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

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

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