More than half of Minnesotans support medicinal marijuana - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

More than half of Minnesotans support medicinal marijuana

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Among many of the hot-button issues in government right now is the discussion of legalizing medical marijuana.

A proposed Minnesota law would authorize marijuana use to relieve the symptoms of those with serious illnesses.
A poll by the Star Tribune says 63 percent of Minnesotans oppose marijuana for recreational use, but 51 percent support its medicinal legalization. 

At the Clay County Sheriff's Office, however, the opinion is 100 percent "No."

"Making it legalized, it's just going to be that much more out there and that much more we as law enforcement are going to be working on," says Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist.

Law enforcers across the state disagree with many aspects of the proposed law, like what kinds of illnesses warrant its use and availability. For example, if you live 15 miles from a dispensary, the proposal says you could grow your own marijuana.

"They could grow 15 plants and they could sell what part they want to sell, so for us it's just not a very well-written law," he says. 

Local law enforcement says that medical marijuana would be a danger in Minnesota communities.

"Bringing that in, make it that easy and acceptable and easy to get, I believe is really going to diminish, again, the safety of our residents," says Bergquist.

Since they're concerned about the community, Valley News Live brought the question to them. Jane Stumbo of Moorhead says her first instinct is to say "No," but it isn't that simple: 

"I have a conflict inside of me because of my past in the medical field and because my personal life involves someone who could benefit from it," she says.

"It's like anything else, like, it's going to be abused, but again it has its benefits for the people that actually need it," says another Minnesotan Brandon Antell, Sr.

"It's something natural, I think that, you know, different cultures have used it over the years. I also think it's safer for people than alcohol," says Minnesotan Wendy Blankenship.

A discussion of legalization that we'll likely be having across various states for years to come. You're invited to join in on the conversation on the Valley News Live Facebook page and if you'd like to see the proposed legislation for yourself, click here.


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