By Tom Hauser

Five leading Democratic candidates for governor says it’s time for Minnesota to join eight other states in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

“I think we can put a regime in place that regulates, that taxes this, that educates folks, that home grows here, keeps the big pot growers out,” said U.S. Rep Tim Walz, one of five candidates for governor who participated in a forum sponsored by the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce.

Walz made it clear he does not support legalizing recreational marijuana federally through Congress.

All five candidates said it’s time for Minnesota to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational uses, even though it was very a controversial to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes a few years ago.

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“I do support the legalization of marijuana,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. “I think we have real world examples in other states across the United States of America. It’s working. It’s a revenue source. It is dealing with the disparities we see in the criminal justice system.”

Rep. Erin Murphy, (DFL-St. Paul), has worked in the health care field for several years and said she supports the legalization of recreational marijuana.

“As a nurse I have certainly prescribed and dispensed medications much stronger than medical marijuana, much stronger than recreational marijuana. I think we can do it and do it well.”

Rep. Tina Liebling, (DFL-Rochester), reminded the 75 people gathered at the chamber event that she already introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

“I have been a supporter of legalizing marijuana for quite some time,” she said. “I have a bill filed in the legislature with a comprehensive policy about how we could do this that would work it’s way through the legislature, and that then the people would vote on it to put it in the constitution.”

Republican candidates for governor will appear at a Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce forum next month.



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