Should marijuana be available for medical use in Minnesota?

A North Dakota legislator has launched an initiative to make medical marijuana legal there, even as federal authorities are cracking down on state-sanctioned marijuana dispensaries in California and elsewhere. Today’s Question: Should marijuana be available for medical use in Minnesota?

  • jessica

    I think that people will get thier marijuana from any where that they can get it. As CA has shown,this is not an easy thing to regulate. As a recovering addict i would hate to get someone addicted all unfer the guise that it is helping them and is medicinal. Thats is what is happening with our prescription pain meds and it is terrible. Trust me.

  • reggie

    Of course marijuana should be available for medical use. California and the other states that have legalized it or decriminalized the possession of it have shown that civilization doesn’t crumble.

  • Kirk

    Former Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed a medical marijuana proposal in 2009 siting law enforcement concerns.

    Mr. Dayton has stated that he would veto any medical marijuana proposals citing law enforcement concerns.

    Mr. Pawlenty finances state budget by borrowing from schools and the use of budgeting gimmicks

    Mr. Dayton finances state budget by borrowing from schools and the use of budgeting gimmicks.

    Anyone see a pattern developing here?

    Is it too late for an amendment ?

  • Michael

    Yes, legalize it.

  • Jack

    If I wanted it I’d smoke it regardless of the law. I think that’s how many people see this sillyness.

  • Tim

    To all the good reasons for drug reform can now be added this classically conservative one: states’ rights.

  • Rich

    Simply genetically cross breed cannabis with dandelions so that dandelions produce THC. Good luck stopping dandelions.

  • Melanie

    We are crazy not to legalize it. There are so many benefits, pain relief, anxiety, etc. Is it really more dangerous than the prescription drugs available now? Are there not law enforcement concerns with prescription drug abuse?

  • Mark in Freeborn

    Absolutely. If it relieves the pain, anxiety, nausea, tremors, or side effects, or even just helps the patient feel better, it’s well worth it. Make no mistake: the real menace is in prescription drugs……if not for the addictive qualities, then certainly for the fraud, hypocracy and heartache that’s being perpetrated on the entire health-care system in this country.

  • EllieG

    Yes. If you have ever had to deal with chronic pain you might be sympathetic towards legalizing the medical use of pot. Doctors hand out very powerful narcotics such as morphine, oxycotin, Dilaudid, and Vicodin like candy and unsuspecting people unknowingly become addicted. Why is it OK to dispense highly physically addictive opiates but illegal to sell a weed that hundreds of millions of people use worldwide every day with relative safety? Our politicians need to stop being pawns of the pharmas and do the right thing for their constituents.

  • Mike

    Marijuana does less damage to the health and lives of users than that of alcohol. So why are there usually six liquor stores within a one mile radius? You don’t read of stories where a husband only smokes marijuana and then goes and commits domestic violence! You can kill yourself from taking to much Advil, drinking too much wine, eating too much salt but all you get from smoking marijuana is happy, hungry and pain free! Use a vaporizer or use edibles to eliminate the smoke and chemicals used in the growing process.

    Legalize it to cut down on this “War on Drugs” that is an epic fail and we will save tax payer dollars on jail, court, prison and appointed lawyers costs.

    I’ve been to California and Colorado and there is not a bunch of drug crazed people running around? No increase in car accident deaths from pot smokers.

    It is NOT a gateway drug. I’ve been using marijuana illegally for twenty years and do not drink alcohol. I’ve never moved on to cocaine, meth, acid, heroin or any other narcotic. I’ve been offered other drugs including pain meds from a doctor and do not use them.

    Genesis 1:29

    Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

    Besides, the food industry and snack food industry would profit also! – LEGALIZE IT!!!!!

  • Steve the Cynic

    The prohibition of marijuana does way more harm than good. The only benefits go to organized crime, law enforcement agencies needing to justify their budgets, the prison-industrial complex, and racist cops who love to nail minorities on drug charges. Legalize and tax it!

  • Steve the Cynic

    Oh, yea, I forgot. Big Pharma benefits from prohibition, too, because they need to reduce alternatives to their overpriced patent meds.

    And as to the idea that ganja is a “gateway drug,” prohibitioin is the only reason it is. Breaking the law in a small way with a relatively harmless activity makes it psychologically easier to break the law in bigger ways. It makes sense to prohibit truly dangerous and highly addictive drugs (e.g., meth), but cannabis is safer than beverage alcohol (except that if you smoke it it’s bad for your lungs).

  • Larry M.

