Gov. Dayton still opposes pot, medical or otherwise

marijuana plantsCreative Commons/Guilhem Vellut

The guv is still not OK with pot proposals … Bill Salisbury of the PiPress says: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he still opposes legalizing pot for medical purposes in Minnesota. ‘Alcohol is plenty dangerous… Why would we want to add another drug to the equation?’ he asked during a Capitol briefing with reporters. Dayton has said he would sign a bill legalizing medical marijuana only if opponents in the law enforcement community support to it. He urged proponents to try to work out an agreement with police organizations on the issue.”

Get your tickets … Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “Central Corridor trains will begin running between Minneapolis and St. Paul on June 14, a Saturday, the Metropolitan Council announced Wednesday. … More than 40,000 people are expected to board each weekday by 2030, the Met Council estimates.”

Five Minnesota National Guard members were injured in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. The AP says: “Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson says the five members are from the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company based in Litchfield. They were injured during an attack on Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province Monday. Olson says one solider is recovering in Germany and the other four are being treated in Afghanistan.”

Defusing a situation: The Strib’s Rachel E. Stassen-Berger writes: “House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt unexpectedly appeared at a meeting of local GOP activists Tuesday night and derailed a planned “no confidence” vote.  Daudt, R-Crown, raised the ire of District 31 Republicans by not talking to them about his recent brief arrest in Montana and falling short of their expectations he would lead the party on a path of fiscal conservatism, local leaders had said before the planned vote. … By late Tuesday night, however, the local GOP was singing a different tune.”

What’s good for the goose … Corey Mitchell of the Strib says: “A Washington, D.C.-based group is launching a campaign that seeks to link Republican U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen and John Kline to the Tea Party. Americans United for Change is trying to tie 47 swing-district Republicans … to the conservative movement with ‘Tea Stained,’ a legislative scorecard that ranks lawmakers by votes the group sees as aligned with Tea Party values. … The group argues Paulsen voted with the Tea Party 83 percent of the time in 2013 while Kline’s loyalty score was slightly lower at 79 percent – and that their voting records don’t differ much from U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.” In other words, a kind of pandering index.

The AP’s Bree Fowler reports: “It doesn’t surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target’s computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week. Even so, they say the bust is unlikely to lead authorities directly to the hackers behind the breach, given the vast, labyrinthine nature of the global market for stolen data. … The types of criminals who buy the card numbers run the gamut, ranging from purely online white-collar crooks to street gangs.”

The AP also has an update on the Duluth college woman recovering from severe frostbite. “Alyssa Lommel’s mother, Teri, posted on her daughter’s CaringBridge website that doctors were unable to save any of her fingers or thumbs. … Lommel’s mother says surgeons found more tissue damage than expected and had to amputate just below the knuckles of both hands.”

Today in Draz-Ville … Don Davis of the Forum News Service says: “Seven Minnesota counties and 10 cities continue to offer a program allowing motorists to take driving safety classes and keep minor traffic tickets from going on their records, even though the state auditor says the Legislature must first authorize the programs and a Wabasha County judge earlier this month ruled programs in his area are illegal. Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, is offering legislation to penalize local governments that continue the programs. ‘Make no mistake, the local units of government that profited from these illegal programs did so out of greed,’ said Drazkowski.” So will The Draz lead an Anti-Greed movement?

Not exactly a provocative recommendation … A St. Cloud Times editorial urges readers to “look no farther than within the boundaries of this diverse farming state for inspiration. From berries to beef, and from wine to wild rice, local growers provide nourishment for the mind and body. The demand for local foods has increased dramatically during the past few years.” Its suggestion for March: “It’s Minnesota Meat Madness and a perfect time to try bison, elk or lamb.” And alway remember: Avoid cuts of meat with tire tracks.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/22/2014 - 02:12 pm.

    Minnesota Meat Madness

    I doubt that will ever make it as a marketing slogan, but I’m calling dibs on it for a band name.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/22/2014 - 02:16 pm.

    Job security

    The “war on drugs” is among the most abysmal failures of public policy in American history, but it’s an excellent job security program for law enforcement personnel who would otherwise have to look for different lines of work, not to mention the private prison industry, which would likely collapse if it weren’t for all the non-violent drug-related sentences required by hysterical legislation. Police groups should be coming out of the figurative woodwork to thank Governor Dayton for his stand.

    I say that, by the way, as a life-long teetotaler. Prohibition does not work. Humans respond negatively to prohibitions, whether social, sexual, religious, or what-have-you. There’s ample historical evidence in this society that prohibition of almost any kind is a complete failure.

    Alcohol is, by several orders of magnitude, much more dangerous to individuals and society, but it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. When we see police cruisers parked outside of popular bars and liquor-licensed restaurants every night, testing patrons for blood alcohol levels as they leave, only then will we know that law enforcement agencies are genuinely serious about impaired driving legislation already on the books, and after the first half-dozen or so legislators find their photos on the front page of the ‘Strib, I suspect there might be legislative consideration of a whole raft of new perspectives on chemical substances and their effect(s) on human behavior.

    Governor Dayton’s point is one I’m inclined to agree with philosophically, but in practical terms, it’s one that will be increasingly difficult to maintain, in part because the Governor’s generation views the issue much differently from those who’ve come along later.

