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Recreational marijuana debates continues at Minnesota State Capitol

It’s a debate that’s trickling over to Minnesota communities.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 8:09 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2019 8:14 PM

KIMT NEWS 3 – Emotions are running high at the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday as a debate got underway about whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

It’s a debate that’s trickling over to our own community.

“I would say pass it immediately,” Jonathan Hutchison, of Rochester, said. “It would help a lot of people out.”

Hutchison battles epilepsy, and benefitted from medical marijuana until finances got in the way.

“It just costs way too much,” Hutchison said, “and I think that's a lot of people and that's making a lot of people get meds.”

He thinks recreational marijuana would provide health benefits. Others say the substance would cause more harm than good.

“I'm not in favor of that because if the people try it once, they can be engaged with that,” Enid Campos, of Rochester, said, “and they can try it once more and they can become addicted.”

If lawmakers do legalize recreational marijuana, it could have an impact on what they do at medical marijuana dispensaries.

Minnesota Medical Solutions has an office in Rochester.

Their CEO Dr. Jay Westwater released the following statement: “Recreational use of cannabis has not been part of Minnesota Medical Solution's business model, so legalization is not something we are advocating nor opposing in any way. Our only concern is that if cannabis is legalized in Minnesota, it is done with great intentionality to protect existing medical cannabis patients.”

It's a continuing battle that could impact the system the state already has in place, and an ongoing conversation at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Gov. Tim Walz has said he supports legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota.

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