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Detroit Mayor Duggan’s Anti-Marijuana Bit Reveals City Bias

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan marijuana

(image via wikipedia)

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his State of the City speech on Tuesday, February 23; in it he delivered a controversial accolade for a medical marijuana dispensary foe and received multiple rebukes from protesters representing the Black Lives Matter organization.

Detroit will begin the licensing process for medical marijuana distribution centers, or dispensaries, on March 1. In advance of that licensing process the city’s distribution centers report raids and intimidation by the Detroit Police Department. The pair of ordinances controlling the licensing and zoning rules were initiated by Detroit’s church and civic groups, and are strongly opposed by the medical marijuana community.

You know where Mayor Duggan stands on the issue when you know where he stood to deliver his State of the City speech on Tuesday: the Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.

The Mayor later introduced the pastor of Second Ebeneezer Church as a member of the independent Police Commission, a Board whose duties had been suspended by the Emergency Financial Manager (EMF) and restored by Council in December.

At the onset of his speech the Mayor introduced each City Council Member and made reference to their accomplishments: immigration reform, fiscal responsibility, restoring harmony to the Council. The very last Council Member to be introduced was James Tate, the Council spokesperson for the church interest in the dispensary negotiations.

Mayor Duggan described Tate as “The man responsible for the fact that we’re finally going to start shutting down marijuana dispensaries in the city of Detroit.”

The mention from the Mayor brought open laughter from other Council members and muted applause from the audience.

“When the Mayor mentioned marijuana dispensaries and Council Member Tate some people gasped, some clapped. It was a mixed reaction,” said Americans for Safe Access-Michigan co-founder Brandy Zink, who was at Second Ebeneezer Church for the address.

The audience’s response to Tate’s introduction is the most quiet of all the Council members, as the video of the event illustrates.

“I was surprised at the tone of the introduction of Council Member Tate,” Zink added. “He was introduced as the guy who wants to shut things down. It seemed out of context when the rest of the Mayor’s speech was about rebuilding the community, resurrecting the city and embracing small business.”

Several outbursts from protesters can be heard on the video of the Mayor’s speech. Some protesters identified themselves as members of the organization Black Lives Matter. “Police literally dragged some of them away while they were still screaming,” said Zink.

The dispensary issue

During a presentation in December of 2015, Detroit’s Council was told by the law and police departments there were in excess of 211 medical marijuana distribution centers in the city.

As The Compassion Chronicles report illustrated 75 different zones where a medical marijuana dispensary, or ‘caregiver center’ as the Detroit ordinances refer to them, could be licensed, based on a map of city plots that conform to the zoning regulations and with a mind to the mandated 1,000 foot buffer zone between distribution centers.

Since that report the City made changes to their proposed ordinances and passed them. The added language allows for clustering of CC’s in industrial zones and the institution of a waiver process for certain buffer zone restrictions. Although more than 75 legitimate areas may exist, there is no guarantee that any commercial property is available in those zones, nor is there a guarantee that the city will issue any more than a handful of CC licenses.

Mayor Duggan’s enthusiastic sentence about “shutting down the marijuana dispensaries” is a public statement that summarizes the private sentiment being expressed to Detroit business owners who have inquired about the licensing process and Zoning Board of Appeals variance hearings.

“Don’t even bother,” is the statement one Detroit dispensary operator said he received from the City Clerk’s office when inquiring about the forms necessary to apply for a zoning variance.

“It is impossible to believe there is integrity in the process when legitimate applicants are facing this degree of resistance,” said Jamie Lowell of the MILegalize organization.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. Isn’t this the guy who got elected because the electorate didn’t know that he was white? He’s shown his true color, now. He probably won’t be RE-elected…

  2. Total BS. You don’t have policy makers coming from a church. I hope the people of MI and Detroit throw these douche bags out next election. Tax these fucking churches now!

  3. Jesus specifically told his disciples to “anoint” people. That anointing took place using a specific formula made from a recipe found in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

    That recipe (Exodus 30:23) includes about 6 pounds of “kaneh-bosen”.

    According to many biblical scholars, “kaneh-bosen” was/is Cannabis (Marijuana).

    Most of the diseases mentioned as being healed miraculously after anointing are, curiously, the same ones that cannabis can heal today. Things like epilepsy, leprosy, and “crooked limbs” (an obvious reference to multiple sclerosis).

    Exodus 30:

    23 Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

  4. he’s got heroine and pharmaceutical overdose epidemics to deal with, so he turns his attention to cannabis. the state of the city is that the executive is an idiot.

  5. The churches refuse to accept the fact that Jesus wore hemp clothing, used kaneh bos(from cannabis) oils on his feet after long journeys and usually ate a hemp seed cake for breakfast(the most common food for the poor).

    There is absolutely no reason for any Christian to hate cannabis. Quite the opposite actually, all Christians should stand up for a moral change to the way we incarcerate non criminals.

    No victim, no crime. We get almost all laws from Biblical principles except for when it comes to cannabis.

    The reefer madness generation is still the primary church group of haters so we will have to wait for them to die off before any real change will happen in the churches philosophy.

    There was an article( https://www.theweedblog.com/vermont-clergy-express-support-for-marijuana-legalization-bill/ ) a few days ago where like 14 religious leaders sent the senators a letter approving the legalization cannabis.

    A small handful but it shows the fact that churches don’t have to hate cannabis!

  6. saynotohypocrisy on

    The pair of ordinances controlling the licensing and zoning rules were initiated by Detroit’s [alcohol guzzling] church and civic groups,
    God damn stinking bigot hypocrite thug tyrants. These churches sure forget that Jesus hated hypocrites.
    Some one once tried to correct me and said Jesus hated hypocrisy and not hypocrites, but I don’t think that’s right.
    His generation of vipers rant makes clear that he thought hypocrites were the scum of the earth.
    For them he made an exception to “hate the sin, not the sinner”.
    Christian cannabis hating bigots, beware.

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