Medical Marijuana Advocates Concerned About Schuette's Bid for A.G.

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

It's been two years since Proposal 1, known in 2008 as Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act, passed with 63 percent of the vote. Seeing defeat that day was one of the most vocal opponents of the act, Bill Schuette.

Two years later Schuette is now the Republican candidate for Attorney General. His past opposition has medical marijuana advocates concerned.

"It's no secret that Mr. Schuette has a lack of support for the Medical Marijuana Act," said Mary Lindemann from Cannabis Patients United.

"That proposal was so poorly written and so poorly crafted that there were huge unintended consequences which makes it very difficult for people across the state," said Schuette. "The legislature will have to look at that."

Schuette's Democratic opponent David Leyton voiced some concerns about the legislation as well, but appeared to be more supportive.

"The people of the state of Michigan have spoken clearly on the issue of legalizing medical marijuana," said Leyton in a statement. "important that we clarify the law at the state level and implement it in a way that works for local law enforcement and patients seeking relief from diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.”

"He's open-minded about the law," said Lindemann.

Lindemann is concerned that Schuette could shape how the law is enforced going forward.

"Although the Attorney General's opinions don't have the force of law they have a tremendous impact," said Lindemann. "The courts often use them and that can work against us."

But attorney Mary Chartier says it's the A.G.'s job to keep personal opinions out of enforcing the law.

"They have different philosophies," said Chartier. "The key is will they put that aside and do what the voters of Michigan have said to do."

For Schuette's part, he says he's moved on from the past.

"We need to look forward," said Schuette. "We need to find solutions to Michigan's challenges. We can't afford to look backward."

In the latest Rossman Group poll, Schuette led Leyton by 13 points with 24 percent of voters surveyed undecided.


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