It’s Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, March 12th, 2018
The legalization of marijuana in Michigan is emerging as an issue in the race for the state’s next attorney general.
Attorney General candidate Patrick Miles, an Obama-appointed official who served six and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, has taken a position on legalization of marijuana in Michigan. He said last week, upon further reflection, he’s for it.
Previously, he wouldn’t take a position, saying it’s up to voters to decide. When Miles was U.S. Attorney, he prosecuted people for marijuana violations. Most notably, the Okemos Seven, a group of medical marijuana growers who thought they were complying with the state law and an Obama-era policy. But Miles’ office sent them to federal prison. That prosecution is not sitting well with Michigan marijuana advocates.
Until now, the attorney general race has largely been a battle of resumes.
Conversely, fellow Democratic candidate Dana Nessel, has been very pro-marijuana from the get-go. Attorney Nessel is a hero of the LGBT rights movement for her work to legalize same-sex marriage, although she’s also feuded with elements of her own movement. Last week, she won the endorsement of the group pushing to legalize marijuana in the state.
Until now, the attorney general race has largely been a battle of resumes. But, it appears the issue of marijuana is now on the map as the landscape has changed. Support for legalization is growing.
Ten years ago, 63 percent of voters approved Michigan’s medical marijuana law. In 2014, according to an EPIC-MRA survey, half the state’s voters favored full legalization. That number, according to a poll released just last week, is now up to 61 percent, compared to 35 percent opposed.