MNGOP Rep. Bob Barrett previews anti-medical pot arguments you'll hear lots of next year

BobBarrettRect.jpg
Barrett wants medical marijuana supporters to think of the children.
A bipartisan medical marijuana bill introduced in the waning days of the most recent legislative session promises to be a hot topic of conversation at the Capitol next year.

SEE ALSO: Blacks in Minnesota 8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites, study says

The bill has the maximum number of sponsors in each chamber, and recent polling shows about two-thirds of Minnesotans support "allowing doctors to prescribe small amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses." But it also has plenty of opponents, including Gov. Mark Dayton (that's what his on-the-record comments last fall indicated, at least) and Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Lindstrom.

Barrett, whose narrow election victory last November was controversial, talked about his marijuana views during the Chisago County Board of Commissioners meeting on August 7. Discussing medical marijuana specifically, he basically said he opposes it because smoking pot is bad for kids.

"I really worry about the health and safety of our youth. They're doing fewer hard drugs, drinking alcohol less, smoking cigarettes less, but they're doing two things more: smoking more marijuana and using more prescription drugs," Barrett said, according to an East Central Post Review report. "This is an issue that is deep in my heart... You can tell where I'm at with it."

Barrett did acknowledge that marijuana has medicinal uses, but he pointed out that pot "is the second most addictive drug in the country behind alcohol -- about 4.2 million people are addicted." (Bluestem Prairie digs into the factual basis for Barrett's claim about marijuana's addictiveness here.)

But medical marijuana supporters argue opponents like Barrett are focusing on the wrong things.

"The medical marijuana conversation really is centered around compassionate care and allowing for patients to be prescribed medication from their physician that will help them," Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing and the bill's chief sponsor in the House, told MPR last month.

Consider yourself warned: You're sure to hear more arguing of this sort as the next legislative session -- and a possible vote on a Melin's medical marijuana bill -- approaches.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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27 comments
DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Can someone just tell Bob that cannabis cures adult acne so we can move on?

_Joe_
_Joe_

Since when has pot been addictive?  There is absolutely nothing in it that you become chemically dependent on.  Habit forming?  Maybe.  But it's about as addictive as Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Quit heroin cold turkey?  You could die.

Quit drinking cold turkey?  You could die.

Quit smoking dope cold turkey?  You'll probably get a lot of shit done around the house.  But it won't kill you.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

what about those who make money off prescription drugs, how will they afford the 2015 S550 with pot being legal!


think of the Doctors, please wont someboidy think of the doctors...


oh right they will get their mercededes by writing new prescriptions for weed

Monica Bertrand
Monica Bertrand

Let's quit politics altogether. Talk about an unhealthy addiction. I hope karma smiles kindly upon Mr. Barrett, should he ever be faced with a medical situation that would be helped or even solved with marijuana.

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

Dayton has already said he would veto mmj. Can we quit the partisan politics already?

Brent Anderson
Brent Anderson

"Barrett did acknowledge that marijuana has medicinal uses....". At least this is progress from somebody in the GOP. I was expecting, "It puts the deeeeeeviiiil in the keeeeeeddds."

yeah
yeah

im fine with medical weed if you have a prescription. otherwise it is just bs.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Hey everybody, yet another subject that the GOP is out of touch on.  Although, I'm sure they will tell themselves at the next convention it was because they didn't explain it right.  

sosmpls
sosmpls

Smoking pot is bad for kids, so here's an idea, don't let your kids smoke pot, drink alcohol, or shoot heroin!  But, please quit using your kids as an excuse to push adults around. We're sick of it!

Lindsey Richardson
Lindsey Richardson

Hes incorrect about the second most "addicted" drug in the US.. Caffeine is number one addict drug in the US, if he really wants to get point out "facts".

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Monica Bertrand Which condition does marijuana cure? 

In end of life, chemo scenarios I can see making the case. But pot cures nothing, take a look at a pep scan sometime of someone who is a habitual pot user.

green23
green23 topcommenter

He didn't really say he would veto; he said he was opposed.

While there are Democrats opposed in the Legislature, it's a small minority. But it's a majority of Republicans, so there really is a partisan issue.

Or are you saying that as long as you can find one person with an opposing view on either side, it's not partisan?

orangevening11
orangevening11

@yeah Come on. Have you ever taken aspirin or a similar pain reliever? Drank caffeine to wake up? Drank alchlol  to relax or be social? Ate some sugar if you were feeling depressed? If you answered to any of those then your a hypocrite

orangevening11
orangevening11

@Lindsey Rivera  Exactly. This guy has no clue what he is talking about. Um, how about nicotine? Caffeine, like you said. One could even argue that sugar is a drug.  

