The debate over the legalization of recreational marijuana

While medical marijuana is legal in both Iowa and Minnesota, recreational use is a different story. Now Illinois - a Midwest neighbor - is kicking off the new year with legal weed sales.

Posted: Jan 3, 2020 10:46 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2020 11:14 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's been just a few days since recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois. Marijuana shops raked in the big bucks: nearly 3.2 million dollars, to be exact.

Should the Minnesota State Capitol follow suit and legalize weed? Residents are divided.

"I honestly believe that because it's illegal and it's illegal for a reason," Jesse Astorino said. "That's why God has it that way."

Christoff Turner disagrees.

"It's a lot better than a lot of the stuff we see on the streets, the fentanyl, heroin, meth, there's a lot more worse things that could be out there, in the scale, marijuana is like the least of those things," Turner said.

Both men are firm in their differing beliefs.

"If it's an ilegal drug, I believe it's going to generate trouble and crime and throughout," Astorino said. "That's why it's illegal now, if we make it legal, we're intensifying all the bad that can come with it."

Turner says recreational marijuana won't hurt society.

"I've seen it do more good for people than harm" Turner said. "And I've seen both ends of the drug spectrum, I honestly think it would be a good thing and it does produce a lot of revenue."

While it's not legal in Minnesota - and may never be - the future of the cannabis industry across the nation looks bright - as states prepare legislation to discuss the controversial drug.

"It's just turmoil, I don't think it should be legal," Astorino said.

Turner thinks the opposite.

"It's no worse than someone coming home from work and having shots of alcohol," Turner said.

This year, several states are expected to vote on recreational marijuana use. Democrats are working on legislation in Minnesota.

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