Lady Justice is glad she is blindfolded

It’s appalling.

Not only should this case never have seen the light of a courtroom it certainly shouldn’t have ended with my friend escorted out in cuffs by FOUR county Sheriffs. Let me start at the beginning…well, maybe not the very beginning. Just the beginning of today.

You may have heard that I was hosting the nation’s first smoke-free #weedup. Simply stated it was the idea that a bunch of people who were caregivers, patients or those who support the use of medical marijuana in Michigan could gather to rally and support my friend AND speak out about the injustice. We met at 7:30 in the morning and although it was a very small group, I felt we were effective in getting our point across. I will cite the judge mentioning the group of people holding signs outside the courthouse as evidence. This post isn’t really about the rally. It’s about what happened inside the courtroom.

The judge started the day (about 9:30 after hearing another trial) by saying he understood what an undesirable thing jury duty seems to be and while it takes you away from EVERYTHING you’d rather be doing, most end up with a good feeling on the experience. He also shared how lucky they were because they drew what he believed would be a very quick case. He moved right into an inspirational speech about how great our forefathers were for fighting for trial by jury and having it be a core driver in our Declaration of Independence. He used China as an example of an unjust country and spoke in circles about the importance of fairness and equality under the law. It seemed so nice. If only I knew then what I came to realize later.

Jury selection begin a little after 10 and ended at about 10:45. They were again reminded that this trial would be quick.

The Defense attorney had a MAJOR challenge. He was instructed that even though my friend is a state registered caregiver, they could not use medical marijuana as part of their defense. Why you ask? Because when my friend was arrested he had both marijuana in jars and that which was cooked into brownies aka “medibles”. Turns out the state of Michigan hasn’t been clear on how to handle “medibles” so the court decided to weigh the ENTIRE batch of brownies and use the total weight of the medibles (brownies + marijuana) + the other marijuana as the final weight. Instead of just shy of 14 oz of marijuana (a registered caregiver is allowed to possess 15 oz) my friend had to stand trial for carrying a whopping 63 oz. That doesn’t seem fair you say?? No. No it’s not. In fact it is bullshit! And that’s not all of it.

As with all criminal cases (because they added brownie mix, milk, eggs and whatever else goes into brownies, my friend now faced felonious charges) the burden of proof rests on the prosecutor. If the prosecutor doesn’t prove the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the jury is instructed to find the defendant “not guilty”. This sounded promising until the judge said what needed to be proved.

My friend was charged with “Possession with Intent to Distribute”. Did I mention he’s a registered caregiver with the state?? OF COURSE he intended to distribute. Clearly you can’t distribute without possession. This whole thing reminded me of the Salem Witch Trials. “Let’s knock the witch out and throw her in the river. If she floats, the devil is in her. If she sinks, God saved her soul”. I honestly think my buddy would have had a better chance with the witch hunters than he did in court and he can’t swim.

The jury saw a crazy amount of marijuana (honestly most people won’t see 10 oz of pot in one place ever).

  • They heard testimony from three different police officers who all said it was the most weed they’d ever captured at one time.
  • They heard a chemical forensics expert claim that it definitely was marijuana even though she admitted to only testing about 1/10th of it.
  • They heard a narcotics expert tell them that no one would have this much weed on them unless they were trying to sell it.

Apparently they bought it all. And why shouldn’t they…it was almost exclusively true. What the jury was told was the truth. What they weren’t told is where the honesty dissipates.

They weren’t told why. Not only were they not told why, the judge and counsel went out of their way to make sure it wasn’t mentioned. The attorney for the defendant did an outstanding job of not using the words “medical” “patient” or “caregiver” once. He did a better job getting others to mention it. There was a moment when the arresting officer was reading a label on one of the seized goods and skipped over where it said “medical marijuana for medicinal use only”. The defense attorney asked him to reread it in his cross examination. It was brilliant strategy until the judge ordered the jury to disregard that part of the testimony.

At 4:05 the jury was given closing instructions from the judge that had a few main points:

1. Deliberation must stop by 5.
2. If you can’t reach a verdict by 4:30 it can’t be entered today.
3. You can come back anytime tomorrow after 8:30
4. That only the answers were evidence. The questions or statements were not.

20 minutes after being dismissed a note was sent stating the jury had reached a decision.
We still had hope as we walked back into the courtroom. That was until the 4 sheriffs walked in before the jury did.

Here’s what I know for sure.

