Integrity Lost: Part 6

An expose in the search for truth regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and the convoluted efforts to upend patients' rights

Posted In: Politics, State,   By: David Light

07th September, 2011     0

Integrity Lost:
An exposé in the search for truth regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and the convoluted efforts to upend patients’ rights
Part 6: In the rear view; who were the “Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids”?
Taking a look back on the endeavor to oppose Proposal 1 (medical marijuana), given AG Schuette’s direct involvement in that effort as well as his continued involvement in the attempts to overturn many of the MMMA provisions, it would be fitting to disclose some earlier findings.
After the voters so overwhelmingly passed Proposal 1, I wondered just who these “citizens” were who had tried unsuccessfully to “protect” Michigan’s kids. Generally, one of the easiest ways to find out who is sponsoring issues is to follow the money trail and see where it leads. After reviewing state campaign finance records the answer became obvious.
According to those records, the largest contributor was the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, with over 32.3% of the total contributions.
Coming in second, Amway founder and former Republican gubernatorial candidate, Dick DeVos, and his family members accounted for over 23.6% of the donations to the effort.  This group includes Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, who is the mother of Dick DeVos’ wife, Betsy DeVos.
Following behind was Robert Thompson, pioneer of the Thompson Foundation, coming in at 15.5%.
Next in line was an out-of-state group known as Save Our Society From Drugs, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, who accounted for 15.1%.
Following that were the corporate donations of DTE (Energy) PAC, Dow Corning Corporation, and Dow Chemical Corporation, with a combined total accounting for 5%.  (Note the Dow link with AG Schuette)
A donation from Edward C. Levy, of the Levy Group accounted for 1.5%.
The Sterling Corporation of Lansing, MI, the group who originally organized and ran the anti-Proposal 1 campaign, accounted for 1.5%.
Also, another group then calling themselves “Working [f]or Michigan’s Future” accounted for 1.5%.  However, a quick internet search found no group or organization listed under the name, “Working [f]or Michigan’s Future.”
Philanthropist Robert VanderWeide of Holland, MI, president and owner of the Orlando Magic professional basketball team in Orlando, Florida, and who has a family connection to the DeVos clan, contributed 3.4% of the total.
Finally, the records show two other individuals that combined, contributed 0.2% of the total contributions toward the anti-Proposal 1 campaign of “Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids;”one contribution for $500.00 and the other for $100.00.
There was a fine assessed by the State of Michigan due to a violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, for late filing of required documents.
Consequently, the Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids campaign received three letters from the state of Michigan following their campaign, citing non-compliance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which included warnings that the matter could be turned over to the Attorney General’s office if not resolved.
Considering the fore mentioned details, it’s pretty easy to see for even the casual observer that this wasn’t a plan driven by popular support but rather, was the machination of a slim few special interests.
Now looking ahead to today, the current ideologically-driven moves by some of our lawmakers and once again involving AG Schuette, are lacking in that they show no empathy toward those patients caught in the middle of the debate, yet who share a disproportionate stake in the outcome. 
Patients in need of this safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical drugs will carry an undue burden for the self-interests of others, who cried that the sky would fall if the MMMA were enacted. When their predictions failed to materialize and life went on as normal for everyone unaffected by the law’s provisions, the opposition trained their sights on new opportunities to accomplish what they had earlier failed at.
Additionally, these new proceedings give cause for concern by all citizens regardless of their stance on the medical use of cannabis, as they make a complete mockery of our legislative process. Just because you may not be affected now, or be at all affected by this issue, it may indeed be your turn or your pet issue at some point in the future. It’s in all of our best interests to stop tyranny wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.
The MMMA is “The People’s” law, and our leaders in Lansing need to leave their mitts off of it. Though they may incorrectly think that the majority public backs the efforts to upend what we have overwhelmingly supported, and they may also erroneously believe that the their own support for the issue itself is detrimental to that which they yearn – a lengthy career in public office – it is up to all of us to invalidate those beliefs.
To put it bluntly, it’s clear that some of these knuckleheads in elected office need an attitude adjustment. If left to us to resolve that problem for them, that resolution may indeed come in the next election cycle.
My fellow Michiganders, we need to do our own “clean up” and take back what’s rightfully ours.


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