    Yes, it seems to help in ways that other medications can’t like increasing appetite and actually its effects on memory actually help people who are in pain. The fact that the national government consider this a level 1 drug along with heroine, is just a political joke and not based on science at all.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Yes

    In fact, criminalizing the production, selling, and use of marijuana is wrong for several reasons.

    Criminalizing its use is expensive compared to the benefit to society. Keeping your neighbor from smoking an illegal joint doesn’t make you significantly safer in comparison to the expense needed to find, arrest, convict, and put him and his supplier in prison. Why do we want to spend all that money if we don’t have a safer society? Education about the effects and consequences would be a better way to spend our tax money. Education has worked for cigarettes and alcohol.

    Criminalizing it is hypocritical. Those same cops, lawyers, judges, and prison guards who do their best to keep these criminals off the streets, go home a night and have a beer, a drink, or smoke a cigarette, because they enjoy the effect of those drugs. Why are some drugs legal while the others are not?

    Criminalizing its use flies in the face of personal freedom. These laws prevent people from exercising their right to conduct their lives as they please. As long as our actions don’t infringe on the rights of others, we should be able to do whatever we want to do. This is a personal freedom issue. Many of you say you want smaller government, don’t you?

  • Jim G

    Yes, we should legalize it. During WW2 farmers were encouraged to grow hemp for rope, so I’ve run across stray volunteer marijuana plants on my grouse hunts in early fall. I was never tempted to cultivate it; instead I became addicted to cigarettes which are a proven cancer delivery system. Tobacco is legal and deadly. It took me numerous attempts to finally quit that highly addictive drug, nicotine.

    If today in the depths of the Amazonian forest a plant which had the same medical benefits marijuana provides were suddenly discovered it would be a shame to for-go these benefits because users suddenly de-stressed, mellowed out and went around greeting their friends with, “Hey, maahn.” That would be a terrible waste of a God given resource.

  • David Poretti

    A medical doctor is extremely trained – in the science, technical and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine. Currently, they can legally prescribe drugs that can drop a horse, and have the potential for abuse. To have those that are not medically trained single out this particular therapy, one that is relatively benign compared to alternatives, based on image and perception, not medical science, is a foolish mistake. Sadly, this is just another example of the politicization of science.

  • Wally

    Sure, the side-effects are less serious for some serious medical problems, and it keeps money out of the hands of “Big Pharma.”

    But how do you keep all the stoners from claiming every symptom in the PDR to illegitimately obtain weed?

    [By the way, the only time I was close to getting high was when all the potheads in my dorm filled the place with their smoke. But when I bombed in Calc, my prof didn’t accept my excuse of second-hand impairment.]

  • Steve the Cynic

    The answer to your question in boldface, Wally, is to legalize it entirely, not just for medicinal purposes. That way you’re not asking “stoners” to lie.

  • ChrisinStupidMaine

    Legalize it, regulate it, & tax it. Simple.

  • Dug in Duluth

    Yes. Right now. Yesterday even.

    I have 0 interest in the use of Marijuana for myself, but see no reason why it should be illegal. I drink, and have seen drinking destroy lives just as easy as any other addiction. Where should we draw the line? Perhaps video games? Online games have destroyed families and bankrupted more. Perhaps Cigarettes? Maybe Gambling?

    Yet, here we are, still holding Marijuana illegal, despite the questionable reasons it was made illegal to begin with.

    We have a means to create jobs, revenue and alternative products. We can grow hemp in most regions of the country and use it to save on textiles and trees. But we don’t. We can make more paper with an acre of hemp than 3 acres of trees, and grow it in months rather than decades. Seems obvious to me.

    Then there is the medicinal advantages. I don’t even need to fill you screen with that information.

    How many of these advantages and products can you get from alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or video games?

  • Ann

    Since other states have tried it, wouldn’t it make sense to learn from them? Find out the advantages and disadvantages and proceed from there. Is it helping people who normally wouldn’t have used it or is it being used mainly by the people who would have used marijuana anyway, legally or not?

  • CarlS

    Well, finally a question that invites potentially appropriate responses from all the potheads who continually plague this forum.

    Oh, and I would approve of some use. And I wonder if there is a way to isolate the active chemicals and manufacture a pill that would provide those chemicals. If you could get the medical benefits of marijuana without getting high, I wonder if that might curb any potential abuse.

  • Sean

    Leagalize, tax and regulate just like alcohol. Prohabition doesn’t ever work so legalize and regulate.

  • omaar

    probation officer use it judge use it like thenew York judge who confess last week p o use daily so legalize tax it and regulate it

  • peter

    Please legalize it and tax the heck out of it. Maybe if they get enough they can cut taxes else where hahaha.

