The CP Edit: Cannabis comes of age

Eighty-five years after the premiere of “Reefer Madness,” the 1936 anti-drug propaganda film that demonized marijuana, and three decades after the 1980s Reagan-era War on Drugs labeled it a gateway drug that would lead to a life of crime and addiction, cannabis has finally entered the mainstream, taking its rightful place alongside alcohol as an acceptable way for adults to relax after a hard day’s work.

And so it came to pass that 10 years after they approved medicinal cannabis, Michigan voters took the next giant leap forward, approving adult recreational use by a 56% margin and adding rocket fuel to a burgeoning, vertically integrated industry of growers, processors, testing labs, secure transporters and retail storefronts.

Hundreds if not thousands of new jobs are being created at cannabis-related enterprises across the city.

Even more, numerous vacant storefronts and thousands of square feet of empty warehouse space have been repurposed to serve the needs of the industry, eliminating blight, increasing property values and generating new property and income tax revenue streams to support local government services.

We understand why Lansing and East Lansing get the state cash: They carry the burdens of licensing, regulation and enforcement for the cannabis enterprises in their communities.

That’s why we think it’s only fair and equitable that the county allocate those funds back to the communities from which they came.

Very few of those licenses, however, have been granted to minority-owned concerns or used to directly benefit communities of color that have been negatively impacted by the war on drugs.

Earlier, he published  “Midnight in Vehicle City: General Motors, Flint and the Strike That Created the Middle Class,” a non-fiction examination of the 1937 sit-in strike in Flint that resulted in the recognition of the United Auto Workers.

Born and raised in Lansing, I have 30+ years newspaper experience, with a few side trips into other fields, and joined City Pulse because I missed the fun and excitement of a weekly newspaper.

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