Marijuana has several medicinal applications
Some patients who use it feel MUCH relief
Michigan citizens voted for medical marijuana to be legal in 2008. It passed with a 63% approval rating.
If a President won an election with a 63% approval rating, we would call it a landslide.
Caregivers and patients that are registered with the state should not fear persecution
Caregivers and patients that are register ARE FACING prosecution
When in court you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The aforementioned should be respected and upheld at every turn. For this to be true, ALL evidence found should be entered as an exhibit (I didn’t mention how many times the “paperwork” was referred to. The paperwork being his medical marijuana paperwork which was in a binder that was seized).

AND That my friend was found guilty for possession of marijuana with an intent to distribute. If I were on the jury and that was the question that I was asked I would have had to conclude that. The problem is that’s a given. Of course he was in possession. Of course what he possessed was marijuana. And of course he intended to distribute it. What’s the point of being a medical marijuana caregiver if you don’t distribute it?

This trial NEVER should have gone to court. Since it did, they should have at least been able to present the evidence. Instead Oakland county has another big bust under their belt. Which was clearly the goal. It saddens me greatly. Not just because a friend is likely going to jail (sentencing on 3/15) but because I don’t feel that the law that 63% of voters in 2008 enacted has been upheld properly.

What do you think?

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The 2/27/12 #weedup press release

Like our Facebook page and join the conversation.

Lion’s defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, recently attempted to set a Guinness world record by having the “World’s largest Tweetup”. The old record was held by Ford Motor Company where 1149 people gathered together at the L.A. Auto Show in 2009.

What happens when you create a tweetup rally to create awareness of how medical marijuana caregivers and patients are being arrested for following the law? Join us and find out.

The Smoke-Free Weedup, Monday, Feb 27, 2012

Medical Marijuana is a $1.7BILLION Market

According to http://medicalmarijuanamarkets.com:

-24.8 Million People Are Eligible Patients
-About 730,000 People Are Current Patients
-7 States Have Markets: California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Oregon,
Washington, New Mexico

In 2008, the people of Michigan passed Medical Marijuana legislation. In fact, the people supported this measure so much that it passed in every county in the state.

Medical Marijuana is compassionate pain management. Those who suffer need the relief. And even though current marijuana markets will double in the next five years because of this need, there’s a problem….

Michigan police and the court system are mistreating caregivers. Police are posing as patients in an effort to exploit a weakness in how the law was written. Courts are using total weight of “medibles” (medical marijuana cooked into edible form) instead of the actual marijuana weight to assure caregivers can’t use “Caregiver” or “Medical Marijuana” as part of their defense.

Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox was in full support of Medical Marijuana. This is in stark contrast to current Attorney General Bill Schuette’s who recently suggested police officers would risk potential criminal and civil penalties under the (federal law) for the distribution of marijuana or for aiding or abetting the possession or distribution of marijuana if they return seized marijuana to patients or caregivers as the Michigan Law states. People in Michigan are questioning whether Bill works for the citizen’s of this state or US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Join us for The Smoke-Free Weedup

This will be the world’s first smoke-free weedup, a cause that demonstrates to Oakland County that it’s not right to arrest people who follow the law. We have Through our network and social media outlets we will reach over 100,000 people. Many of us will gather in a peaceful protest to support those who suffer and their caregivers

When: Monday, February 27, 2012
Where: Oakland County Courthouse 1200 North Telegraph Road Pontiac,
Time: 7:30 a.m.- 8:30am More than 50 people
Who: All those banding together in our tweetup to support medical marijuana and justice

Call Terry Bean, Founder of Motor City Connect at 248.224.1326, Facebook him at http://facebook.com/terrybean, tweet him at https://twitter.com/#!/terrybean or e-mail him at trybean@gmail.com for further information.

Be sure to like our Facebook page and join the conversation.

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How to create a magnetic online profile

If you had a nickel for every time someone told you that you HAD to be on this
great networking website, you probably wouldn’t need any more business. It’s
amazing how many sites there are and they all have one thing in common: they
want YOU to fill out your profile or your bio.

Seriously, it has gotten to the point where I have one bio that reads: “If you
found me here you have already read way too many of the bios I have written”.
For the record, I wrote that out of a bit of frustration and DO NOT recommend it
as a best practice ;-)

So how do we balance the amount of time this practice takes while showing some
ROI on the time involved? For starters, make sure your profile “attracts” the
type of viewers you want to it.

Talk about “who you are”.

