Medical marijuana being used to influence voting

 

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, reported Wednesday that he was outraged to learn that medical marijuana is being used to influence voting. He has contacted the Michigan attorney general’s office regarding this situation.

Your Healthy Choice Clinic, a Lansing medical marijuana clinic is offering free pot to individuals who register to vote.

Content posted on the clinic’s website under the link: “Protect Your Access! Vote 2011,” reads: “All dispensaries are doing a voter registration drive. If you sign up at Your Healthy Choice, we will assist you in filling out the registration form and will mail it out for you. … So in appreciation, we will reward legal patients with a .5 gram free or a free medible!”

The term “medible” refers to edible marijuana.

The same site goes on to say that voters should support candidates Derrick Quinney, A’Lynne Robinson, and Harold Leeman for the Lansing City Council, and not Carol Wood or Jody Washington.

“Giving away free marijuana to influence voting is outrageous and must be stopped,” Jones said. “I will be working with the attorney general on whether additional legislation is needed.”

Sen. Jones: teachers should not be allowed to take advantage of students

LANSING — A loophole in state law allows unscrupulous teachers to take advantage of students, said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

“Students, no matter their age, are under the care and custody of their teachers and administrators,” Jones said. “There should never be fear that when a student attends school, they are in danger of being taken advantage of by someone with authority. Teachers are in positions of trust and that trust should be held sacred.”

Last December year a 28-year-old male Ionia High School teacher took a student to a Kalamazoo hotel for sex the day after her 18th birthday. Despite being 18, the student was not set to graduate until June 2011.

An investigation was conducted by the Michigan State Police, but the Ionia County prosecutor is unable to prosecute because the victim was one day past her 18th birthday, even though she was a student.

Jones has requested legislation that would make sex between a student (regardless of age) and a teacher, substitute teacher or administrator at the school where the student is enrolled a second degree Criminal Sexual Conduct offense.

According to Jones, everyone who hears about the situation is flabbergasted that the prosecutor is unable to prosecute the teacher.

“As a parent and a former sheriff, I’m outraged this teacher willfully broke that sacred trust with a student,” Jones said. “I’m working hard to change Michigan law and ensure this type of behavior will not go unpunished again.”

Parents reporting missing children

When the decision in Casey Anthony’s trial was handed down, parents and child advocates across the country were devastated. Americans were appalled to learn she couldn’t be criminally charged for failing to report her daughter Caylee as missing, even though she had been gone for 31 days.

Every child is precious. That’s why I am working to help prevent a tragedy similar to what occurred in Florida from happening here in Michigan.

I have requested legislation to require that law enforcement officials be notified within 24 hours of a child going missing. My proposed law would make it a felony to not report a child under the age of 13 as missing if they have been gone for more than 24 hours.

I am shocked and saddened by the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial. Not simply because of the verdict, but because it brings to light that there are no safeguards in place to ensure a little missing child has to be reported to law enforcement.

We must ensure that a travesty like what happened to little Caylee doesn’t happen here. It is unthinkable that a person, especially a parent, could go as long as they want without reporting a missing child with virtually no consequences. That’s just plain wrong.

My measure is modeled after the federal proposal titled “Caylee’s Law.” Lawmakers in more than 30 other states are working on similar legislation to help protect children and punish individuals who would cause them harm.

As a parent and grandparent, how anyone could fail to report a missing child is beyond me. I look forward to taking this vital measure up in committee, and seeing it approved by both chambers of the Legislature and signed into law.

Sen. Rick Jones is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and vice chair of the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. He represents the 24th state Senate District, which includes Allegan, Barry and Eaton counties.

Sen. Jones presents special tribute to retiring teacher

 

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, presented a special legislative tribute to Nancy Ewing for her service to Strange School on Saturday, July 16. A respected educator, she served the Oneida community for more than three decades. Ewing started teaching in 1977 at Strange School, where she continued to work for the last 34 years.

Editor’s note: The above photographs of Sen. Jones and Nancy Ewing are available by clicking on the images or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

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

Senate Judiciary Committee to review statute of limitations

LANSING — As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, announced Thursday that the panel will review Michigan’s statute of limitations on crimes such as kidnapping, assault with intent to commit murder, attempted murder and manslaughter.

Jones will work with the prosecutors association to do a complete review.

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings recently announced that Brandon D’Annunzio’s death is a case of manslaughter, but he cannot bring charges due to the 10 year statute of limitations.

After hearing about the 10 year anniversary of D’Annunzio’s death, a witness to the crime came forward. Police say 24-year-old D’Annunzio was assaulted in East Lansing. After being punched, he fell backwards striking his head. He died from the injuries.

