Beware of The Sharks
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Beware of The Sharks
Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2010 at 05:30:42 PT
By Larry Gabriel
Source: Metro Times
Michigan -- Medical marijuana authorization clinics are cropping up all over the place. Grow schools and hydroponic equipment stores are getting to be part of the landscape. The state has received some 60,000 applications for medical marijuana cards and the number is growing daily. Although getting the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act passed took years, it seems that the world of medical marijuana is blowing up in a rush.Maurice Cheetham has been involved with medical marijuana longer than most, and urges folks to be cautious when getting involved with it. "There are a lot of sharks in the water," he says.
Cheetham, a medical marijuana patient and caregiver, is the founder of the Midtown Detroit Compassion Club (MDCC). He has also served on the board of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, and in that capacity he traveled the state to assist compassion clubs in getting started, complying with the law and providing services to local communities. He says he's been "cultivating" the plant for 10 years. He's also involved with patient care at the Green Trees Medical Marihuana Certification Center.The Midtown Detroit Compassion Club seems pretty low-key as far as compassion clubs go. It doesn't have a storefront, doesn't sell grow equipment, doesn't sell marijuana and doesn't charge a membership fee  although donations are accepted."We keep things limited, no advertising," he says." We're a small grass roots organization  a resource and outlet for patients. I try to point them in the right direction. We're careful with collecting information. We want to build real solid relationships as opposed to just signing people up into the club. We cater to the over-30 crowd. We want real adults, real patients."In an area where caution should be practiced, Cheetham seems more cautious than most, but it's in the patients' interest."Learning how to cultivate was educating me," he says. "Learning the cycles of a plant, it's truly about gardening and getting in touch with nature. Calm down and learn about growing. Learn about human nature. Take your time learning how to grow. Don't spend a lot of money. Some of the people are being gouged. They spend $10,000 on a grow room and don't even know how to grow. If you take the time and patience to learn, you can be successful. But you can't rush it."Cheetham works with cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease patients as a counselor or caregiver. He has to figure out which strains of marijuana work best for their needs. He says that indica strains are more physical and relaxing, while sativa strains have a more cerebral and energetic effect. But even within those categories there are variations; there are some 600 strains of marijuana, each with different effects and potencies. Patients report back about how they were affected by certain buds and whether they liked them or not. He recommends leaving indicas alone during the day when you have to function.Cheetham is one of the most visible African-American activists on the local medical marijuana scene. While there are many blacks involved as patients and caregivers, medical marijuana is not a racial issue and none of the black organizations that tend to address social and political issues have spoken out on it. Like AIDS, it's an uneasy issue to raise in the community. He says that he has called the NAACP and the Urban League but didn't get a response."The African-American community is very uneducated about medical marijuana," Cheetham says. "They're the last to grasp on. ... Detroit is at the center of the medical marijuana community. Real estate is being bought up to build grow rooms. We don't want Detroiters to get locked out of this. ... There are no ministers or churches involved that I can account for. I would love to build up a dialogue, just a discussion about the pure facts of the Michigan medical marijuana law, about issues of acquisition, cultivation, transfer and transport of medical marijuana. You can't sell marijuana just to anyone. There are facts to the law that need to be abided by. We do support compliance of the law. This is not the wink-wink, nod-nod situation."One of the issues among patients is how to medicate themselves. Another Detroit activist, Chocolate Cherri, works patient-to-patient in developing recipes for edible medicating, and tinctures and oils for topical application. Chocolate Cherri is a pseudonym; she tries to keep a low public profile."I got into cooking it because I'm not a smoker," says Cherri. "A friend who has since passed away wanted to use but could'nt smoke. I said, 'Let me see if I can hook us up something; let me try this.' It was definitely trial and error. I've thrown away quite a bit of stuff."I met Cherri at Metro Times' Higher Groundevent at Eastern market a few weeks ago. She was peddling her booklet Chocolate's Infusions, Medical Edibles and More, with recipes for marijuana butter and oil for use in recipes such as macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and pasta sauce. There are also recipes for drinks and liniments. Most medical marijuana publications such as the Midwest Cultivator and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine feature recipes, but Cherri has quite a few in her 46-page booklet."Actually people were laughing at me. 'Yeah, how many brownies can you eat?' I don't do the brownies," says Cherri. "Then it was like, 'Can you teach us?' I was offering a girls' night out cooking class. Then I cancelled it. I was having some health issues. ... It was easier to do the book than it was to do the classes."Cherri won't discuss her illness but says she has had problems since she was a teen. She was among the earliest Detroiters to organize a medical marijuana group, the Spirit of Detroit Compassion Club, and she doesn't have much tolerance for the party atmosphere of some smoke rooms."The only reason I can see for having a smoking lounge is for socialization," she says. "I am too old and too sick to give a damn. ... I'm looking for relief when I medicate. I'm more mobile. I can tell the difference. A couple of months ago, I told myself you're no longer having these problems. I went two weeks without taking anything, and all those issues that I had that I'd forgotten about came back. Now that I have developed topical, every day you see me I am covered with lotions or oils, or ointments or something. Parts of me that have more pressing issues tend to get more coverage more times during the day. If I'm smoking, I'm in a really bad state. If you have asthma you use an inhaler for emergencies, that's what smoking is with me. I prefer my topicals and edibles."If Detroit is indeed a center for medical marijuana, people like Cheetham and Cherri give it a more meaningful, and tasty, filling.Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)Author: Larry GabrielPublished: December 1, 2010Copyright: 2010 Metro Times, Inc.Contact: letters metrotimes.comWebsite: http://www.metrotimes.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on December 01, 2010 at 08:02:56 PT
Used to be: Dewey, Cheetum and Howe!