  • GregX

    yes. marijuana is no different than alcohol. regulate, tax and move on.

  • Connor

    Sounds pretty unanimous to me. I think it’s about time. Minnesota would benefit immensely. I’m surprised introducing medicinal marijuana wasn’t one of ideas that could help fund a new (and expensive) Vikings stadium. Screw electronic pull tabs. Also, keep in mind the unlimited possibilities with edible alternatives as opposed to a pill, smoking, or vaporizing as well..

  • georges

    Everyone agrees.

    Another expensive boondoggle the massive liberal government forces the taxpayers to finance.

  • Donny

    Yes, I feel strongly that Marijuana should be available for medical use in Minnesota. I also feel strongly it should be available to the public, the same as alcohol – With age restrictions and heavy taxes.

    The fact that it isn’t legal is gross. Marijuana possess no more dangers than alcohol does, and alcohol is currently used by a huge number of people in this country, Minnesota included.

    Marijuana has the potential to become a TREMENDOUS cash cow for all of America, and to witness that Minnesota clearly doesn’t see this is disturbing.

    On a different note that ties into the issue of legalization of Marijuana is how we handle violations of current marijuana policies in MN and int the US. Roughly 1 in 32 Americans are currently being detained by our criminal justice system, and over 41,000 of those individuals are incarcerated on marijuana charges. Even I agree, if it’s illegal, sure there should be legal actions, but does this mean because of these legal actions, my hard earned tax dollars are going to pay for the bills caused by detaining someone who had over an ounce of pot on them? This is sad to watch. The cost of housing one federal inmate is roughly $70/day. The cost of supervising this same individual by probation officers is roughly $10/day. The savings we could have by rather charging (rather than detaining) this law violating individual could be up to us, by changing our thoughts and policy on legal actions involving marijuana law violations. Why not charge someone a substantial fine for a violation, putting money INTO the system, rather than detaining and taking money OUT. Also, why not charge community service? The way we are currently handling violates of marijuana policy, and truly many other policies is beyond idiotic. What may have worked 30, 40, even 50 years ago is clearly not working today.

    I know that is not directly related to the question asked, but if it were legal in Minnesota to those with a medical marijuana license, or better yet, as legal as alcohol (an equally dangerous drug) this problem I have described wouldn’t be occurring.

    Yes, marijuana should be an option for applicable patients. I see a perfect example of someone who could benefit greatly everyday IN MY HOUSE, my mother. Both my mom and I suffer from chronic migraines, but my mother encounters these migraines nearly everyday, some to the point of vomiting, and definitely to the point of keeping her from working – placing our family in a difficult financial position.

    My mom has tried hundreds of options all in the hopes to find something to help relieve her daily pain. Botox, bio feed back, acupuncture, nerve blocks, numerous drugs – prescription, herbal, over the counter, EVERYTHING. She has participated in multiple clinical studies and yet today she is sitting next to me on this couch holding her fingers tightly to her temple with a migraine. It disgusts me to see her suffer when I know there is something she could use that could very well bring peace to her daily routine – medical marijuana. Unwilling to try it illegally, maybe stubborn but a respectful citizen, it pains me to know those in office are aware of the large number of patients like my mom who could benefit from something being legalized, but continue to vote NO. Nearly passed several years ago, Governor Ventura vetoed a bill that would have made medical marijuana a viable options for patients in MN, like my mother.

    If you have taken the time to read my entire post, thank you, it means a lot to me. Even I am not the most informed voter or tax payer, but it will prove greatly beneficial to us all to do a little research on where our tax dollars are going, and finding our voted officials stance on important issues such as this.

  • wonder-puss

    if people want to use it they are going to use it. when i lived in montana in the winter everyday i would smell people using it on the slopes. young and old alike. the cops could crack down on you but never went out of their way and at worst you would get a slap on the wrist. i believe the fact that it is illegal gives it a sort of “mystical power” making kids think, “wow this stuffs illegal so it must be pretty crazy” Getting kids to try to smoke pot that would otherwise never smoke tobacco or drink.(no cancer sticks for me) if it was legal and people didnt make a big deal about it, children would be less inclined to be “rebelious” however most kids i knew in highschool drank way before they tried pot. also the amount of money we spend on the perpetual motion machine that is the drug war.

  • the Lorax

    Gimme a break! It’s the world’s safest medicine and still you call it by a slang term!

    Grow it to save the trees, the people and the world (with all it’s creatures Great and small)!