Look, I don’t go out of my way to criticize the works of elected officials (usually). In this case I have no choice but to jump on a dude.
His name is Representative Gary Glenn and he serves in the Michigan House on behalf of the people of his district, Midland and surrounding areas.
Yesterday, September 14, 2017 he introduced a bill to the Michigan legislature, HB 4965. You can read it HERE, or below. It came to light in an article on a site called RightMI.com written by Shane Trejo.
In the bill, Rep. Glenn proposes… well, you read it and tell me what he wants to do. His bill is represented by the capitalized text.
A bill to amend 1971 PA 140, entitled “Glenn Steil state revenue sharing act of 1971,” (MCL 141.901 to 141.921) by adding section 17b.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
SEC. 17B. THE STATE TREASURER SHALL WITHHOLD ALL OR ANY PART OF ANY PAYMENT THAT A CITY, VILLAGE, TOWNSHIP, OR COUNTY IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE UNDER THIS ACT IF THE CITY, VILLAGE, TOWNSHIP, OR COUNTY ADOPTS A MEDICAL MARIHUANA ORDINANCE.
HB4965 is “a bill designed to punish cities that choose to allow medical marijuana dispensaries,” wrote Trejo. “It would cut them off from state funds if their town votes to permit dispensaries within city limits. This is a sinister way to rob localities of their sovereignty as well as an anti-free market measure to punish a growing industry creating more jobs in a state that desperately needs them.”
The timing of this bill’s introduction is not random. On Tuesday, September 12, an effort to close all medical marijuana-related businesses in the state was defeated by a preemptive press release from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
The attempted closure was initiated by by former MSP trooper Don Bailey, who is a Board member. He had angled for a drop-dead date of September 15; instead the date was declared as December 15th, and instead of a total shutdown it was deemed a date beyond which any business will be unlikely to receive a license under the new medical marijuana business program known as the MMFLA.
Enter Rep. Glenn.
This bill’s introduction is a transparent end-around effort to subvert the authority exercised by Director Andrew Brisbo and Director Shelly Edgerton, of the BMMR and LARA respectively. If an impediment to these cannabis-based businesses was needed, and it could not be gained by Bailey, then conservative forces had to scramble for an alternative vehicle. The Michigan legislature has been fertile ground for conservative efforts to curtail or re-define medical marijuana use in Michigan ever since 2008, and must seem like an easy place for anti-cannabis forces to effect that change.
Except that the MMFLA, signed by the Governor and passed last year by many of these lawmakers, REQUIRES cities to pass ordinances regulating medical marijuana facilities. It is PART OF THE LAW.
Prior to submitting an application to the state of Michigan, each and every business hopeful needs the approval of their local city- which usually means an ordinance has to be in place. That includes testing laboratories employing degree-holding scientists, transportation facilities, processors and cultivation centers, too. If Glenn’s misguided and hopefully-regretted bill were to pass, NO businesses could apply for the MMFLA.
So we either have to believe that Rep. Glenn is just completely unfamiliar with the territory in which he is now trying to make law (see first subtitle) or he is just submitting what someone told him to submit, and never really looked at it or considered the validity of the proposal (see second subtitle). Either way, I think the people of Midland can do better, must demand more accountability, and the remainder of the House must be on alert for more screwy proposals like this one.
You can bet your bottom dollar, more will be coming.
UPDATE: Rep. Glenn decides to rescind support for his own bill one day after media coverage exposes it as bad law. Details can be found at:
Media Coverage Forces Glenn To Drop Marijuana Bill