There were many bills in the state of Michigan that were around for 2014 impacting key issues crucial for keeping the peace. Unfortunately, most of them did not pass. But it is important that we phone our state legislators and make sure that they are re-introduced during the 2015 year. Usually it takes many years for these measures to be passed. We must be tenacious so we can have success.
Here are the bills you should lobby your state legislators to re-introduce in 2015:
HB5970 – Cameras on Cops
House Bill (HB5970) would “provide for the use by law enforcement officers of cameras worn on the body” and “require the retention and provide for the production by law enforcement agencies of recordings made using the cameras.” Other provisions in the bill require the destruction of video recordings within two weeks if it is not being used in an investigation and preventing footage from being placed into invasive facial recognition databases.
HB4914: Swat Team Transparency
House Bill 4914 (HB4914) was written to require law enforcement to report on their use of SWAT teams. Right now, the information is made as difficult as possible to access. There is little accountability. We do not know how much property is being captured with the use of civil asset forfeiture. We do not know the specific number of no knock raids are being done. We know very little, and that is by design. HB4914 would force all of this information into the public eye, and would go a long way toward proving the point that there is a massive amount of injustice occurring from the police to the public.
HB5104 – Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients
Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-44) along with 30 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced House Bill 5104 (HB5104) in an attempt to set up clearer regulatory guidelines that prevent overzealous law enforcement officers from squandering resources to persecute medical marijuana users.
HB5104 states in part that “a qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act.”
In addition, the bill safeguards medical practitioners from liability for prescribing marijuana to sick patients. Those who provide qualifying medical patients with paraphernalia would also be protected under the law.
HB5081 – Civil Asset Forfeiture Reporting Requirements
House Bill 5081 (HB5081) was introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R-45) along with eight bipartisan co-sponsors. It would increase the reporting requirements of agencies that seized private property from Michigan residents. This information would include a description of all property that was forfeited, the value of the property in question, the date the property was disposed of, specific details about firearms if they were seized, and many other pertinant details. This bill would make it harder for law enforcement to conduct these asset forfeiture raids while keeping the details about them hidden from the public.
Civil asset forfeiture has allowed the government to seize billions of dollars worth of property from suspects before they are even convicted of a crime. It has completely inverted the entire idea of our Justice system, and has driven an unneeded wedge between law enforcement and public they are supposed to serve.
HB4623 & SB626 – Marijuana Decriminalization
House Bill 4623 (HB4623) was introduced by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and has since garnered six bipartisan co-sponsors. This bill would reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil infraction punishable by a small fine and would serve as an important rebuke of the war on marijuana, one of the federal government’s most evident ongoing policy blunders.
HB4623 does not completely legalize marijuana for possession and cultivation, but it does prevent people found with up to an ounce on them from being prosecuted criminally. Instead of potentially facing jail time and heavy fines, first time offenders would be fined no more than $25 dollars with second time offenders fined a maximum of $50 and offenses from that point on would be fined no more than $100. According to Rep. Irwin, the state of Michigan is spending a minimum of $325 million per year on arresting, trying and jailing marijuana users. This bill would save hundreds of millions potentially that can be used to fund essential services such as roads and schools.
Senate Bill 626 (SB626) was also introduced as a companion bill by Sen. Coleman Young (D-1) with much of the same language as HB4623.
HB4271 – Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act
House Bill 4271 (HB4271) would regulate medical marijuana provisioning centers or dispensaries as they are more commonly referred. The bill would allow for communities to decide whether or not they would have a dispensary. This would clarify any confusion relating to the current law.
Introduced by Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) with 28 bipartisan co-sponsors, this bill ensures that the people’s voice will not be ignored by bitter members of law enforcement reluctant to give up their illicit power afforded to them by the unconstitutional war on drugs. Communities could decide for themselves whether or not they would make sure that ill residents would be able to receive their potentially life-saving medicine.
HB4455 – Drone Restrictions
Rep. McMillin has stepped to the plate again and has another bill that sets rules on state law enforcement for the use of drones. House Bill 4455 (HB4455) was introduced to prevent drones from being weaponized with lethal or non-lethal ammunition. The bill also requires that a search warrant be implored before drones are used on private citizens and their property. Under the bill, all unauthorized information gathered accidentally by drones must be destroyed within 24 hours and is inadmissible in court.
HOW TO SUPPORT THESE BILLS
Contact your state legislators: Politely urge them to re-introduce versions of these bills in 2015. Tell them that it is of the utmost importance that they take bold, decisive action on these key issues. Make sure to inform them that you are active in your community, and you will get the word out if they do not take this bold, decisive action. Make sure to let them know that your support of them hinges upon whether they have the courage to take action. You can find their contact information HERE.
OTHER ACTION STEPS
Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days. Ask if they’ve had a chance to review the legislation and what their opposition might be. Comment below or contact us at http://ask.tenthamendmentcenter.com with any information you get.
SHARE this information widely. By facebook, twitter, email, and more.
Write a letter to the editor. Look up your local newspaper and submit a letter to the editor voicing your support for these important bills.
If you make the calls and spread the word, we can help bring these insane federal-driven policies to an end once and for all. But it begins upon you taking action. Lets make 2015 a year in which we turn the tide against statism and bring liberty back to the Wolverine State where it belongs!