“I believe he needs to back off,” state House Speaker Tom Leonard told The Detroit News, calling marijuana a states’ rights issue that voters here and in other states have already or may soon decide.(Photo: Dale G. Young / The Detroit News)Buy Photo
Lansing — Republicans and Democrats vying to be Michigan’s next attorney general are assailing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for opening the door to possible prosecution of medical marijuana patients and businesses operating legally under state law.
Sessions last week reversed non-intervention policies that had discouraged federal prosecutors from cracking down on pot possession and cultivation in states where medical or recreational marijuana is allowed despite federal prohibition.
“I believe he needs to back off,” state House Speaker Tom Leonard told The Detroit News, calling marijuana a states’ rights issue that voters here and in other states have already or may soon decide.
“I don’t believe the federal government has any right coming in here to try to enforce marijuana laws, and I believe it ought to be left up to the state.”
The DeWitt Republican is the latest candidate for state attorney general to speak out against the move by Sessions, appointed last year by GOP President Donald Trump. Democrats Dana Nessel of Plymouth Township and Pat Miles of Grand Rapids last week lambasted Sessions.
State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, a Lawton Republican competing with Leonard for the GOP attorney general nomination, did not directly criticize Sessions but said she believes “the people of Michigan should decide what is best for Michigan.”
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana use in 2008, and the state’s Republican-led Legislature last year approved new regulations allowing dispensaries and other medical pot businesses in communities that want them. Separately, a group seeking to legalize recreational use of