holy Cross," based in Notre Dame, Indiana

In an interview with MMM Report, Mr. Richardville and I reminisced a bit about those days, and mutual acquaintances in common, including the most famous MCC grad, WJR talk radio superstar Paul W. Smith, class of 1971.

We both love our alma mater in spite of its imperfections

Beyond that, the two of us have nothing in common with respect to Proposition 1, which will legalize marijuana for consenting adults in Michigan this coming November election.

Mr. Richardville explained his opposition to the measure in no uncertain terms.

"I'm more Libertarian than some may think. I could care less if marijuana is used by responsible adults but his ballot proposal is wrong. It is very poorly written. It is not about responsible legalization, it is a money grab by special interests. It (marijuana) will get into the hands of kids. We are risking the mental health of the next generation if this is passed."

He went on to say "I did not care at all about  marijuana until I came to the legislature but when I did, I learned it is a miracle plant for some who have real medical problems." I got a responsible (medical marijuana) model passed when I was majority leader" he said

The regulatory model Mr. Richardville takes credit for, is Public Act 268 which was signed into law by the Governor in 2013. The law was created by a Canadian company called "Prairie Plant Systems" and its Lansing lobbyists. The concept is to grow medical marijuana in deep, heavily fortified mine shafts in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That model will be implemented if and when the US Federal Government declassifies marijuana to a legal, schedule 2 drug. Right now, as a schedule 1 drug, it has no medical value and is considered the equivalent of heroin and LSD.

Five years have now gone by, and the Federal Government has yet to reschedule cannabis. Congress is paralyzed by infighting and seasoned observers believe it could take at least another five years or more for them to act.

Anti Prop 1 foot soldiers from "Healthy and Productive Michigan" (HPM) with whom Mr. Richardville is affiliated, declared at forum in my virtual hometown of South Haven on the Lake Michigan shore line, that if marijuana is legalized in Michigan it will be disaster. Among other things, there will be a wave of addiction, crime, poverty, domestic violence, suicide, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, and road rage. Drug tourists and homeless persons will flock to South Haven to score some easy weed. They said in so many words if Prop 1 passes, law enforcement will be hopelessly constrained to deal with the reefer madness to come. They will become helpless wimps, barely able to get their tasers up.

HPM acolytes described Colorado which legalized the drug for adults in 2012, as the epitome of ganja hell on earth.

In reality, Colorado is a low tax state, with full employment and real estate values heading to Mars. My newly wed niece and her spouse recently paid over $700K for a place in Denver with less then 1,000 sq feet of living space. Rhetorically speaking, why would anyone pay that kind of money to live in tract home, in a drug crazed hell hole like Denver?

Well, the real answer to that question is Colorado is a very desirable place to live in. Especially the City of Denver.

The fact is, HPM's pitch is down right weird and untrue.

On the other hand though, is it any more strange then stuff I heard at MCC about the dangers of masturbation from the "Brothers of the Holy Cross" who taught religion there in the 1960's?

Randy Richarville is a bit younger then me, so maybe he missed some of the "facts" about masturbation that I heard at MCC from various zealots.

Beginning in 9th grade, we were sternly advised that masturbation can cause blindness, insanity, sterility, and lethargy.

When a sports team did not play up to par, one MCC coach screamed in frustration: "if you sissies weren't jerking off all the time, you'd be tough, and we'll have a real team here. Shape up or ship out. Now drop and give me 20!!! (push ups)."

The big kahuna however, was the concept that masturbation was a "mortal sin" Such a practice was a sure ticket to eternal damnation in the fires of hell.

It was scary stuff back then for a freshman high school boy, whose testosterone levels were spiking. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence exists that in spite of the horrible consequences of masturbation, the practice still occurred on a regular basis.

One can get the impression today from HPM, that marijuana is a public health threat, just like masturbation was purported to be in my high school days. One difference though, is there is nothing anecdotal about teen marijuana use. Hard scientific numbers indicate teens use marijuana whether it is legal or not. There is no radical difference in teen use in either legal or illegal states. In urban areas, some under age youngsters emulate 'gangsta' rap and hip hop artists, who extol the excitement of giving a middle finger to "the man" by smoking illegal weed.

According to its last finance report filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, HPM is almost exclusively funded by Alexandria, VA  based "Project SAM" (Safe Alternatives to Marijuana) to the tune of $275K. Much of the money has gone to pay consulting fees and salaries.

Project SAM is headed by Bahia religious devotee Kevin Sabet and former US Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

The Bahia religion does not look kindly upon cannabis use and the Kennedy family is the stuff of legend when it comes to bouts with alcohol, drugs and womanizing. Patrick Kennedy is the son of the late Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy. He is now in recovery from substance abuse.

Will Project SAM and Mr. Richardville's efforts prove successful in nipping legal marijuana in the bud when it goes to the voters this November? Time will tell, but at this juncture the odds are not good.

The massive turnout by Michigan Democrats in the August primary stunned many political observers. It was the biggest Democrat turnout since 1978. Self identified Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support cannabis legalization. Republican support for legalization is in the mid 40% range, give or take give a point or two. Self identified Trump supporters have  consistently polled in favor of legalization by roughly 50%. In recent weeks, President Trump himself declared the marijuana question should be left to the individual states to decide for themselves.

If the August primary numbers hold in November; some HPM warriors might be doing some heavy drinking to dull the pain, when the votes come in the evening of November 6th.

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