DVDs on how to grow your own sold for $20. Lawyers with business cards talked up pot users’ rights under Michigan’s medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 2008. And doctors made appointments for those seeking state approval for medical use of marijuana.
More than 1,000 people took that in and more as they milled by exhibits and crowded into lectures Saturday during opening day at the Marijuana Caregivers Cup Expo, held at a Marriott hotel in Ypsilanti.
“This is historic,” Gregg Murphy, 54, of Indianapolis said after driving to the event. In Indiana, “we don’t have your law yet, and we need it,” Murphy said.
The Caregivers Cup Expo was so named because organizer Anthony Freed, 31, of Brooklyn, Mich., said he first planned, then canceled a contest of marijuana types. They were to be rated by caregivers, the term for those allowed to grow marijuana for patients. Freed said he canceled the contest after hearing police might halt it.
But nothing slowed the rest of the festival, including a talk by Tim Beck, 58, of Detroit, who said he needed only 3,700 signatures to get a marijuana proposal on his city’s November ballot. It would legalize possession of an ounce or less on private property by anyone older than 21 in Detroit, Beck said. Another popular lecture was a Cooking with Cannabis class taught by Capt. Kirk — Master Ganja Chef. Standing before a packed lecture room of nearly 80 people, Kirk Reid, 41, of Ypsilanti said: “You can use every bit of that plant.”
A state-approved patient with multiple sclerosis, Reid said he disdains merely mixing marijuana leaves into recipes, saying that method wastes the plant’s medicinal power.
“Plus, it tastes like crap,” he said. Instead, he told listeners to melt four sticks of butter in a saucepan, add an ounce of marijuana leaves as well another ounce or two of the plant’s buds, then cook on the stove for 3- 1/2 hours.
The resulting gooey-green mixture is then strained, refrigerated and used as shortening in baking or grease for cooking.
Audience members George Johnson, 51, of Flint and his wife, Nancy Diligaf, said they much preferred eating marijuana to smoking it.
“We’re concerned about our health and our lungs,” Johnson said.
He said he uses marijuana instead of pain pills for a back ailment caused by “years of throwing steel in a scrap yard.”
Diligaf added, “I’m glad to see this in my lifetime — people accepting marijuana as a medical treatment.”
BY BILL LAITNER