Mich. AG: Dispensary offered pot for votes

Bryan Cohen Sep. 12, 2011, 1:29pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced on Monday that a Lansing marijuana dispensary owner allegedly violated Michigan election law by offering free marijuana.

Shekina Pena, the owner of Your Healthy Choice Clinic, allegedly offered free marijuana to citizens who registered to vote as an inducement to influence their manner of voting. Pena faces one count of influencing voters with money or other valuable consideration.

"Voters did not intend for marijuana to be handed out as a door prize, especially when it undermines the integrity of our elections process," Schuette said. "Secretary of State Johnson and I will work to ensure that Michigan election law is followed."

Pena's dispensary allegedly offered free marijuana in exchange for citizens registering to vote, encouraged the newly registered voters to support a certain slate of candidates running for Lansing City Council based on their position regarding regulation of marijuana dispensaries, including the one owned by Pena, and featured the slogan "Vote for Us and We'll Vote for You" on their website.

Michigan Election Law prohibits the provision of anything of value in order to induce or influence the manner of voting (MCL 168.931(1)(a)).

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