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Gov. Dayton not high on legalizing pot

From Friday … Gov. Dayton may be some people’s idea of the ultimate liberal. But he’s not a pro-pot pol. Brian Bakst of the AP reports: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton remains resistant to decriminalizing the possession of marijuana for medical or recreational use, despite recent steps other states have taken to relax their laws. Dayton, a Democrat, addressed the issue in a wide-ranging interview Friday ... declaring, ‘I don't think we need another drug operating in our society.’ … Proposals to allow medical marijuana in Minnesota have been stalled by opposition from law enforcement. But advocates plan to push again in the 2013 legislative session. Dayton said he won't budge unless law enforcement signs off on a deal that includes strict controls on how accessible the drug would be. ‘As long as law enforcement believes whatever is being proposed is going to make society more dangerous, I'm going to honor their concerns,’ Dayton said.”

On his blog, Paul Douglas explains how we ended up with twice as much snow as anyone was expecting: “Every storm is unique; there's no such thing as an identical storm. Every scenario is different, unique. Early Saturday it appeared the axis of heaviest snow would set up from Alexandria to Brainerd and Duluth. But PM model runs kept shifting the smear of heaviest snow ("deformation zone") farther south and east, running right over the metro area. There was enough upward motion (vertical velocity) for a sustained burst of moderate to heavy snow; temperatures just cold enough for all snow. I've discovered (the hard way) that it pays to be skeptical about snow amounts. I'm always amazed the multitude of ways Mother Nature can cheat us out of snow. Every storm is uniquely humbling. Not this time — it was the most snow in nearly 2 years for much of the metro. And it's not going anywhere soon. A numbing Monday (wind chill dipping to -15 F gives way to 32 F by midweek. I don't see any significant melting between now and a very white Christmas. In fact a few more inches may fall next Saturday. … Yes, our snow drought is over, a nearly 11.5" snowfall deficit since late September erased with a single storm.”

And the crash number was as of 9:20 last night … . Andy Greder and Emily Cutts of the PiPress say: “The weekend snowfall slowed traffic around the state, with hundreds of accidents reported, said Lt. Eric Roeske, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol. More than 590 crashes, with 61 injuries and one death, occurred since 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Roeske said. There also were 968 vehicles off the road or spun out since Saturday night. The state patrol did not confirm if a fatal semi accident in Goodhue County on Sunday was a result of the snowstorm. … Metro accumulation varied. Forest Lake had 13.5 inches; Burnsville had 12.4; Mounds View and Stillwater totaled 11; North St. Paul, Eagan and New Richmond, Wis., each had about 9, the weather service said. In western Minnesota, Sacred Heart topped out at 17.6 inches, Granite Falls totaled 15, and Willmar had 11.8.” But the Toro ran like a champ …

And yes, there are snow emergencies everywhere. From KMSP-TV: “Both Minneapolis and St. Paul declared snow emergencies beginning on Sunday. Parking restrictions in both cities begin at 9 p.m.
The following metro communities have also declared snow emergencies:
• Bloomington: In effect for 24 hours
• Hopkins: Parking allowed only in approved snow emergency areas
• Mendota Heights: No parking until plowed to curb.
• Montevideo: No parking until plowed
• Robbinsdale: In effect from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
• St. Cloud: In effect for the next 72 hours
• West St. Paul: In effect until 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday.”
Not to niggle, but as much as we might like to flatter ourselves, the Twin Cities are not part of the Great(er) Montevideo metro area.

Jim Graves, who came within a heartbeat of some Democratic National Congressional Committee love of beating Our Favorite Congresswoman, tells Strib business columnist Neal St. Anthony that he might try it again: “Would he do it again? ‘Never say never’ is Graves's response to whether he'll run against Bachmann again in 2014. What he lacked in name identification and TV ads, the businessman nearly made up with a door-to-door campaign. ‘I didn't like fundraising,’ Graves said of his seven-month campaign. ‘I did like meeting and talking with people, including those who opposed me.’ … Graves said he is comfortable losing some tax loopholes and even paying more, as a member of the 2 percent targeted by Obama in ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations with Republicans in Congress. ‘I've got a comfortable lifestyle, beyond what I thought possible,’ said Graves. ‘You give a person like me a $15,000 tax break, we don't need it. You give a couple thousand more to a family with $50,000 in income, and it will immediately help them. They'll spend it and you see the economy grow.' "

Somehow, in one recent year 85 felons managed to avoid giving DNA samples. Joy Powell of the Strib says: “Whether those felons are in prison, freed or on probation, it's proven a daunting challenge to track down 61 of them, so far, to get the samples they should have given in 2010 — plus more felons who should have given samples in earlier years, too. With DNA an increasingly important tool for solving crimes, criminal justice officials are calling for more vigilant collection efforts. … prosecutors are now filing ‘futuristic warrants’ that use DNA, such as from blood left at a burglary, to charge unnamed suspects. The warrants charge a ‘John Doe’ by using his DNA profile as an identifier until a name is known. That stops the clock on the statute of limitations.”