Many of these sites have an area for a “summary”. Most folks summarize their
current work experience and consider this done. Sure that’s a great way to check
off the task, but does it really help? No. This is the area where you want to
engage the person by showing them who you are. What are your values? Share your
thoughts on networking. Tell us about your family. Make this interesting and
personal. It doesn’t have to be long, but it would be great if it made us feel
like we got to know you.

Tell us about “what you do”

This should be an easy one, right? Well, recognize that there are lots of people
who do what you do. How will you make your profile stand out? You need to make
sure you are using KEYWORDS. Keywords are the words that people use when
“searching” online. If you are in the Mortgage business, keywords may include:
real estate, REO, home purchase, buyer, seller, refinance, foreclosure,
property…you get the idea.

An important point to consider- we need to make sure that we are using the
keywords that our industry uses as well as the keywords our clients use.
My
friend Charlie is in the advertising/marketing business and they do a lot of
“identity” design. He has yet to get a call for identity design, but he sure
gets a lot of people calling because they need a new logo ;-)

William Butler Yeats said it best- “think like a wise man, but communicate in
the language of the people”.

Its good to have “past life regressions”

Well, maybe they don’t have to be full on regressions, but it is good for people
to get to know about your past life. Why? Because they may have been a part of
it.
You know I believe that “all business is relationship business”. We have
some really strong relationships with people we are no longer connected to.
Think about that. If you ran into your favorite “cube buddy” from your first
job, your favorite boss from 6 years ago, a college suite mate or whomever, you
would likely be able to pick right up on good conversation. And what’s really
interesting is that some of these folks may be in a position to now do business
with us or our business.

We have some amazingly strong ties in our past. It would be wise to make sure
those folks can find us and possibly help us in our future.

Hobbies and interests are interesting

If all business is relationship business and relationships are built fastest
around commonality, do I need to write more?

Seriously, take the time to share your passions. You would be amazed at what
comes from this simple act. It’s a great conversation starter, it can open doors
that weren’t previously opened and you may just land your next gig because of
it.

I highly endorse being endorsed

Having endorsements show up on your profile page is a great way to have others
feel good about you. If you have earned them, feel great about asking for them.
If there are people you would feel good about writing them for, do so. You never
know, they may write one for you.

Your online profiles are where people go to find out about you in the NOW world.
Whether you are meeting a new client, vendor or potential employer, they are
checking you out online. What impression will they get?

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Why I’m hosting a smoke-free #weedup on 2/27/12 at Oakland County Courthouse

For starters, I should answer answer a couple of other questions.

Q1. What the hell is a smoke-free #weedup?
A1. A smoke-free #weedup is what we’re calling the rally we’re holding to put an end to the abuse of registered caregivers and their patients by the law enforcement of Oakland County.

Q2. When and where is this smoke-free #weedup?
A2. 2/27/12 starting at 7:00 a.m. at the Oakland County Courthouse

Why am I hosting this??

A good friend of mine has been a state registered caregiver for less than 2 years and has already been arrested 3 times in Oakland county for having marijuana in his possession.

While being arrested for following the law my friend has had to surrender:

1st arrest: 1 vehicle, 1500 cash business deposit, phones, laptop, briefcase, medicine.
2nd arrest: 1 vehicle, 1200 cash business deposit, phones, ipad, briefcase, medicine.
3rd arrest: 5 vehicles, 1100 cash business deposit, phones, 3 laptops, files, medicine, He also had to relocate his office as a result of this arrest which caused a 60% drop in patients as they had to find other caregivers.

He has spent over $19,000 is lawyer fees and $10,000 in business recovery cost so far and still doesn’t have the majority of items back.

This is ridiculous treatment for a man who is simply following a law that EVERY single county in Michigan voted into legislation in 2008.

The Michigan law clearly states

Section: 333.26423

A primary caregiver can possess an amount of marihuana that does not exceed:

(1) 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process;

(e) A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances.

The 1st and 2nd arrest were in disregard of the above law passed in 2008 by taking the Gross weight vs Net Weight of a dozen medical marijuana brownies to force you over your allowed limit of usable marijuana ofr 15 ounces to illegal marijuana of 63 ounces and create criminal out of a law abiding citizen.

The 3rd arrest was in disregard of the above law passed in 2008 by interpreting the sentence “a” meant “the”

Section: 333.26423
(e) A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana.

• This statement ALLOWS caregivers to assist other registered qualifying patients outside of their 5 qualifying patients whom they registered with through the state which allows each caregiver to possess 2.5 ounces and 12 plants for each qualifying patient he is connected with through the state

Attorney General Shuette is telling prosecutors to misinterpret this law to…….

