You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

Ypsilanti medical marijuana competition canceled - but will be rescheduled, organizers say

By Lee Higgins

An organizer of a medical marijuana competition said today he's canceled the Jan. 30 contest because of the threat that participants could be criminally prosecuted. But he says he's planning another contest in October, which gives him more time to research the law.

"I'm not interested in putting people's welfare in jeopardy to prove a point," said Anthony Freed, executive director of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce, which organized the event.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for MMCC Directors.jpg

Darrell Stavros (left) and Anthony Freed of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce are pictured in their Ypsilanti office. They were organizing the Caregivers Cup. Tom Perkins | For

The contest was a small part of the overall Michigan Caregivers Cup, Freed said. The event will continue as scheduled from Jan. 29-31 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. The Cup aims to raise awareness of the recent legalization of medical marijuana and includes live music, guest speakers and marijuana growing classes.

As for the contest, Freed said it's clear he had a different interpretation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act than the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.

To compete, state-licensed medical marijuana growers planned to provide marijuana samples to patients with state-issued medical marijuana cards. The patients were going to judge the buds for quality - using vaporizers, glass pipes or rolling papers. People with serious health problems, including cancer, were going to participate.

The legal issue, prosecutors said, is that growers were going to be providing a quantity of marijuana that would be divided among more than five patients or "judges." That violates the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, they said.

The event was originally scheduled at the hotel, but was recently moved to an undisclosed location as prosecutors were questioning the legality of it. Washtenaw County Chief Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Steve Hiller said Monday canceling the Jan. 30 contest was "a good choice."

Freed said several people who signed up don't want their money back, but want to participate in the competition being planned for October. Freed said he's looking forward to this weekend's three-day program.

"A successful event means thousands of people learn about the ability of medical marijuana," he said.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 or email at


delete this profile

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 2:38 p.m.

It's unfortunate that these 2 people are reinforcing all of the negative aspects to legalizing pot. I have to agree with dmj12652 that it's all about making money for them. In all seriousness, how can someone smoke a joint, judge the quality, then smoke someone else's joint and be able to tell the quality after they're already high? Let people who are helped by this drug use it and leave it at that.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

Doesn't sound too much different than a medical salesman giving samples to a doctor to hand out.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:01 p.m.

Seriously though, what's half way in between an insane, unreasonable, and archaically hysterical policy on pot....and legalization? Ding ding ding - 'medical' marijuana... Dude honestly, is viagra medical? Is oxycontin medical? Is asprin medical? They don't cure anything, all they do is make you feel better... So wouldn't it follow that if pot can make a person feel better, why can't they call it medical, marijuana? Somehow that makes it easier to digest for politicians, and the old folk like you. Small minds = narrow limited embarrassingly naive opinions...but they look good on you Bum...

Michigan Reader

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 6:22 p.m.

I clicked on the link to the Medical Marihuana Act, and though I'm not a lawyer, it's clear that there are two problems that they can run into. Under Section 333.26426, Sec. 6(d), "The department shall issue a registry identification card to a primary caregiver....provided that each qualifying patient can have no more than 1 primary caregiver, and a primary caregiver may assist NO MORE THAN 5 QUALIFYING PATIENTS WITH THEIR MEDICAL USE OF MARIHUANA." (My emphasis) And Section 333.26424 sec. 4 (d)-- "There is a presumption that a qualifying patient or caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act.....the presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating...symtoms...." A contest to judge the quality of pot could very well be considered to be out of compliance with this act.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

Reading I know why I voted against this!! Sounds like a State Fair for potheads...


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 3:23 p.m.

Seriously? A freakin contest to determine whose bud is the best? And I suppose that only diagnosed ill participants would be attending? Are either of the Med Marijuana Chamber patients? Is there time volunteered? Was there going to be an attendance fee? Was this going to just be an opportunity to make some cash at the expense of the ill?


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 2:15 p.m.

If anyone would like to be paired with patients or caregivers goto We also display news updates concerning marijuana in michigan and have downloadable forms to become patients and caregivers. PEACE


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 2:08 p.m.

Because it turned out that the competition was going to be deemed ilegal.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 1:57 p.m.

Why is this in the Crime section of


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 12:33 p.m.

Needs more time to research the law? are'nt there things called lawyers?


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 12:32 p.m.

Just a complete disaster from start to finish.

Tom Joad

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 12:27 p.m.

It's already becoming a three-ring circus. Each grower had to submit two oz of their 'medicine' at their own expense to the judges and as any dope smoker knows that ain't cheap. California has a more robust and workable provider system with select dispensaries. Michigan's law is ad hoc and ripe for abuse