Truth Squad | Michigan anti-pot group wrongly claims Prop 1 puts weed in kids’ hands

A new ad from Healthy and Productive Michigan, a group opposing Proposal 1 to legalize recreational marijuana, claims in a new ad that pot-infused products would have unlimited potency and put kids at risk. Truth Squad calls foul on such claims.

Nov. 9: You’ll never guess which Michigan counties loved weed (Kidding, you will)
Nov. 6: Michigan approves recreational marijuana. What you need to know.

A group that opposes Michigan’s Proposal 1, which would decriminalize recreational marijuana in the state, claims in a new ad that children would be targeted with edible, pot-infused products that look like kid-friendly snacks if the initiative passes.

Truth Squad finds the claim FOUL.


“Legalized marijuana allows ice creams, cookies and candies with unlimited potency, making its way into our schools and playgrounds, putting the lives of our children and grandchildren at stake,” a female narrator says in a new ad produced by Healthy and Productive Michigan, a committee that opposes Proposal 1.


Underage access to marijuana is one of the concerns raised by opponents of the legalization measure. After all, studies show early introduction to drugs can lead to substance abuse and addiction later in life. Other research has produced mixed results  on whether young people used marijuana more often in states where it was legalized.

The initiative language, which would be adopted as state law if voters approve Proposal 1 next week, outlines what would be allowed — and what wouldn’t — if marijuana were legal in Michigan.

Marijuana use would be legalized only for adults 21 and older.

The law, if passed, forbids sales of pot edibles designed to appeal to kids or resemble candy that doesn’t contain pot. It requires all marijuana products to have child-resistant packaging. It bans marijuana on school property and requires businesses to be at least 1,000 feet from schools unless a municipality says otherwise. And the state is required to set rules on maximum levels of THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana.

The ad “is intentionally misleading,” said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the pro-Proposal 1 committee, Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “The initiative language of Proposal 1 makes very clear that there will be strong regulations in place to keep marijuana out of the hands of children.”

Randy Richardville, a former Michigan Senate Majority Leader who now is spokesman for Healthy and Productive Michigan, said the proposed legislation does not set potency levels for THC. Rather, it would leave the authority to a state department when it creates rules to implement the law.

“Nobody knows what that will be, so you’re voting on somebody’s decision down the road,” Richardville said. “That’s a problem for me.”


Concerns about children getting access to marijuana meant for adults are certainly legitimate. But this ad ignores provisions in Proposal 1 intended to keep the drug out of kids’ hands.

Richardville’s argument that the THC content in marijuana-infused products would not be determined until after voters decide whether to adopt the law, while correct, misses the larger point that the proposal still would require the state to set a limit.

Truth Squad rates Healthy and Productive Michigan’s ad FOUL.

Truth Squad rating categories

Truth Squad has reduced the number of rating categories to the following:

  • FAIR: The ad or statement is generally accurate and fairly and credibly presents the speaker’s position on the issue at hand.     
  • MISLEADING: While individual parts of the ad or statement may be accurate, it reaches a conclusion or leaves an impression about an issue or candidate that is misleading in important respects
  • FOUL: The ad or statement contains one or more material factual errors

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Dean Becker
Sat, 11/03/2018 - 8:12am

The direct benefits of legalizing pot will be huge but it will bring an unveiling of our failure, of allowing ourselves to be trapped in a vicious web of lies, led by fools, profiteers and moralists who pulled off an enormous scam on each of us, on the whole world for a hundred years. Shame on all of us for allowing this fairy tale to stand for so long, as justice and reality.

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 9:01am

It's not surprising that last second, desperate ads will be produced and shown. By the time any retractions or concerns will be adressed, the election will be over. Such is politics these days.

Mike Parent
Sat, 11/03/2018 - 9:15am

If Prohibitionists couldn’t lie, they’d be mute.

Legal dealers check IDs, black market dealers don’t. We’d all be better off if the police focused on crimes that have actual victims.

Mike Parent
Sat, 11/03/2018 - 9:17am

Legal dealers check IDs, black market dealers don’t. Prohibitionists lie, profusely.

Michael Thayer
Sat, 11/03/2018 - 1:03pm

As someone who works at a provisioning center, this disgusts me. A majority of our edibles have left the shelf never to return BECAUSE they look like existing child candy. Edibles that do return are in new shapes such as squares and black or white resealable bags that can’t be looked into or opened by small children. Hope no one believes the fake news.

Dawn S
Sat, 11/03/2018 - 2:45pm

A local group in my area thoughtfully offered both pro and con speakers to make presentations and take questions regarding the proposal and I supported their educational intent. There were three con and one pro proposal speakers. Unfortunately there was no vetting of the speakers or their proposed content. One of the con speakers got up and quoted false information, including stating that the reason there is so much autism now is because of marijuana use. GEEZ!!!

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 9:41am

yeah, like there is no underage drinking. potheads wanted to be treat like alcohol drinkers. welcome to the machine!!

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 3:55pm

We might as well just categorize ALL of the oppositions TV ads as FOUL. They are all in panic mode and will stop at nothing, I repeat NOTHING to persuade voters to vote no on prop 1. It clearly states in the opening sentence, "persons 21 years of age and older." You cannot get any straightforward than that. The cops will run afoul in anyway they can the first few months of legalization as well as the church groups. They will all go haywire, but you know what? I will still get my Cannabis how I want it, I do both, flower and edibles. One for pain and one for pleasure. I would rather smoke than drink. I cannot wait to see the opposition cry when they loose.