“I can only imagine the pain of a parent who has had a son or daughter murdered and then finds out the perpetrator cannot be brought to justice,” Jones said. “I want to do a complete review of the statute of limitations and plan to increase some of the times. We keep lengthening the period that someone can be freed from a conviction because of modern science such as DNA testing. Certainly we should also lengthen the time that a crime can be charged.”

Senators: Caylee Anthony case reiterates need to criminalize not reporting a dead body in Michigan

LANSING—State Sens. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rick Jones today called on lawmakers to approve legislation that makes it illegal to not report the discovery of a dead body in Michigan.

The measure, Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Schuitmaker, would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. It would also make it a felony of up to 5 years and a $5,000 fine for not reporting a dead body with the intent to hide or conceal that death or cause of death.

“The case of little Caylee Anthony’s death breaks my heart,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “That she was left missing, dead and unreported for a month before being discovered is a horrible tragedy. While we can’t prevent bad parenting, we certainly can help bring justice to those that deserve it, and we are working together to ensure a case like this doesn't happen here in Michigan.”

Jones chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved the bill in May.

“I am shocked by the outcome of the Florida trial of the Casey Anthony case,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Not simply because of the verdict, but that it brings to light that there are no safeguards in place to ensure a little missing child has to be reported to law enforcement. Which is why I requested a bill be drafted to make it a felony to not report a known missing child within 24 hours of them going missing.”

The Senate unanimously passed SB 231 in June. The measure awaits action by the state House of Representatives.

Sens. Schuitmaker and Jones work to help prevent cases like Caylee Anthony in Michigan

LANSING — State Sens. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rick Jones announced Wednesday that they are working together to prevent a tragedy similar to what occurred in Florida from happening in Michigan. They also called on lawmakers to approve legislation that makes it illegal to not report the discovery of a dead body in Michigan.

The measure, Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Schuitmaker, would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. It would also make it a felony of up to five years and a $5,000 fine for not reporting a dead body with the intent to hide or conceal that death or cause of death.

“The case of little Caylee Anthony’s death breaks my heart,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “That she was left missing, dead and unreported for a month before being discovered is a horrible tragedy. While we can’t prevent bad parenting, we certainly can help bring justice to those that deserve it, and we are working together to ensure something like this doesn't happen here in Michigan.”

Jones chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved the bill in May.

“I am shocked by the outcome of Florida’s trial of the Casey Anthony case,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Not simply because of the verdict, but because it brings to light that there are no safeguards in place to ensure a little missing child has to be reported to law enforcement. Which is why I requested a bill be drafted to make it a felony to not report a known missing child within 24 hours of them going missing.”

Jones requested legislation to require that law enforcement be notified within 24 hours of when a child goes missing.

“It is important that we try to ensure a travesty like what happened to little Caylee doesn’t happen here,” Jones said. “It is unthinkable that a person, especially a parent, could go as long as they want without reporting a missing child with virtually no consequences. That’s just plain wrong.”

The Senate unanimously passed SB 231 in June, and it awaits action by the state House of Representatives.

Legislature bans deadly bath salts

LANSING – The Michigan Legislature finalized legislation today to ban a dangerous new designer drug commonly sold as bath salts, which can result in violent behavior in users and even death.

“The so-called ‘bath salts’ are sold by greedy people to mostly college students at the expense of public safety,” said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “As a former sheriff, I know that the violent effects of these drugs are harmful to users and also the general public. I am proud the Legislature has moved quickly to ban these drugs to help protect our children.”

House Bill 4565, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Tyler, adds a number of synthetic chemicals including Methylmethcathinone or Methlenedioxypyrovalerone (MDVP) to the list of controlled substances in the Michigan Public Health Code, making them illegal to possess.

“This important legislation is needed to stop the rising number of people who are using these dangerous drugs,” said Tyler, R-Niles. “Bath salts may sound funny, but the side effects from these drugs are no laughing matter. Michigan is taking a key step to winning this battle and protecting our families by joining other states in making these drugs illegal.”

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, bath salts are being sold across the country as a crystalline powder online, at head shops, convenience stores and on the street with names such as Ivory Wave, Aura, ZOOM 2, Zeus 2, Cosmic Blast and White Rush.

Tyler and Jones pointed out that banning bath salts is just one step, and encouraged parents to make sure their children do not have one of these devastating designer drugs.

These drugs are completely different than commercially-manufactured bath salts for use in the bath tub and may contain a number of synthetic chemicals which are strong stimulants that can cause increased heart rate, chest pains, dizziness, delusions, panic attacks, nose bleeding and nausea.  Patients ingesting these chemicals can be extremely paranoid and may describe being chased by demons, gods or aliens.  Severe cases may even require long-term psychiatric care.

HB 4565 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.