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Want Free Pot? Register to Vote in Michigan

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In perhaps something just shy of an ingenious move, a local marijuana clinic in Lansing, Michigan, was offering an incentive to register for the upcoming city council election: you register, you get pot to vote.

Of course, the clinic, called Your Healthy Choice Clinic, has now drawn the ire of the Attorney General's office, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Originally, the clinic was publicizing the deal on its website. Prospective voters would get half a gram of marijuana, or an edible marijuana product, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The clinic says they were trying to educate voters about the medical marijuana ordinance, and to draw attention to the city council election.

In 2008, Michigan passed a medical marijuana law that legalized the drug for those who suffer certain health problems, the Chicago Tribune reports. Recently, the Lansing City Council imposed some local rules on the pot laws.

Now there is a cap on medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits and an application fee of $1,000, reports the Chicago Tribune.

But, is Your Healthy Choice Clinic violating laws with their pot giveaway? The clinic is advocating for certain candidates to win the election. And, they are offering something of value (marijuana products) in exchange for some voter registration.

As a result, Your Healthy Choice could be violating campaign finance laws and some state voting laws that prohibit "buying" votes, especially if they are encouraging voters to vote a certain way when they register and get their free weed, according to WLNS-TV.

The clinic, however, has only really given out a few free products, so the whole "pot to vote" drive hasn't really been too overblown. And, the owner of the clinic says that their whole goal was simply to educate the public and that they are not trying to lure in customers, WLNS-TV reports. Though, the shop owner's reassurances haven't really calmed the nerves of local Lansing, Michigan lawmakers: they want the free weed to stop.

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