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Minneapolis Mayor Frey supports legal recreational marijuana

Plus: Minneapolis police unveil new body camera policy; homeless day center files suit against St. Paul; sports-gambling regulation floated at Legislature; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Frey says legalize it. KMSP’s Maury Glover reports: “New research suggests opioid use is lower in states that have eased marijuana laws, and on Tuesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he’s ready to make it legal if it means that marijuana could potentially save lives. … Responding to a study showing that people in states with looser marijuana laws use fewer opioids, Mayor Frey tweeted his support for legalizing recreational marijuana, saying ‘it’s a criminal and racial justice issue. It is an economic issue, and as researchers are demonstrating, it is an opioid issue that could save lives.’ ”

Body cam policy update. The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany reports: “Under the latest overhaul of the Minneapolis Police Department’s body camera policy, officers will be required to activate their recording devices well before arriving on the scene of an emergency, officials announced on Wednesday. … Officers will now have to switch on their cameras at least two blocks away from the ‘service location,’ according to the new rules, unveiled at a joint news conference Wednesday morning with police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey. If dispatched to a location less than two blocks away, officers must activate their cameras immediately.”

A complicated case. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo writes: “A Dayton’s Bluff drop-in day center for homeless and low-income residents is suing the city of St. Paul in hopes of overturning a series of restrictions on its hours and capacity. … Attorneys for Maria Avenue-based Listening House — the ‘Living Room of the Homeless’ — filed a lawsuit on Monday asking the Ramsey County District Court to force the city to lift 14 restrictions imposed by the St. Paul Planning Commission on Oct. 20.”

Garofalo doesn’t want to gamble on this one. The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican writes: “A behind-the-scenes effort is underway at the Minnesota Legislature to legalize sports betting in defiance of current federal law. … The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on the constitutionality of a law Congress passed that bans states other than Nevada from legalizing sports betting. … Rep. Pat Garofalo, the chair of a jobs and energy committee at the Capitol, said Minnesota should act now to have the legal infrastructure in place in case the court deems the federal ban unconstitutional. With a legal framework in place, sports betting in Minnesota will be properly regulated and taxed and not left to an overseas gray market, he said.”

In other news…

Coffee buzz:Peace Coffee acquired by CEO and business partner from local nonprofit” [Star Tribune]

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Talk radio maintaining its high standards:KQRS host Tom Barnard talks about ‘welfare radio,’ hosts with foreign-sounding names” [City Pages]

Pesky data:Jay Kolls’ KSTP story on violence in Minnesota prisons was scary — and bullshit” [City Pages]