Do You Know in What Congressional District You Reside or Who Your Representative is?
Admittedly, I have not been politically knowledgeable and active as I should. I think this is normal, many people do not know who their Congressional representatives are or in what district they reside. I have never written my congressmen that represents my district nor did I readily know who they were. Well, I recently learned the answers to these questions because of an interesting fact. I am a marijuana business attorney and have strong opinions about the necessity of federal marijuana law reform. Our industry desperately needs banking reform, needs to respect states rights and allow expanded cannabis research opportunities. While researching these issues, I learned that there were over 43 pro-cannabis pieces of legislation introduced in Congress in the 115 Session (2017-18). Below are our Michigan Congressional Representatives and how often they supported pro-cannabis legislation.
How has your Representative Supported Cannabis Reform?
- David Trott (11th District Birmingham, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Wixom, Novi and parts of Wayne County) has sponsored or co-sponsored 345 pieces of legislation in 2017-18, none of them pro-cannabis.
- Debbie Dingell (12th District in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties including Ann Arbor) sponsored or co-sponsored 345 pieces of legislation in 2017-18, none of them pro-cannabis.
- John Conyers (13th District in Wayne County and most of Detroit) co-sponsored 426 pieces of legislation in 2017-18, none of them pro-cannabis.
- Sander Levin (9th District in Royal Oak and Berkley and much of Macomb County) has sponsored or co-sponsored 115 pieces of legislation in 2017-18, none of them pro-cannabis.
- Barbara Lawrence (14th District including Southfield, Farmington Hills, parts of Detroit and West Bloomfield) sponsored or co-sponsored 248 pieces of legislation in 2017-18, none of them pro-cannabis.
- Mike Bishop (3rd District in Lansing and Northern Oakland County including Clarkston and Rochester) co-sponsored 241 pieces, none of them pro-cannabis.
There was only one Representative, Justin Amash from Grand Rapids and a Republican who co-sponsored pro-cannabis legislation. He did so 9 times. That is one person out of 15 including our U.S. senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.
Why You Should Be Offended
As a person and a company who is heavily involved in the marijuana industry in Michigan, I am offended. Why would they ignore an issue that means so much to so many in this state? There are 270,000 registered medical marijuana patients in this state. The past month cannabis consumption rate in Michigan is in the top five in the country. Are they so scared of losing their jobs or not conforming to their political colleagues that they have forgotten who they represent and who voted for them to be there?
I, for one, am fed up and will do something about it. But marijuana isn’t the only issue that our country needs to address. Issues like immigration, health care, and the economy are equally as important to me. In November 2018, my 11th District will have an election for its representative. The Cannabis Legal Group strongly supports and endorses Democratic candidate Dan Haberman for Congress. I have known and respected him for years. I first met him at a lounge he opened in Ferndale called Bosco. At the time, in 2008, he led a public health movement for smoke-free air in Michigan which culminated in the ban of all smoke from restaurants and bars in 2010.
Why I Support Dan Haberman for the 11th District and You Should Too (no matter in what district you reside).
Importantly, Dan supports marijuana legalization. He will be a vocal proponent of federal cannabis reform. He will join the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and fight alongside with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both strong cannabis advocates. Dan is also a legitimate medical marijuana patient so he can be trusted about where his votes will be.
Dan has a few competitors for this seat and one of them is Michigan state rep Tim Grimel. He may be the strongest competition only because he has been an elected official. That does not mean he will be a good representative for the people of this District. In September of 2016, he voted against the MMFLA. He has previously been quoted to say that he believes marijuana to be a dangerous drug. He has seemingly changed his views on marijuana but it seems the reason, is voters are so much in favor of reasonable marijuana legalization and sensible regulation it would be political suicide to be against it.
Please come to our event to learn more and just have fun
If we care about these issues and how our politicians are voting we need to be active in who is elected to these positions. We need to vote intelligently. Don’t just vote for the names that sound familiar. We need to do some research on these candidates because they will be given great responsibility. They are chosen to vote our conscious and far too often, they do not.
Not only will I be supporting Dan, I am hosting at least two fundraisers on his behalf. The first is March 1, 2017, at the Elm Room at Vinnoteca in Downtown Birmingham. If you want to be more politically active and are truly interested in putting a good candidate in Washington that will vote consistently with Michigan and his constituents, or if you just want to have fun with us and socialize, network and mingle with our industry leaders, you are invited. There is an open bar, free premium food and DJ Tom T at one of downtown Birmingham’s hot new spots, The Elm Room at Vinotecca. I hope you can make it.