They changed things around to fool people!
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on December 01, 2010 at 07:54:01 PT
Law firm: Cheetum, Dewey and Howe.
If the DoJ don't get you the lawyer from hell will devour your home.Then you are sick and homeless?I hate my self servimg gov!
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on December 01, 2010 at 07:43:13 PT
AC 360 last night did story on NM tunnel
Anderson walked thru the tunnel showed the home at one end and warehouse at the other. 
20 tons of cannabis was found as the increase of tunnels is on the rise so much so that a task force is up and running.Hope Anderson will interview Gov. Johnson on cannabis prohibition and how much we are spending on law enforcement and the drug cartels.a suggestion to Gov. Johnson -- on Bloomburg News two days ago the head of a large papermaker was interviewed.
He went on to say how much money is to be made on disolving 
pulp being used for rayon as cotton is getting more and more expensive. He went on to list all the well known arguments hemp activists have been warning about for decades.
Among them the use of pestisides and need for large amounts of water to grow cotton plus the fact that millions of people will need more cloths as time goes on.
Please Gov.Johnson get Willie to do some fundraisers and invite all the Hemp industries to show what can be done for the US farmer and how that will translate into jobs by ending the cannabis prohibition.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 01, 2010 at 07:40:18 PT
Governor Johnson
I have heard him talk on his political beliefs besides marijuana and I don't think like him at all. He could help bring the topic of marijuana into a presidential campaign though.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on December 01, 2010 at 06:46:52 PT
Go Gary
US FL: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson Tests Florida Waters for PresidentTALLAHASSEE - A self-made millionaire Republican is campaigning in Florida on a platform of spending cuts and less government. It's not Rick Scott, anymore. This is Gary E. Johnson, a former New Mexico governor and advocate for the legalization of marijuana, who's putting out Florida feelers in a possible bid for the presidency in 2012. Johnson's campaign-style stops in Tallahassee, Melbourne and Orlando last week reveal that the presidential race is already at a low boil in the nation's largest swing state. Without Florida, Republicans say, they can't recapture the White House. Johnson shrugs when told he's a long-shot candidate compared with better-known former governors Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin and current Govs. Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty. Johnson has overcome long odds before. As a political newcomer, he shocked the political establishment when he beat a three-term incumbent in 1992, an echo of Scott's out-of-nowhere success in Florida. Johnson says his legacy of record vetoes and tax cuts from 1995 to 2003 in New Mexico separate him from the crowd of likely presidential hopefuls. So does his position on pot and the drug war. "The issue of marijuana legalization is obviously an attention-getter," Johnson said. "And you can't shy away from it. I have to defend it. I have to defend the position." Johnson's reasons: Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and the costs of locking up pot smokers exacts too much of a toll on civil liberties and on taxpayers. He said marijuana would be considered less of a gateway drug if it were sold alongside "more dangerous drugs" like booze. "I don't drink. I don't smoke pot. But I've drank and I've smoked pot," said Johnson, an accomplished triathlete who once scaled Mount Everest. "The big difference between the two is that marijuana is a lot safer than alcohol." Cont.
Pubdate: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL) 
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