_Joe_
_Joe_

@CinBlueland That website is crap.  It says things like "changes in the brain" without backing it up.  No Science there.

Source:  Smoked it by the bale in high school and college.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@CinBlueland @_Joe_ I'd say that most are there for other drugs and marijuana is being listed as on of the drugs they use.  Also, while your link to a dea sponsored website contains some useful information, the context is skewed.  The argument isn't that marijuana is perfect and healthy, it's that it is significantly less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, etc.  For that matter it's safer than trans fat, caffeine, fast food, breathing in LA, etc. And that it has proven medical benefits.   The continued prohibition of marijuana is about money, plain and simple.  Prisons make too much money off the war on drugs.  Where would all the dea agents go if not for this war?  Tobacco and alcohol industries don't want to share profits with it.  But hey, when you give a politician enough cash all the sudden it's "what about the children?" time.  As an admitted conservative is shocking that you are not pro rights and pro revenue (this would be a cash cow).  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland Thank you for proving yet again you are the stupidest person on the planet.   I hope you practice what you preach when you get surgery.   After all, what do painkillers cure?   Why are doctors or drug pushers as Cin calls them allowed to give people pain relieving pills? They don't cure shit after all.   Idiot. 

noelbarrick
noelbarrick

@green23 You're right. "It's a proposal that's been heard in Minnesota before. Then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a medical marijuana bill passed in 2009 due to opposition from law enforcement. As long as the state's officers continue to stand against it, Gov. Mark Dayton said he will oppose it as well."

So if the state's officers are against it, he will veto. Good luck swaying them.

"Or are you saying that as long as you can find one person with an opposing view on either side, it's not partisan?" In this case, the one person happens to be a pretty influential one (Dayton). Besides, this article was written about a republican's ignorant views.

I'm not trying to argue whether this is a partisan issue, I'm saying quit with the partisan politics. When you vote blindly dem or repub, you stop paying attention/ stop holding the politicians feet to the fire just because they are on "your side." Case in point, Dayton.


Read more: Medical marijuana bill outlined, debate on hold until 2014 - KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/22141564/medical-marijuana-bill-outlined-debate-on-hold-until-2014#ixzz2cY5Hiowe

_Joe_
_Joe_

@CinBlueland Yes.  Pot is okay.  There is SOLID evidence supporting this fact.  You can't get addicted to it (chemically), and you can't OD on it.  You can smoke pot all day long from the second you wake up until sundown and it won't kill you.  I listed those other substances as a contrast to pot.  IE: different.  You can/will get addicted to them, and they WILL KILL YOU in excess.  The difference is night and day.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@_Joe_ @CinBlueland You're one of the lucky ones. Some people will get pretty much addicted to anything, others can literally walk away from anything. I walked away from pot years ago, never thought twice about it.. Not quite junk science. Look at what you listed all those chemicals... yet somehow pot is OK?

_Joe_
_Joe_

@CinBlueland @_Joe_  It's JUNK science!  The effects they are describing are minute, and can be observed by nearly any type of neural stimulation.  It's just that no one is paying anyone to generate this crap for other substances in the same magnitude.  I repeat: it is garbage pseudo-science.

I will agree with you that people can become habitual users, but that is a personal habit NOT based on chemical dependency, unlike caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, morphine, etc.. etc..

I've struggled for over a decade to quit smoking cigarettes.  I just walked away from pot when I got busy living my life.  I still smoke a bowl on occasion if the mood grabs me and the opportunity presents itself.  Maybe once or twice a year.  Addiction research says I ought not to be able to do that after I spent so many years going through a quad a day.  If pot were actually addictive, that is.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@_Joe_ Joe, you need to dig for PET scans of a brain on THC.  As for MB I'm a recovering addict. Not everyone is going to have the same response, but it can cause serious issues in ones life depending on how your brain is wired.

Those prone to addiction will jump from one to the other..  I'm not trying to drum up some "scare" or hold down minorities whatever that means.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Drewey  @_Joe_  Obviously you don't understand the modern conservative.  Marijuana must be illegal because the government should be used to pick on minorities and poor people.   To conservatives like Cin government is only bad when it does things that help people like pay for schools, healthcare, or welfare.    Cin loves when big government is putting people into cages for smoking a plant that makes them giggle and hungry.  

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann MB, I didn't say make it illegal anywhere on here. But it's not magic fairly dust. People make claims that it "cures" but nothing to back it up.  I completely agree that it has positive effects, just like nicotine has positive effects.

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