Almost Famous

I was talking with a Detroit lawyer earlier this week.  He told me that I was famous for something but he couldn’t remember what for.

Finally he remembered – he’d seen an opinion piece I’d written on the legalization of marijuana that was picked up online by the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.  He laughed and said, “Boy, those commenters are mad at you.”

I told him I couldn’t believe people would be surprised that a prosecuting attorney might question whether marijuana should be legalized.I also couldn’t believe that people across the state would be interested in reading what I wrote.

Friends told me not to read the comments following the article but who can resist.  I really appreciated the guy who hopes I get cancer and need marijuana oil to treat it.

Not to be technical but I guess that would be medical marijuana which isn’t illegal.

A couple said I should leave science to the scientists.  Last time I heard that it was directed toward the Pope so at least I’m in good company.

In fairness I did have at least one reasoned response in opposition that was based on science and statistics, just as I’d done.

A few people were even nice enough to say they appreciated the piece and thanked me for getting info out there, even if it put me in the firing line.

Then speaking of the firing line, last week two Charlevoix Cpunty newspapers had me on the front page with pictures.  

At first I almost felt like Springsteen when he was on the cover of both Time and Newsweek in the same week, I believe in 1975.  They called him the “future of rock and roll.”

The nicest thing these articles said about me was that I was cleared of some old complaints made against me.  At least they used a good picture.

One article went into great detail to describe the complaints that were found to have been baseless.  I don’t know whether I should be honored or angry that it’s apparently news that I didn’t commit a crime.

There are definitely two ways to view that.

I don’t think it’s news in this county that certain people are going to complain about everything I do or don’t do.  It began the day I filed to run for office.

As for me, I’m going to keep my head held high, knowing that I’ve done the best I could.  I wrote the pot article to pass along information I received at seminars and from studies.  I think part of the job of a law enforcement official is to be proactive and educate.

On the accusations and complaints, I’m learning what Casey Stengel said was the key to managing, “Keep those who are against you away from the undecided.”

Today’s a fitting day to talk about this, I think.  One year from now on this date is the general election.  And I hope to be re-elected on that day, November 8, 2016.

In the meantime, I’m going to do what I tell my staff.  Do what you think is right.  It may make some people mad at you, we can’t avoid that.

But if you do what you think is right at least you can be happy with yourself.

About Allen Telgenhof

Allen Telgenhof is the Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney; 29 years as an attorney, 14 years of coaching high school baseball, now as varsity coach at Boyne Falls Public Schools. Graduated from Clio High School, Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Proud father of Ty, Ally, Will and Luke.
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