Charges filed in case of using medical marijuana to influence votes

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones applauded the Michigan attorney general’s office today after officials charged the owner of a medical marijuana clinic for using free pot in an attempt to swing an election.

“Giving away free pot to influence voting is outrageous and must be stopped,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge, “I applaud the attorney general for protecting the integrity of Michigan elections by charging those responsible for such a blatant attempt to swing the vote. I also will continue to work with the attorney general’s office in case additional legislation is needed.”

On Monday, the attorney general’s office filed a misdemeanor charge of trying to influence votes with a “valuable consideration” against Shekina Pena, owner of Your Healthy Choice Clinic. The Lansing medical marijuana clinic was offering free pot to individuals registering to vote.

Jones contacted the attorney general’s office regarding this situation when he learned of the scheme in July.

Content posted on the clinic’s website under the link: “Protect Your Access! Vote 2011,” read: “All dispensaries are doing a voter registration drive. If you sign up at Your Healthy Choice, we will assist you in filling out the registration form and will mail it out for you. … So in appreciation, we will reward legal patients with a .5 gram free or a free medible!”

The term “medible” refers to edible marijuana.

The same site went on to say that voters should support candidates Derrick Quinney, A’Lynne Robinson, and Harold Leeman for the Lansing City Council, and not Carol Wood or Jody Washington.