Nefarious lobbying by big tobacco corporations are putting a common sense medical marijuana reform measure in serious jeopardy. Proposed rules would allow special interests to bleed the industry dry – threatening the safety of Michigan cancer sufferers and other sick patients benefiting from the proven medical properties of the substance.
Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) introduced the “Medical Marihuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act” earlier this year to protect the rights of medical marijuana patients. HB 4209 would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in a sensible manner, ensuring safe access for qualifying patients.
It was expected that this bill would pass immediately without a hitch, but that hasn’t been the case – due to the actions of cronyist lobbyists like Ron Boji who will apparently put the lives of cancer patients at stake in order to line his own pocketbook.
The language Boji and his associates want added to the bill would mandate a costly middleman position reserved solely for wealthy, entrenched special interests that currently benefit from tobacco regulations. Previously, the alterations were proposed in the at the House at the behest of Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Twp). Although they were unable to sneak it through that time around, they are trying again in the Senate.
Under the new language, special interests would pocket up to 10 percent of the revenue from the medical marijuana industry because of a state-mandated monopoly on the transportation services related to medical marijuana. The expense would be covered by sick patients who desperately need to treat their critical illnesses along with the caregivers who provide them their life-sustaining medicine.
This is only the latest in a long pattern of troubling behavior from Boji and his associates.
Boji and his real estate development company Boji Group were responsible for the infamous new $41 million taxpayer-funded Senate building. In spite of the boondoggle being appraised for a fraction of its immense $41 million price tag, an on-going $454 million budget crunch, and roads falling to pieces across the state, Boji was able to secure that lucrative contract, and has drawn the ire of millions of concerned Michigan taxpayers in doing so.
Not content with those ill-gotten gains, Boji now wants to take cash out of the pockets of cancer patients as well. Humanitarian, medical marijuana advocate and former 9th District Republican Congressional candidate George Brikho strongly disagrees with Boji’s business model.
“This is as unethical and despicable,” Brikho said. “I have fought for years on behalf of patients, caregivers and those in the medical marijuana industry who have built it into what it is today. And never could I ever have imagined such heartless, reprehensible tactics as what I have seen from Ron Boji and his associates.”
“If a store buys $1 million dollars worth of medicine, parasites like Boji would automatically pocket $100,000 from that transaction because of these unnecessary provisions being added into the bill,” Brikho said. “In the free market, a wide variety of companies would perform that service at a fraction of the cost. Because of vultures like Boji, the patients and caregivers would bear this burden just so he can benefit. That is as un-Christian and un-American as it gets.”
Brikho urges people to call and e-mail their state senators to demand that Rep. Callton’s “Medical Marihuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act” is passed without any changes made to the bill.
“They tried this funny business before, they were able to gain control of one Representative, however we were able to stop them by getting the word out,” Brikho said. “I hope the people can make their voices heard to stop these corrupt special interest groups before patients and caregivers are made to suffer. I also encourage you all to contact your Senator. Tell them enough is enough, people like Boji only hurt the citizens of Michigan.”
George Brikho is a former Republican candidate for Congress, a business owner and an activist. He can be contacted via his Facebook page at:
or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
References cited by Mr. Brikho:
Ron Boji is a Commissioner in the Michigan Department of Transportation, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in October of 2013. His term will expire in December of 2017.
HB 4209, as introduced in January of 2015: www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/billintroduced/House/pdf/2015-HIB-4209.pdf
HB 4209, as passed by the House after Judiciary Committee and Floor amendments:
September 22, 2015. thecompassionchronicles.com/2015/09/22/matthew-abel-on-hb-4209/
October 7, 2015. An 11-part series on media statements regarding the passage of the three-bill package by the House. thecompassionchronicles.com/2015/10/07/quotes-from-media-regarding-passage-of-marijuana-bills-420942104827/
Source: The Compassion Chronicles