by Tim Beck for The Compassion Chronicles
On Thursday November 8th, basking in the glow of five breathtaking ballot initiative wins for cannabis reform in Michigan, along with statewide cannabis legalization victories in Washington and Colorado; I attended “Pundit Summit XI” in Lansing.
The “Pundit Summit” is hosted by Bill Ballenger owner of the Lansing political gossip newsletter “Inside Michigan Politics” and the 800 lbs gorilla lobbying firm “Public Sector Consultants.”
The gathering is steeped in tradition. It happens every two years on Thursday, following the Tuesday statewide election. The cost is $65 per ticket and the show beings at 1 pm in a big conference room at the Lansing Radisson Hotel. There, elected officials, government agency executives, political junkies and what some call the “permanent government” of big time lobbyists, who, unlike term limited legislators, never leave the scene (and some say continue to rule) meet to discuss the implications of the Tuesday election results. After a bi partisan panel of political experts make their prognostications for the two years ahead; many depart to “Beggars Banquet” in East Lansing, for a “catharsis” session, sometimes lubricated by copious amounts of adult beverages.
Having noted in advance that State Senator Rick Jones was going to be a panelist, a long with heavy duty pollsters, consultants and lobbyists like Diane Byrum, Kelly Rossman, Tom Shields, Richard McClellan, Craig Ruff, Dennis Cawthorne, and Steve Mitchell were among the luminaries, there was no way I could miss the show.
Where will lead is anyone’s guess. For now, I say the odds are 7-10 or more there will be no action of any kind per the MMMA this session. If anything, we now have the wind at our back. It is only logical to believe things will be getting better from here on out.
Read the rest of the story- and what Sen, Jones had to say- here:\