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Ventura pushes marijuana legalization in meeting with Walz

Plus: Stanek now says he wants to look at voter data in Hennepin County sheriff’s race; Maplewood City Council seat decided by a coin toss; Twins renovating plaza outside Target Field; and more.

Marijuana leaf
REUTERS/Anthony Bolante

Says Brian Bakst at MPR, “DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz’s transition to the governor’s office brought him face-to-face Tuesday with former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who pressed the incoming Minnesota governor to get moving on full-scale marijuana legalization. Walz, who was elected last week, is seeking advice from those who have held the job before him. So far, he has met with four of five, including his nearly hour-long, private sit-down with Ventura at the state Capitol. Ventura shared some details of what he and Walz talked about, from balancing family life to Ventura’s past gripe that the first lady isn’t paid to his desire to see Minnesota embrace legal marijuana.”

Hannah Jones at City Pages writes, “If you’ve ever wondered how many people around you struggle with their sexual impulses, science is here to help — and the number is higher than you might guess. University of Minnesota researcher Janna Dickenson just published a study on sexual desires – specifically ones so powerful they cause ‘distress.’ And according to a sample of over 2,300 men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 in 2016, 9 percent of people in the United States have this problem. That’s more than the number of adults affected by major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.”

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For MPR, Precious Fondren says, “While recent months have brought to light how colleges and universities are struggling to deal with sexual assault on their campuses, high schools and even middle schools are also facing challenges. Advocates in Minnesota say even in the #MeToo era, high schools and middle schools aren’t adequately teaching students the fundamentals of sexual consent. ‘School districts are pressed for time, and unfortunately health classes traditionally have been one of those classes that get chipped away,’ said Andrew Beeman, a sexuality educator for the Annex Teen Clinic in Robbinsdale.’”

The Star Tribune’s David Chanen writes: “Dave Hutchinson was officially certified Tuesday as Hennepin County’s new sheriff, defeating incumbent Rich Stanek in a hotly contested race …  But Stanek said in an interview Tuesday evening that he wanted to look at voter data from the election and wasn’t yet ready to discuss what he might do next. That seemed to contradict a statement the sheriff issued earlier in the day, after the canvassing board had officially awarded the election to Hutchinson, when he ‘congratulated Sheriff-elect David Hutchinson” and said that “the transition is underway.’”

Also at MPR, Briana Bierschbach reports, “There were plenty of close races this midterm election in Minnesota — but a few, including one race in Maplewood, ended dead even. Maplewood City Council member Marylee Abrams is tied with challenger Nikki Villavicencio for an at-large seat on the council. Both candidates received exactly 5,755 votes, tying for one of two at-large seats on the ballot in the suburban city. Under state law, if there’s no clear winner after election day, it must be settled ‘by lot.’ Ties are broken with a draw, and it’s up to the local government on how to proceed. They can cut a deck of cards, draw straws or even pick a name out of a hat. The Maplewood seat will be decided by a coin toss ….”

Says Stribber Rochelle Olson, “The Minnesota Twins are messing with the Gold Glove, the larger-than-life sculpture on Target Plaza outside Gate 34, the entrance named for the late Kirby Puckett. The 7-by-9-foot cast bronze mitt, a favorite spot for fans to meet and pose for photos, is being moved as part of a $5 million to $6 million offseason renovation project to expand the plaza area outside Gates 34 and 29, where two-thirds of fans enter Target Field.”

In the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemayor picks up on the renewed scrutiny of Ilhan Omar’s BDS comments: U.S. Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar this week reaffirmed her support for a pro-Palestinian movement to pressure Israel, rankling Jewish community leaders who say she contradicted remarks made at an August candidates forum. Omar’s office told the website on Sunday that she supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel but expressed ‘reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.’ The Minnesota Democrat later reiterated her position in a series of text messages exchanged with a reporter for TC Jewfolk that were posted on its local news site.”