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V.G.I.P. Update - Ben Horner


Michigan House Representative, Sheldon Neeley

As election day draws nearer, the deprecations of possible marijuana legalization permeates Michigan. For many, the prospect inspires dreams of being dope rich with never ending business opportunities in cannabis commodities. Others shout out “Freedom” from prosecution and persecution. Michigan house representative Sheldon Neeley, less concerned with the now abundant cannabis lobbyists, eyes the opportunity to help victims of the not so colorblind convictions of Michiganders for petty weed crimes. If legalization passes by the voters on November 6th, House Bill 6227 could overturn pot possession charges, and maybe more.

Lawmaker Sheldon Neeley from Flint, Michigan, has been educating folks about expungement laws for years. Poor people often cannot afford quality legal representation, and are more likely to plead guilty to victimless crimes. A simple possession charge can stain a citizen’s record for life, but with a little help for Neeley and his supporters many have expunged some past convictions. Inspired by this success, Representative Sheldon Neeley hopes to gain support behind overturning the new Jim Crow drug laws that victimize minorities and poor people most.

Sheldon Neeley is working with local activists to form a coalition to support HB 6227 and expand upon the idea. John Sinclair who is known his mantra of “Free the Weed” and his fight in and out of prison, to legalize marijuana, is excited about this and finally seeing the end of the insane war on the plant coming to fruition. Sinclair was convicted in the sixties for drug trafficking for giving an undercover officer two joints. In an epic legal battle Sinclair overturned marijuana laws for a few weeks in Michigan before the feds implement the archaic controlled substance laws. These laws have been used for decades to fuel the drug war.

After the passing of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, cannabis consumers celebrate a great victory of freedom to use pot as a natural medicine. Unfortunately, legal medical marijuana didn‘t protect everyone and ganga entrepreneur around the state found a new set of legal challenges. Where dispensaries in progressive areas such as Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Ypsilanti operated without incident, Places like Cloud 45 in Gaylord Michigan were raided over and over again. Chad Marrow, ran one of the most compassionate center in Northern Michigan until the task forces of northern Michigan ran him down. It seems like enforcement left medical marijuana alone in urban areas, but slammed facilities that operated in mostly white areas.

This October 22nd in Flint, these folks and others will be holding a panel discussion on how to right some of these wrongs. The event is open to the public and Representative Sheldon Neeley and friends will be there to build the team to legalize and restore the tarnish of decades of enforcement under the raciest Anslinger’s REEFER MADNESS.

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