Cherry Pie Debates: Candidates for 101st differ on Line 5, legal pot

6 hours ago

The candidates for the 101st state house district met at the annual Cherry Pie Debates in Glen Arbor Thursday night. Democrat Kathy Wiejaczka and Republican Jack O’Malley are running for the seat.

The candidates disagreed on Proposal 1, a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan. O’Malley said he’s against Prop 1 because the ballot language is flawed, and the law would be difficult to change in the future.

“I also worry that we’re maybe jumping too soon because there are still problems and issues that they’re working on in states like Colorado and Oregon,” said O’Malley. “Maybe if we waited a little bit longer, we’d be able to learn from them and correct those mistakes as they go.”

Wiejaczka said she supports Prop 1 because legal marijuana would be well-regulated and safer for consumers.

Wiejaczka also said she’s against Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to build a tunnel for the Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. She says construction would take too long.

“What’s going to stop that pipe from bursting between now and when that tunnel is finished?” asked Wiejaczka. “Our Great Lakes … this is all we have. It’s our job to make sure that that water stays safe.”

O’Malley said Line 5 has become an “emotional issue,” and he supports the Snyder plan.

Rep. Curt Vanderwall, who is running for the 35th state senate seat, also spoke during the debate. His opponent in the race – Democrat Mike Taillard – did not attend.

The Cherry Pie Debates were sponsored by the Leelanau Enterprise and IPR.