by Rick Thompson
GRAND RAPIDS- A threatened protest of travel guru Rick Steves’ pro-legalization speech in Grand Rapids failed to materialize on Tuesday, according to attendees.
Michigan is one month away from a vote on legalizing the adult use of cannabis. National organizations have poured money into the state to fund an anti-legalization public relations campaign. The most prominent of these anti-cannabis groups is Healthy and Productive Michigan.
The group put out a request for protesters to RSVP and attend the event. “Keep this under the radar. We do NOT want to tip our head to our opposition that we plan a huge showing!” the solicitation letter said.
The huge showing never materialized, according to eyewitnesses and attendees. Tami Vandenberg, local businessperson and Board member of MILegalize, reported not hearing or seeing any anti-cannabis forces participating in or disrupting the event. The Steves speech was attended by several hundred interested persons.
Steves had a second event planned for Ann Arbor on the following evening. No reports of protesters or disruption has emerged from that event, either, so if the anti-cannabis forces did attend their only accomplishment was to make the Steves speeches more successful.