Cannabis Cup goes on despite police visits

By Bill Laitner

Detroit Free Press

(MCT)

Oct. 18–Despite three visits by Detroit police and officers’ warnings that no one should consume marijuana, organizers of the Detroit Cannabis Cup — a two-day medical-marijuana convention in an Eastern Market jazz club — said Monday that they went ahead with their contest to pick Michigan’s best strains of the drug.

“We absolutely had the competition” and awarded trophies, said Dan Skye, executive editor of High Times, a New York-based monthly magazine for marijuana buffs that sponsors Cannabis Cups in cities nationwide.

Last week, the magazine said that the winning medical-marijuana strains “will afterwards be known as the highest in their fields.”

The event drew more than 3,000 people to a popular jazz club — Bert’s Warehouse Theatre — which had a “sealed medicating tent” in which those with Michigan medical-marijuana registry cards could consume the drug, Skye said. There were no arrests but several attendees were given tickets for possessing drug paraphernalia, he said.

“I think this was a very bogus action by Detroit police to disrupt a legal activity that was bringing people to spend money in their city,” Skye said.

The Cannabis Cup featured performances by funk-jazz star George Clinton. Panel discussions were to include one for veterans who use marijuana to alleviate pain, co-organizer Danny Danko said Friday.

Detroit Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said Monday she could not learn details of police visits to the Cannabis Cup event, but said: “If they adhered to the state laws, we can’t stop something.” Before the event, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said that, according to state law, registered patients could obtain the drug only from caregivers registered in Lansing to provide it to them.

Steven Greene, 45, a registered medical-marijuana patient from South Lyon, described the police visits.

“People were very upset. And they cheered every time the police exited the building,” Greene said. Greene is host of the weekly “Medical Marijuana Radio Show” on WDTW-AM (1310), and said he posted video of the Cannabis Cup award ceremony and planned to post coverage of what he called “police harassment” on www.radioweedshow.com .

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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