Sen. Jones: Felons need to be banned from dispensing medical marijuana

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, is currently working on two pieces of legislation concerning the lax regulation of medical marijuana.

According to Jones, the first measure would ban anyone convicted of a felony from distributing medical marijuana, while the other would ban marijuana from being dispensed within 1,000 feet of a school or a church.

The Michigan State Police have reported the arrests of two convicted felons during a recent drug raid on a Lansing marijuana clinic. Both employees of the Evolve Medical Marijuana Services were jailed on charges.

After investigating the matter, Jones learned that one of the felons was convicted of homicide. Previously, Jones debated the owner of the Williamston medical marijuana club on public television. The owner stated he was convicted of distributing cocaine. He was later arrested and is currently facing charges.

“If marijuana is to be distributed as medicine then felons have no business selling it,” Jones said. “I have received numerous complaints of dispensaries opening up next to schools and churches, where many youngsters receive their education. This is a bad influence on children. Many churches also run drug rehab programs. It is time for these dispensaries to be cleaned up.”
 

Sen. Jones remembers fallen soldier, observes Memorial Day

In remembrance of Pfc. Brad Rappuhn of Grand Ledge, Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, places a folded American flag in a basket on the Senate floor during the chamber’s 17th Annual Memorial Day Service. Michigan’s military heroes who defended freedom and sacrificed their lives the past year in the war on terror were honored during the special ceremony.

Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=24
 

Sen. Jones reports on obscene use of tax dollars

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, reported Wednesday that some Bridge Card abuse is caused by poor federal rules and guidelines that the state of Michigan is required to follow.

Several weeks ago, Jones received information from Michigan Department of Human Services employees that Bridge Cards were being issued to people with $100,000 or even $200,000 in liquid assets. DHS confirmed this to Jones after he made an inquiry.

Bridge Card abuse was brought to light again this week after reports surfaced that Leroy Fick of Auburn still uses a Michigan Bridge Card, despite having won $2 million in the state lottery.

DHS says it is not allowed to count liquid assets for the food portion of Bridge Cards. To put an end to this practice, the department has asked for changes to federal rules. DHS hopes the new rules will be in effect by this fall.

Individuals needing state assistance are issued an “Electronic Benefit Transfer” debit card known as a Bridge Card to purchase food products and access cash benefits, instead of paper food stamps and paper checks.

Earlier this year it was reported that Michigan Bridge Card users spent millions of dollars out of state. In particular, cards were used in vacation hot spots such as Florida, California, Nevada and Hawaii in January and February.

“I’ve asked the United States Congress to look into this obscene waste of tax dollars and change the Bridge Card rules,” Jones said. “This lack of checking on liquid assets may partially explain the use of Michigan Bridge Cards in winter vacation hot spots. I am also concerned that the cards are being sold on the street for cash to buy alcohol and drugs. Children go hungry when parents feed their addictions and not their children.”

Senate panel to consider measures to revoke licenses of doctors convicted of rape

WHO: Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; other members of the committee; and interested parties.

WHAT: Committee hearing on Senate Bills 234, 235 and 236.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 17
 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Farnum Building
 Room 110
 125 W. Allegan St., Lansing
               
BRIEF: Under SBs 234, SB 235 and SB 236, health care professionals convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1, 2 or 3 could be sanctioned or have their licenses revoked. The measures would also ensure that health care professionals with a license or registration permanently revoked for a CSC violation are ineligible for reinstatement.

The proposals were sponsored following the revelation that a Farmington Hills dentist, Donald Quinn, had his license renewed following a conviction of rape and other CSC violations.
                      
One of Quinn’s victims will testify before the panel. To protect her privacy, Jones respectfully requests that no pictures or film be taken of her face.

BI-PARTISAN EFFORT TO CRACK DOWN ON DOG FIGHTING

Senator Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, reported that the Senate Judiciary committee passed out three bills today to crack down on dog fighting in Michigan.  This is a bi-partisan effort by Sen. Jones, Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit.

Senator Jones’ (356) bill would subject the property of a person convicted of being involved in animal fighting to forfeiture.

Senator Johnson’s (357) bill will allow the place where the illegal conduct took place to be declared a nuisance, thus allowing local authorities to padlock the property.

Senator Bieda’s (358) bill would subject the groups that engage in animal fighting for material gain to prosecution under the racketeering (RICO) statute, which could result in longer prison sentences and/or greater fines.

“This is an ugly crime that needs tougher penalties,” stated Sen. Jones, “People that harm animals for sport are the lowest form of humanity.”

“Animal fighting is the deliberate act of pitting two or more animals against each other and watching them tear each other to pieces for entertainment, that is outrageous,” stated Sen. Bieda.

Authorities have raided dog fighting operations throughout the state of Michigan in recent years including a March bust of a sizeable dog fighting ring in Monroe County.

“I’ve seen dog fighting problems arise time and again in the City of Detroit,” Sen. Johnson said. “But it’s a statewide issue that needs to be addressed and I’m glad it’s now getting the attention it deserves.”

All three bills are strongly supported by the Michigan Humane Society, American Humane society and the Animal Law Section of the Michigan State Bar.

News Advisory – Sen. Rick Jones – Senate Judiciary Committee

WHO: SENATE  JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING

WHAT: DNA from Inmates

SB 346 Senator Schuitmaker bill will provide that DNA is taken from all Michigan prison inmates.  This could close many “cold cases” leading to murders and rapes being solved.

Increased Action for Dog fighting

SB 356 Senator Jones bill will subject the property of a person convicted of being in animal fighting to forfeiture.

SB 357 Senator Johnson’s bill will allow the place where the illegal conduct took place to be declared a nuisance, thus allowing local authorities to padlock the property.

SB 358 Senator Bieda’s bill would subject the groups that engage in animal fighting for material gain to prosecution un the racketeering (RICO) statute, which could result in longer prison sentences and/or greater fines.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10th 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: 110 Farnum Building