ANN ARBOR- In preparation for the 2013 election Councilwoman Sabra Briere has far outpaced her challenger, due in part to fundraising by the medical marijuana community.
Briere has been a member of Council in the 1st Ward for several election cycles. MLive reports that she has raised over $11,000 in campaign contributions aimed at her re-election on November 5th. Her challenger, Jeff Hayner, is listed as an Independent and has raised $2680.
Among Briere's supporters, MLive lists community members, political allies and "medical marijuana dispensary owners".
"Sabra is the kind of politician that truly speaks for her constituents," said Ann Arbor cannabis law reform supporter Mark Passerini. "Around 84% of the county passed the medical marijuana law and it's clear to her what the will of the people is."
Briere points to her six years in office and 100+ resolutions or ordinances introduced as proof of her effectiveness on Council.
"It only takes a few decision makers to thwart the collective will of the people," commented Jamie Lowell, co-founder of Ypsilanti's 3rd Coast- the state's oldest medical marijuana resource center. "Councilperson Sabra Briere is not a marijuana activist nor does she run specifically on a pro-marijuana platform, but she has taken the time to evaluate the issue and listen to the people who elected her. Sabra Briere takes her position seriously, and the people of Ann Arbor and Michigan have a leader who can actually be counted on."
Ann Arbor has decriminalized the possession of marijuana for decades, is the site of the annual Hash Bash/Monroe Street Fair celebrations, and protects a stable of medical marijuana distribution centers. City Council has often times been the only force keeping city attorneys from enacting restrictive ordinances to eliminate or minimize those centers.
Ann Arbor's man in the House of Representatives, Jeff Irwin, has consistently represented a position of protection for the city's registered medical marijuana patients; he is the co-sponsor of a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana across the state.
Both Briere and Irwin have been recipients of campaign contributions from the medical marijuana community's enrollees and supporters.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles