A Lansing medical marijuana dispensary is offering medical marijuana patients a choice of a half a gram of medical pot or a marijuana-laced baked good called a “medible” in exchange for registering to vote. On the dispensary’s website, owner Skekina Pena writes : Protect Your Access! Vote 2011: All dispensaries are doing a voter registration drive
On the dispensary’s website, owner Skekina Pena writes:
Protect Your Access! Vote 2011:
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. We believe in power in numbers and everyone taking a stand. So in appreciation, we will reward legal patients with a .5 gram free or a free medible! I’m planning an event for the preliminary voting that will have shuttles to the polls! We have to amend our Lansing ordinance! May God bless our efforts!
The webpage then encourages readers to support Lansing City Council candidates Derrick Quinney, A’Lynne Robinson and Harold Leeman. It also encourages readers to vote against City Council candidates Carol Wood and Jody Washington.
But in an interview with Pena Wednesday, she denied she was offering free pot or medibles in exchange for registering to vote.
“If they fill [the voter registration form] out, we are offering a compensation of a discount on their purchases that day,” Pena told Michigan Messenger. “That’s it. To help out those who wasted their gas to come in here.”
The dispensary is located on Michigan Avenue, six blocks from the state Capitol.
A spokesman for the Secretary of State says that while ultimately the decision about whether or a not crime has been committed is up to a local prosecutor, Michigan law does address situations similar to this.
“Generally, if it advocates voting on a specific date and for or against certain candidates, it is likely an illegal inducement to vote,” says Fred Woodhams, spokesperson for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “In this situation, you have some one potentially offering a valuable consideration to induce some one to vote.”
Jody Washington, running for the First Ward seat on the Lansing City Council, is one of the candidates the clinic is advocating against. Washington does not currently hold an elective office. One of her opponents, Harold Leeman, is endorsed by the clinic.
“I was a little surprised that some one was trading marijuana for votes,” Washington told Michigan Messenger.
Candidate Derrick Quinney, who is endorsed on the clinic’s website, said it was the first he had heard of the situation.
“I don’t believe in buying votes,” Quinney said. “I’m certainly not in favor of anyone being influenced to do anything in an election other than by what we as candidates provide them.”
Quinney denied he is a registered medical marijuana caregiver. He also said he is not a registered patient.
“The only thing I have done is take my 86-year-old father-in-law, who is a registered patient, to pick up his medicine,” Quinney said.
Carol Wood, who is in the race against Quinney and others, was quick to condemn the clinic’s actions.
“I thought Medical Marijuana was to be used for medical purposes, not as a bribe for a vote,” said Wood in an emailed statement. “We can do better as a community than trading pot for votes.”
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents