Lying In Michigan: The Death Throes Of A Doomed Policy?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 30, 2008

    If you ever wondered how low the opponents of medicinal marijuana could possibly stoop, just check out the 30-seconds of vile propaganda above. (I recommend having a strong anti-emetic handy.)

    For those of you who may not know, even though I’m NORML’s Deputy Director I live in California. Let me tell you that the claim that so-called “pot smoking clubs [are] in every neighborhood” is as false as it is absurd. Fact is, the county I live in (Solano County) doesn’t even allow for the establishment of dispensaries, nor has it — in four years since the passage of Senate Bill 420 — ever issued identification cards to state-authorized patients, as is required by law. Numerous counties and municipalities have passed similar moratoriums on patient dispensaries, and many others continue to resist issuing ID cards to qualified patients.

    By contrast, those California cities that allow for the not-for-profit patient dispensaries have enacted strict zoning policies regarding where they can operate (“Just blocks from schools???” Please!), and imposing limits on the number of collectives that may operate in a community. (Just imagine if drug pharmacies like Walgreens were forced to endure similar restrictions.)

    That is the reality in California, and that is why polls indicate broader public support for the legalized use of medical cannabis now than when Proposition 215 first passed in 1996.

    Of course, those who oppose Proposition 1 in Michigan and who condone arresting and jailing patients for their use of cannabis are well aware of these facts — just as they are aware that Prop. 1, like the medical cannabis laws in eleven other states, does not even allow for the creation of licensed cannabis dispensaries. Yet in order to continue to prosecute and cage their fellow citizens, regardless of whether they are healthy or dying, our opponents rely on lying and fear-mongering  — the same tactics that brought us marijuana prohibition in the first place.

    Will the scare-tactics work? They haven’t in past. (Of the ten state medi-pot initiative campaigns since 1996, nine have passed.) Unfortunately, like in Massachusetts, the negative campaigning is clearly having an effect — with recent polls indicating a drop in public support from an estimated 66 percent to 54 percent. Believe me, as one who bases his written words on science and facts, it pains me to say that.

    That said, like in Massachusetts, I am confident that a majority of Michigan’s voters will see through our opponents cynical and dishonest smoke-screen come Election Day, and will choose to make the ‘land of 11,000 lakes’ the thirteenth state to authorize the legal use of medical cannabis.

    Why do I say this? I say this because for the first time in recent memory it’s become apparent that our opponents are desperate. They are desperate because they know they are losing — state by state, community by community, and voter by voter.

    As Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Well, it’s obvious that we are no longer being ignored, nor are we being ridiculed. Finally, with their backs up against the wall, the defenders of prohibition have decided to fight.

    And we all know what comes next.

    26 responses to “Lying In Michigan: The Death Throes Of A Doomed Policy?”

    1. Link to the folks behind the ad:



    2. Eric says:

      This actually REALLY upset me. I can’t believe that people would actually stoop that low. Those are the same people that say that violence can be attributed to marijuana use.

    3. dave says:

      My question is what do they think they are holding on to? The illegality of marijuana does not prevent people from using it. It only send law abiding people to the black market. The police should know better. If some or all of the marijuana trade (medical or recreational) were legalized than the facts regarding real life use would be clear to non-marijuana users in society. The continued opression by law and law enforcement forces marijuana users behind closed doors thus fogging the perception of real life marijuana use and complicating the quest for fact. Propaganda rises out of the fog. We cannot base legislation that effects peoples lives of foggy insight into a world that we have made illegal out of fear.
      MICHIGAN! Vote yes to prop 1! In the end good things come from taking risks and trying new things. Anyone heard of Christopher Columbus?????

    4. Watch Zeitgeist the Movie says:

      54% still wins lets hope it doesn’t drop more.

    5. Rick says:

      I am in Michigan. I cannot belive this drivel, either. It seems that this is going to win, big on the 4th. Those opposing it must be desperate. Good, I hope the bastards choke on it.

    6. herbalicious says:

      That footage isn’t even from a real dispensary. It’s just actors acting badly.

      I encourage people to contact the local press to scientifically debunk these lies. These two newspapers support proposal 1 in MI.

      The Detroit News
      Contact: letters@detnews.com

      Detroit Free Press
      Contact: letters@freepress.com

      Read some of the articles written and scientifically dispute anything you find wrong. They may follow up on it.

      I’ve contacted both more than once disputing John Walters (ONDCP) lies and other lies about California.

    7. Yet these people have no problems with drunk drivers killing tens of thousands of people every year by way of vehicular homicide, and they don’t care how often drunks beat their spouses.

    8. Mike says:

      It is really pathetic that people really still use these kind of scare tactics in the 21st century. Anyone ever watch the original Reefer Madness?! The scene where they’re tripping out playing the piano, priceless! Though if you really want a laugh see the musical…

    9. Paul says:

      I know the comments I sent to “Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids” regarding this lie campain vidio will not be posted in their comments erea so I thought I would share it here…

      You unbelievable LIERS! This video is ridiculous and completely fictional. I know, I live in So Cal and to me; your contemptible video goes too far and only promotes lies about cannabis co-ops and dispensaries. How can you sleep at night knowing you (prohibitionists) are the cause of ALL the drug war woes including putting drug dealers in control of cannabis distribution? They do not ask our children for ID and have no problem offering them hard drugs? If you really cared about children you would promote taxation and regulation, stopping the killings over drug territories and taking away the ease of accessibility to our children. And shame on you for your lack of compassion for those that get relief from their medical conditions through the responsible use of a medicine that is overwhelming supported by scientific studies.

    10. Dan says:

      Very misleading indeed… but this seems to be the tone of all political ads these days. Turn off your TV, laugh at shit like this and get out and fight for some change.