Survey: Minnesotans want medical marijuana but split on full legalization

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A new St. Cloud State University survey shows that the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

More than three-fourths of people interviewed in late October -- 76 percent -- answered yes to the question, "Would you support or oppose making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe?"

At the time the survey was conducted, 45 percent of Minnesotans said at some point in their life they had smoked the herb.

SEE ALSO: Mark Dayton still not inclined to sign medical marijuana bill

Political affiliation played a role in the results. The highest support for medical marijuana came from self-described Libertarians (90 percent) followed by Democrats (86 percent) and Republicans (62 percent).

That means Gov. Mark Dayton is in disagreement with almost his entire party. While running for election, he made a promise to law enforcement to veto any marijuana bill that doesn't have their support.

Expect the survey to become a talking point during the upcoming medical marijuana debate that resumes in February when legislators return to work. Dr. Stephen Frank, who headed the survey, says a student from California suggested the topic last spring and the sociology, political science and statistics departments signed on board.

The timing could not be better for reformers -- people like Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care.

"It's continuing trends we've already seen," she says, "and a lot of it relies on common sense."

Earlier this year, Public Policy Polling released a study showing that 65 percent of Minnesotans would like to see the law changed to allow folks with serious and terminal illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommends it.

Full legalization of marijuana is a different story. The new St. Cloud study shows that adults in Minnesota are split on whether to legalize it for recreational purposes. When asked, "Do you think marijuana should be made legal or not?" 46 percent of people said yes and 48 percent said no.

The findings also suggest that Minnesotans are less likely than other Americans to support legalization. A 2013 Gallup poll indicated that 58 percent of Americans were on board. That number was only 12 percent in 1969.

Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com


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212 comments
midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

Marijuana needs to be decriminalized on the federal level before Minnesota starts regulating medical marijuana use. Until it's decriminalized federally no legit doctor is going to prescribe marijuana in Minnesota.

Tim Cheesebrow
Tim Cheesebrow

It's only an entry into stronger drugs because to get it you have to go to a drug dealer, which introduces you to that subculture. If it was sold in retail stores that wouldn't be a problem, in fact it may even curb strong drug use because dealers wouldn't have as many customers.

Carole Crever Brower
Carole Crever Brower

No, it's a entry into stronger drugs. If its for medical reasons that's a different story.

Tim Cheesebrow
Tim Cheesebrow

Legalization is the economically sound way to go. Too much money is wasted on enforcement, legal fees, and incarceration for a virtually harmless substance. I don't use it, but don't want others who do to be in prison for it.

Dave Arnold
Dave Arnold

Might as well, it would result in a major cost reduction for law enforcement and our jail systems. If they want to be pot heads, let them. When they kill someone for being stoned, kill them. Problem solved either way.

Katsi Duzynski
Katsi Duzynski

Do what COLORADO did - they will make money off of it. The ill people choosing cannabis oil can be helped, as well. The snack industry will reap billions also, with chips, snacks and other goodies being sold - for the period after the smoking is over - when the person get's the proverbial munchies. The liquor industry has nothing to worry about - people will still buy beer - and wine. And as it is NOT A GATEWAY drug - the hardcore dealers - those people will be out of a few dollars - as to cokeheads and heroin addicts - they may eventually go the way of the dinosaur. No one will want to use their more destructive products.

Mark Little
Mark Little

I would much rather take a natural medicine that has no side effects rather than some man made concoction that will just give me some other problem like liver damage or anal leakage.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones

then u guys have a LONG WAY to go yet..love from Denver, Colorado

Sarah Patty
Sarah Patty

Yes!! they should legalize it but if they dont it doesn't matter you can buy it anywhere.

Kim Tee
Kim Tee

Because it's probably the safest drug out there.

Debra Kummer
Debra Kummer

Medical is a must. Pharmacys & Hospitals control like any other narcotics. Not sure on recreational.

Aj Janssen
Aj Janssen

Come find us at the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Coalition! Or Minnesota Hemp Farmers Association or MN NORML all here on FB!

Joe Duggan
Joe Duggan

duh. people are going to smoke it no matter what.

