New ‘Lame Duck’ Bill Would Ban Growing Pot at Home in Michigan
Our newly approved recreational marijuana laws haven't even gone into effect yet, but that isn't stopping Michigan Republicans from strip-mining our rights on their way out.
I've tried to stay away from writing about politics as much as possible in the last year because most of the political scene in this country has become two groups of very dug-in people screaming at each other and not really listening. However, what some Michigan Republicans are doing right now, as their unchecked political control of the state is on its way out, is disgusting and flat out Un-American.
Michigan voters voted yes on proposal 1, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for adults. Once that voter-approved law goes into effect December 6th, Michiganders 21 and older are allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use... but not if Republican Senate Majority Leader Arain Meekhof has anything to say about it.
Meekhof has introduced a bill that will prohibit people from growing marijuana in their homes. Rather than try to speculate why an elected official would so brazenly attempt to subvert the will of their constituents, I'd rather just let you hear it from the man himself:
"People don’t get to make alcohol and serve it in unregulated bars to anyone they want to. Homegrown marijuana is basically unregulated ... It should be in some regulated form, so we have consistency and safety. It’s a mind-altering substance like alcohol. It should be somehow controlled.”
The movement to legalize Marijuana has already been hobbled a few times here in Michigan, like when they changed the rules for ballot initiatives before the 2016 election to prevent it from going to a vote. Despite that hurdle, marijuana was legalized in a mid-term election, where more progressive policies tend not to fare as well. Even after that, these clowns are still trying to pick it apart, much like they did (and continue to do) with our medical marijuana laws.
In the grand scheme of things, this specific bill has a very tough road ahead. Since the recreational marijuana proposal was passed by voters, the Republicans will need a super-majority vote (3/4) in both the House and Senate to get these bill through, which, despite their majority, are numbers they don't have. Democrats are unlikely to support the bill, and even some Republicans are likely to balk at this one.
This is just one of many bills that Republicans have introduced recently, many of which are real "middle finger on the way out" heading into this lame duck session. For those unfamiliar with the term "lame duck session," here's the definition from Senate.gov:
When Congress (or either chamber) reconvenes in an even-numbered year following the November general elections to consider various items of business. Some lawmakers who return for this session will not be in the next Congress. Hence, they are informally called "lame duck" members participating in a "lame duck" session.
So a lot of these turds know they're about to be flushed, as is their control of the Governorship, and are grasping at whatever straws they can reach. There have been quite a few eye-raising moves that are enough to cause concern, if not downright outrage, with any American who respects the laws and Constitution of this country.
Regardless of your stance on the issues, I would think that at a bare minimum we can agree that politicians should not be essentially cheating to get their way, especially when it directly opposes the will of the people.
One of the most egregious examples of this being the minimum wage law they adopted into law ahead of the election just to keep it from going to a vote, only to make huge changes to it following the election. I don't necessarily agree with everything that was in the ballot proposal, but I think it's disgusting the way they gamed the system to prevent a vote on the initiative, with the full intention of gutting it on their way out.
Here's a list of some of the things they're trying to accomplish before they lose the Governor's office:
- Ban growing marijuana in the home (mentioned above)
- Gut the minimum wage and sick leave laws they approved (mentioned above)
- Changes the rules of the voter-approved "promote the vote" initiative (Proposal 3 in the 2018 midterms, passed with 66.8% of the vote)
- Allow Enbridge to build a tunnel around the line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac
- Remove protections from nearly half a million acres of Michigan wetlands
- Prevent local governments from opposing the removal of trees in their community (the guy who introduced this bill's family owns a log trucking company... shocker)
- Limit the power of incoming Democrats, powers they had no problem taking advantage of for the last 8 years
I could probably find a ton of gross stuff if I dug through all 130+ bills that the Republican majority in both the House and Senate will be looking at in the next four weeks, but I think you get the point.
This sucks and is not how things are supposed to be done in America. It ranges from highly possible to a downright certainty that my stance on these issues is tipping my opinion of these maneuvers, but let's put that aside for now. If you remove what they're trying to pass or undo with these policies, and are still okay with how they're operating, then you and I are living in two different Americas.