Senate panel OKs Jones bill to regulate medical marijuana ads

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to regulate medical marijuana ads similarly to how the state regulates tobacco ads.

“This is about stopping unnecessary marijuana ads like the shocking ‘High Lansing’ billboards that are popping up throughout our communities,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Promoting the idea of getting ‘high’ is not advocating for medical treatment. We don’t need these types of billboards encouraging children and others to use marijuana.”

Senate Bill 463 would effectively ban advertising on billboards for medical marijuana, medical marijuana dispensaries, and businesses that facilitate access to medical marijuana. The bill mirrors the restrictions Michigan already has on billboard advertising for tobacco products.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites exposure to tobacco advertising as a factor in the increasing youth usage of tobacco and recommends limiting advertising as part of an effective strategy to reduce tobacco use among youth. Limiting advertising for medical marijuana and services associated with medical marijuana would likely be part of limiting improper youth usage.

Rep. Andy Schor has introduced a companion bill, House Bill 4767, in the House of Representatives. It has been referred to the House Law and Justice Committee.

“I am happy to see quick progress on Senator Jones’s bill in the Senate committee,” said Schor, D-Lansing. “I look forward to seeing it in the House soon, where I can work with my House colleagues to move both our bills to help protect children from marijuana advertising like we do tobacco.”

SB 463 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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***Photo Advisory*** Sen. Rick Jones honored as 2017 Legislator of the Year by Michigan Library Association

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, was honored as 2017 Legislator of the Year by the Michigan Library Association (MLA).

Grand Ledge Library Director Lise Mitchell, Grand Ledge Library Board President Joan Kane and members of the Grand Ledge library board presented the award to Jones on Tuesday on behalf of the MLA.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Jones is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com/Photowire.

Jones presents ‘Michigan Masons Week’ resolution

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones on Tuesday presented a resolution recognizing Sept. 23-29 as Michigan Masons Week to Joshua Woodwyk and Robert Conley of the Grand Lodge of Michigan.

Woodwyk serves as grand master, and Conley is past grand master and current grand secretary.

“The masons are dedicated to the principles of honesty and strength of character to help make a positive difference in our communities,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It was an honor to welcome leaders of the Michigan Masons to the state Capitol and thank them for their tremendous efforts to improve the lives of all Michigan residents.”

Senate Resolution 79 declares Sept. 23-29 as Michigan Masons Week and highlights the goodwill fraternal organization’s history and mission to help those in need. It was approved by the Senate earlier this month.

“Proclaiming September 23-29 as Michigan Masons Week is about recognizing the tremendous impact masons have in our communities as they begin performing statewide community outreach activities during the week,” Jones said.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Jones is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com/Photowire.

Committee approves Jones’ police academy background check bill

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to allow the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to receive background check information on individuals entering police training academies.

“Doing a background check on every prospective law enforcement officer is critical to ensuring that we have the best men and women possible to protect and serve Michigan residents,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is just common sense that our police training academies should know if an applicant has a criminal record so that they can make sure they are not teaching firearms training to violent offenders.”

MCOLES currently does not have authority to gain information from the Michigan State Police (MSP) on fingerprints submitted for a criminal history record information check by persons wanting to enter a preservice college basic law enforcement training academy or a regional basic law enforcement training academy.

Senate Bill 524 would allow MCOLES to have the MSP conduct fingerprint background checks of applicants to law enforcement training academies through the MSP system and through the FBI.

“It was shocking to me that we were not already doing these important background checks,” said Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff. “I want to thank MCOLES and the state police for their assistance on this issue. With their support, we should be able to fix this problem quickly.”

SB 524 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.