In the latest in a series of TC Daily Planet stories on testing in Minnesota schools, Alleen Brown writes: “St. Paul accountability chief Matt Mohs isn’t sold yet on the new Minnesota system designed to identify schools that are succeeding and failing. … His biggest and wonkiest concern is that the correlation between school demographics and Minnesota’s new Multiple Measurement Ranking (MMR) system is a little too predictable. He worries that the new school accountability system just might be better at identifying challenging demographics than it is at recognizing high-functioning schools.”

What is the world coming to? John Ewoldt of the Strib looks at the out-migration of big-name luxury retailers in the Twin Cities: “This trend, not a lack of big spenders, is a prime reason analysts point to for the departure from the Twin Cities in recent years of some of the biggest names in luxury. The latest is Neiman Marcus, which leaves downtown Minneapolis at the end of January. Luxury buyers are very different than they were 10, five or even two years ago. ‘They're shopping at Kohl's and designer outlet stores,’ said Pam Danzinger of Unity Marketing, a retail analysis firm that focuses on the affluent consumer. ‘They're just as happy to look for a diamond at Costco as at Tiffany.’ The Twin Cities is hardly alone in losing Bloomingdale's, which left the Mall of America in March, or Saks, which scaled back to a Nicollet Mall outlet in 2005.”

Quick, someone medicate Joe Soucheray. Baird Helgeson of the Strib reports: “Minnesotans can expect their property taxes to go up an average of 2.3 percent next year if proposed levy increases are approved, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Revenue officials arrived at the estimate by researching maximum levy amounts proposed across the state, which local governments are wrestling with now. The hikes could bring in an additional $187 million next year for schools, cities and counties. On the whole, cities are asking for the largest average increase, about 3.1 percent. Counties want a 1.7 percent bump and schools are seeking a 2.1 percent hike.” Just another reason why all our millionaires have moved to South Dakota.

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Comments (4)

Joe Soucheray Need to Propose a Solution

I'd suggest that he get his local city council to pass a resolution which would allow he and all his "I shouldn't have to pay for government services" friends to be exempt from property tax increases while exempting the "opt out of property taxes" folks from fire, police and first responder protections,...

and the routine maintenance and repair of the streets, sewers, water mains, and other municipal utilities adjacent to their property.

Of course the opt out folks would be liable to their neighbors for any damage that lack of protection and maintenance caused to those neighbors' property (damage from a house which burns to the ground next door, for instance).

No doubt they have the time, energy, and skills to do all that protection and maintenance work themselves. If not, they can certainly hire folks in the private sector for far less money than the local municipality charges in taxes, can't they???

Of course if they get ripped off by their private sector workers, it will be completely up to Souche and his buddies to hire detectives to track them down and lawyers to prosecute them, although they'd probably need to pay much higher filing fees to use the court system, too, since they don't want to pay for IT'S operation through their taxes, either.

I'm sure many municipalities would welcome the opportunity to shed from it's taxpayer rolls (and city council meetings) those few citizens who are most likely to object to any increases in their taxes, but also the first and loudest to complain about pot holes, broken street lights, cracked sidewalks, etc.

Pot

Dayton doesn't seem to realize that pot is already operating in American society. Legalizing it would not change that status. All it would do is take the profits from criminal organizations and put it back into the legal economy where it can be properly regulated and taxed.

Let's face it: no one ever knocked off a store after getting toked up on weed. "Duuuude... Um like YEAH give me all your potato chips!"

I'm not high on the idea, either,

Governor Dayton. But the entire herd of horses is well out of the barn at this point and I don't see the situation changing.

I can buy weed from junior high school and high school students. It is so prevelant that my local police decline to take action against juvenile dealers even when given their names, phone numbers and evidence of on-going sales.

Is pot a "gateway drug"? Maybe. Is it any more so than liquor or tobacco? I have my doubts, particularly when use begins in the early teens or the pre-teens. It's all illicit at that age and all part of our culture.

Legalizing marijuana won't keep it out of the hands of teens, any more than our current laws do. It does have the small advantage of generating tax revenue that can help pay for the adverse impacts of drug use and addiction we already face. It also helps ensure that what people smoke is in fact marijuana, rather than some low grade weed laced with more toxic elements.

Mr. Hintz overstates the case for marijuana, when he writes "no one ever knocked off a store after getting toked up on weed." That's a doubtful claim at best and ignores the likelihood that a few stores (not to mention any number of homes and people on the street) have been burgled/robbed to buy it. To the extent that legalizing it lowers the price, however, it may reduce the incidence of crime motivated by the desire for the drug.

Is it the first step down a slippery slope? I can't say. But after decades of failed efforts to reduce the use of drugs, it's time to admit that we've lost not just the battle, but the war.

When did we become so complacent

as to accept the idea that the government has the right to catalogue the DNA of not only those convicted of felonies but even those accused of certain felonies or acquitted of felony charges but convicted of some lesser offense?

See this for details:

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/ssdnacoll.pdf

How long before we have to provide a sample to obtain a driver's license, register for elementary school, or simply at birth?