A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting “the” registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana.

• This statement DISALLOWS caregivers to assist other registered qualifying patients outside of their 5 qualifying patients whom they registered with through the state which allows each caregiver to possess 2.5 ounces and 12 plants for each qualifying patient he is connected with through the state

HERE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT MARIJUANA

THE SAD TRUTH
Criminalization of marijuana was NOT on the basis of scientific, medical nor government hearings, that it was to protect the citizens from what was considered to be dangerous and/or harmful BUT rather on the basis of:
• Fear
• Racism
• Protection of Corporate Profits
• Ignorant, Corrupt and/or Incompetent Legislators
• Personal Career Advancement and Greed

My friend awaits his next trial on Monday, February 27th 8:30am at 1200 N. Telegraph Rd Pontiac 48328

Here is what you can do about it

Read “Why is Mairijuana Illegal Anyways” brochure.!
Join the Trial Rally!

My friend is not allowed to use Medical Marijuana as a defense or even mention the word to the jury because the prosecutors persuaded the judge to believe if mention the word medical marijuana the jury will think of cancer patients and feel sorry for the defendant!!!

So you can see how hard it will be for the Jury to understand the real issue is rather to consider the Gross weight: ( 1 gram Marijuana + Brownie Mix + 1 cup water + 2/3 cup veggie oil + 2 eggs ) = 3 pounds or Net weight: 1 Gram.

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Relationship Marketing 301: Two ways to get known, liked and trusted FASTER

My friend Bob Burg has said it thousands of times “All things being equal, people do business with people they know, like and trust”. Since that’s true, it’s your job to figure out how to get known, liked and trusted FASTER.

Here is a quick video (under 2 minutes) that gives you two BIG ideas on just how to do this. Please note that I’m not officially driving in this video LOL. Can’t listen where you are or don’t like videos in general? The two ways are written below.

As a bonus thought, be sure to use idea as a way to build your recommendations on LinkedIN (you can click that link and be magically whisked away to my profile. add me as a connection if you wish to be part of my almost 5,000 person network there).

Here are the two ways in a nutshell:

1. Leverage third party endorsements. Find someone who knows you both and can say good things about the offering you have. This is very powerful. It’s even better if the person is known, LIKED and TRUSTED by your intended audience.

2. Find common ground. The best way to do that is to ask questions. The video has close to a dozen questions you can ask about 70 seconds into it. Here’s the trick when you ask questions, you actually HAVE TO LISTEN to the answers ;-)

Thanks for checking out this video. There is plenty of other great information designed to help you on this site. Feel free to poke around!

Be connected-

Terry Bean

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After You…a lesson in networking

We network like we do so many other things…in too big of a hurry. As such, we miss a lot of golden opportunities. I want to share something with you that will change your networking results forever. I call it “After You Networking”.

You’ve no doubt been taught and believe the idea that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. While that is technically true, I don’t believe it matters. How often have you met someone who you thought was great and were proved wrong? How often have you met someone you couldn’t stand at first and now like?

Here’s the lesson: Because of this first impression thing we are in such a hurry to “impress” the person we just met. Unfortunately the way most people attempt to do so is wrong. They do it by talking. They want to tell you all about them. Who they are. What they do. Maybe who they know. And so on. What they don’t realize, and this is true regardless of how interesting they are, the first impression is they seem self-centered.

Here’s the trick: Start all of your conversations by inviting them to go first. Maybe a quick sentence like “tell me about yourself”.

Since you know this is people’s natural inclination. Let them do it. Give them the go-ahead. BE interested in what they have to say. Enjoy learning about them. Take time to understand who they are and equally important how you can be of service to them.

Here are the benefits:

1. The biggest benefit is that you will be able to remember their name. People ask me all the time what the secret to doing so is. The secret is you can’t remember something you never knew. We are so busy trying to “impress” people when we first meet them that we rarely even hear their name when we are introduced. This approach allows you to hear it.

2. The next benefit is that you will actually learn about them and their needs. This will put you in a position to truly help them.

3. You will be perceived as an excellent communicator. Why? because you will be primarily engaged in a conversation that they really enjoy. You know, the one about them! What’s everyone’s favorite topic? That’s right ;-)

4. When it’s your turn to talk they will actually listen to you. It’s true. They can fully focus on you and your needs because they’re not worrying about what they want to say.

5. You can gauge what sort of person they are. If you listen to them and they don’t return the favor, you will know how much future time to invest in them.

Now go ahead and tell me about yourself. I promise to listen ;-)

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