    • Submitted by Joe Musich on 01/22/2014 - 02:49 pm.

      With opinions swinging as they …

      are on legalization one would think Dayton might be more careful about the affect of his thoughts on the 18 to 24 s!

  3. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 01/22/2014 - 02:30 pm.

    Let’s get real!

    Come on — aspirin and peanut butter each kill over a hundred Americans yearly, but nobody has EVER died from smoking pot. Are the effects (giggles, munchies, lassitude) so much worse for a person than incarceration, fines and criminal records would be? This isn’t the 1930s, and we should be paying attention to the actual available medical statistics, not the Hearst yellow journalism that produced such ‘classics’ as REEFER MADNESS.

    When I was in college, many a year ago, some of us smoked pot and some of us drank. The “stoners” would usually be in our dorm rooms, listening to music or writing silly poetry, with a towel stuffed under the door and incense burning, about the time the frat boys would get home from the bars. Listening to them yell, throw beer cans down the hall, and occasionally puke, we (I will confess) felt a bit superior.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 01/22/2014 - 03:25 pm.

      As a former Frat Boy

      …..we actually did both. And yet we somehow continue to be functioning members of society. Dayton’s views are borne out of ignorance and naivete. And they continue to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. I disagree that would cause rampant unemployment in law enforcement and prison, Instead, those institutions might spend their time doing work on more serious crimes and criminals. Granted society might be better off without pot…..and alcohol, and guns. Unfortuntely, there’s this thing called Reality and Dayton needs a booster dose.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 01/22/2014 - 04:55 pm.

      giggles, munchies, lassitude, and silly poetry

      Gov. Dayton could use a few giggles and some silly poetry. Might straighten out his thinking.

  4. Submitted by jason myron on 01/22/2014 - 04:01 pm.

    I’m a little surprised

    at Dayton’s puritanical view on this subject. Leaving it up to law enforcement is a non-starter…they’ll never relent. A major source of their funding is forfeiture of cash and property from drug crimes. They’ll attempt to defend their stance by continuing to trot out long dismissed statistics with the usual faux concern for public safety, topping it all off with the inevitable “think of the children.” grand finale. Oh, and Steve…I was one of those people in the dorm room as well….good times.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 01/22/2014 - 04:57 pm.


      You’ve hit on the key point regarding law enforcement opposition. Legalization would cut-off a significant funding source from civil forfeitures. The opposition has nothing to do with whether legalization is good public policy.

      Here is the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition policy paper opposing medical marijuana legalization.

      It is full of out-of-context citations and outright falsehoods. One cite to a study is not to the study itself, but an article by Dr. James Dobson in the Washington Times. Dobson, who is not a medical doctor (he has a Ph.D. in Psychology) is best known for his anti-gay crusade with Focus on the Family. Yup, that is the kind of garbage we are dealing with here.

      Who is in the coalition? All of Minnesota’s county attorneys, including Mike Freeman and John Choi. Minnesota’s police chiefs, including the chiefs appointed by St. Paul and Minneapolis’s DFL mayors. These are people who should know better, but again, don’t want to change the law because of the financial hit their agencies will take from the loss of drug forfeitures. So instead, these elected officials (or their appointees) have signed on to this steaming pile.

      An October poll showed that 77 percent of Minnesotans support legalization of medical marijuana, a number that has been trending upward over time. Republican governor candidates Dave Thompson and Jeff Johnson have gone on record supporting legalization of medical marijuana, so getting on the wrong side of this issue and being “principled” could cost Dayton his job this fall.

  5. Submitted by tim johnson on 01/22/2014 - 06:18 pm.

    The AP also has an update on the Duluth college woman recovering from severe frostbite. “Alyssa Lommel’s mother, Teri, posted on her daughter’s CaringBridge website that doctors were unable to save any of her fingers or thumbs. … Lommel’s mother says surgeons found more tissue damage than expected and had to amputate just below the knuckles of both hands.”

    Hey, anyone else bothered about news organs publishing such info just using the caringbridge website, with no indication of running it by the family? Caringbridge seems something short of utterly public; you kind of have to know the name, etc….and in this case, it appears the young woman doesn’t know about much of the surgery before it’s done or written about on news websites….seems a caringbridge too far to me….it’s pretty personal medical info without any wider purpose….
    I would at least like to see reporters run the stuff by a family member before putting it out there….
    Are they going to keep following it, limb by limb, if that’s the horrible digression?
    There are dozens if not hundreds of people in Minnesota getting limbs removed this week….why is this one so darn newsy?
    Why not wait and see if she ever wants to talk about it?

  6. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/22/2014 - 09:14 pm.

    anti-smoking zealots?

    Where are the anti- smoking zealots warning about the danger of 2nd hand pot smoke?

    • Submitted by jason myron on 01/22/2014 - 10:59 pm.

      Are you serious?

      Do people smoke pot in bars, restaurants,…any public place? Do people smoke pot with the same propensity, frequency and quantity as cigarette smokers do?

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 01/23/2014 - 03:24 am.

      2nd hand

      Pretty sure that not too many people are smoking pot in public.

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