Dixon says she did not vote to legalize marijuana in Michigan in 2018 

The GOP gov. nominee is unsure if she would support Biden’s federal possession pardons

By: - October 8, 2022 8:13 am

GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon speaks at an Oct. 7, 2022 “ask me anything” town hall in Oakland County | Laina G. Stebbins

Following President Joe Biden’s announcement this week he will pardon people convicted of federal marijuana possession, Michigan GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon said she is not familiar enough with the action to offer an opinion. 

But she did tell reporters after a Rochester Hills  “Ask me anything” town hall Friday evening that she did not vote for Proposal 1 in 2018. Michigan’s 2018 Proposal 1 legalized the recreational use and possession of marijuana for those 21 years or older and enacted a tax on marijuana sales.

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

On Thursday, Biden pardoned all inmates convicted on federal charges of simple marijuana possession, which amounts to a little more than 6,000 people nationwide. The pardons do not apply to those convicted of selling or distributing marijuana. Biden noted that he would like to see governors follow his lead for state charges of simple possession. In Michigan, convictions for marijuana use and possession can be expunged. 

“You know, I really haven’t gotten into that. We’ve been on that trail. So I just saw a quick thing on my phone, but I haven’t read the details on it,” Dixon said when asked for her stance on the issue.

On whether she supported Prop 1 in 2018, Dixon first asked what the proposal concerned, and then said, “No, I voted no.”

Her opponent on Nov. 8, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, ran on her support for Proposal 1 in 2018.

The Advance followed up with Dixon’s campaign with additional information on Biden’s action via email and offered the opportunity for another response, including on the question of whether Dixon supports pardoning those convicted of state charges of marijuana possession if elected governor. The Advance will update the story if the campaign responds further.

Framing herself as a relatable, down-to-earth Michigander as opposed to Whitmer, Dixon held the Friday town hall event at a nearly full Emagine movie theater in Oakland County.

She stuck largely to her campaign talking points in her preamble, and insisted to media that her often anti-trans stances on “keeping sex and gender out of the classroom” are not anti-LGBTQ+, although she said she’ll sign legislation modeled after Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Dixon also criticized Proposal 3 of 2022, a measure to restore reproductive rights in Michigan that were lost under the toppling of Roe v. Wade this year. The initiative will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Republican supports Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban and does not believe in exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s health. Whitmer supports abortion rights and Proposal 3.

Dixon characterized the Reproductive Freedom for All proposal as “the most radical law in the world,” aside from those in China and North Korea, without offering evidence. Dixon also falsely stated that it will make it possible for “anyone” to perform an abortion, give doctors full immunity to malpractice and allow abortion “up to the moment of birth … for any reason, including sex selection.”


“The predators love that law,” Dixon said of Prop 3 in terms of parental consent for reproductive services. 

The ballot initiative gives all individuals the fundamental right to those services without differentiating minors from adults. Opponents have claimed that this would negate the state’s law requiring minors to obtain consent from parents or ask a judge to waive the requirement, but legal experts have said that isn’t the case. 

On Twitter and at a previous press conference, Dixon has suggested that Michiganders could vote for both her and Proposal 3, despite her strong opposition to it.

Once Dixon turned the event over to the audience, some participants offered up conspiracy-laden questions. One referred to Whitmer as “Gretin Wichmere.”

“Whitmer is a student of [George] Soros,” another audience member from Sterling Heights stated, without evidence, echoing antisemetic rhetoric. The attendee went on to offer her own “research” about COVID-19, like how it “is not a virus” and other false claims, before having the microphone taken away.

Dixon ignored the Soros claim and gave an answer about how Republican governors have handled COVID-19 better than their Democrat counterparts.

“If we were really in danger, she wouldn’t have gone to Florida,” Dixon said, referring to a trip Whitmer made in 2021 to visit her ailing father who has a chronic disease.

As of this week, Michigan has recorded a total of 2.85 million COVID-19 cases and 38,767 deaths. Florida has recorded 7.13 million cases and 81,661 deaths.

More questions led Dixon to bash Whitmer on her COVID-19 orders and the effect virtual schooling has had on students and test scores.

When asked by one participant why they’ve seen “600” Whitmer commercials and just one of Dixon’s, the Republican admitted that her campaign does not have as much money, but said she doesn’t need as much to win.

Dixon also spoke about the “danger” of shutting down the nearly 70-year-old Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, which Whitmer tried unsuccessfully to decommission via the courts last year.

Praising “big oil,” Dixon said that “oil is not our enemy. We have to make sure we protect it.” 


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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.