Tabitha Bogen
Tabitha Bogen

It's inevitable. The ignorance will die off. Change is coming. It was only made illegal in the first place by white collar idiots who didn't understand it. Alcohol ruins thousands of peoples lives every year and that's legal! Outside of being a complete dumb ass who isn't mature enough to handle being high, there is zero proof of the life threatening dangers of hemp and marijuana. Anyone who uses it with respect and doesn't abuse it deserves the right to do so without fear of being thrown in an already overcrowded US prison. No one has ever died from a cannabis OD. No one. (Scientific Fact: it would take the average user 10-15,000 consecutive joints or just over 2000 POUNDS of pot to even reach a point of acute cannabis poisoning PLUS you'd have to ingest that in under an hour!). Many peoples lives are even bettered by it. Can't say that about tobacco smoke or trans fat which kills people daily, yet still... Legal. Knowledge is power. Open your damn eyes and ears and learn something!!! You "no way" thinkers aren't even making your own decisions. You don't have to like, partake in or agree with it. But you DO have to realize that your "facts" have already been debunked. Blind leading the blind. Wake up!

Johnny Pharr
Johnny Pharr

Yes, I think after all these years it's proven to be safe for consumption. In the past they used racial rape scenarios to scare voters with bull shit government propaganda. I don't smoke it but I'm not stupid to think decriminalizing it is a bad thing either. Be progressive Minnesota and vote yes for The legalization of marijuana.

Tabitha Bogen
Tabitha Bogen

It's inevitable. The ignorance will die off. Change is coming. It was only made illegal in the first place by white collar idiots who didn't understand it. Alcohol ruins thousands of peoples lives every year and that's legal! Outside of being a complete dumb ass who isn't mature enough to handle being high, there is zero proof of the life threatening dangers of hemp and marijuana. Same as with alcohol or prescription drugs. Same as with people who eat too much crappy food or drink too much caffeine! Anyone who uses it with respect and doesn't abuse it deserves the right to do so without fear of being thrown in an already overcrowded US prison. No one has ever died from a pot OD. No one. Many peoples lives are even bettered by it. Can't say that about tobacco smoke or trans fat which kills people daily, yet still... Legal. Knowledge is power. Open your damn eyes and ears and learn something!!! You "no way" thinkers aren't even making your own decisions. You don't have to like, partake in or agree with it. But you DO have to realize that your "facts" have already been debunked. Blind leading the blind. Wake up!

Jesse Etzler
Jesse Etzler

Other drugs that cause people to overdose and cause other medical issues are better? cannabis is a much better and safer alternative than those other drugs, do your research lady

Jesse Etzler
Jesse Etzler

Yes, this is what our state and other states need. Also hemp

Jerold Pihlaja
Jerold Pihlaja

The big drug corporations would never allow it because they could not monopolize it.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

Like prohibition, criminalizing marijuana has been costly and increased crime.


Time to make it fully legal, and regulate and tax hell out of it.

Gary
Gary

Another YES here just to further drown-out the people saying no alongside their purely selfish, completely unfounded-by-facts reasons. There's absolutely no reason whatsoever marijuana should be illegal in this state, let alone the country.

Dan Reis
Dan Reis

Not a single if my friends took place in survey. Whom did they ask. I say do it MPLS or henn Cty & see what happens. Screw the state

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Yup and as a smoker I would buy it from a dispensary knowing it's got an attached tax, and I support hemp manufacture

Tweak Reneker
Tweak Reneker

18 and older, and MUST prove it with ID, no slackin there, just like foing to a casinco that U can goto if ur 18, Y not, right?

eddogg67
eddogg67

I beg to differ because most people who do smoke pot only smoke pot. Pain pills are the real gateway drug because

Your prescription runs out you're forced to buy heroin.

Gort
Gort

You are parroting some nonsense you heard somewhere else.  Take the time to learn facts from multiple sources before you speak.

Gary
Gary

Says the dopey shit who thinks Minnesota is in the the UK.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

Why are you asking me such a dumb question? I just said so. You just read me say it and now you're asking who said so. Go back under your bridge troll.

richardcranium22
richardcranium22

Trolls Don't issue patents regarding medical use of Marijuana. The Federal Government Does.

Do some research cause I am a Doctor.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol If you go to other states with medical marijuana there are "special" doctors you have to see to get a marijuana prescription. Your family physician is NOT going to prescribe you marijuana and risk losing their medical license for prescribing a schedule I illegal narcotic. In other words a doctor that takes their work serious won't give you a marijuana prescription.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 what i meant is who told you that? are you a doctor? do you work at the capital?  seems that this wasn't needed for all the other states that have medical initiatives so why MN?  you must be a doctor...


trolling has nothing to do with fairytale trolls

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