Governor Dayton: Another day, another medical marijuana position

dayton pot.jpg
Might the governor reconsider his stance that any bill legalizing smokeable marijuana is a non-starter? Stay tuned!
During a WCCO radio appearance yesterday, Gov. Mark Dayton characterized the likelihood of any medical marijuana legislation being signed into law this year as between "slim and none." He lamented that "the advocates who want to be able to smoke leaf marijuana... are not interested in carrying [a medical pot bill] forward on a more limited basis."

"We'll work on it next session," Dayton said.

Well, what a difference 24 hours makes.

In a statement released today, Dayton, referring to his "advocates who want to be able to smoke leaf marijuana" remark, says the comment "was in no way intended to refer to victims of terrible diseases or their parents, who I was trying to help. I regret that my words were unclear."

He goes on to express two more regrets -- that his proposal to provide funding for research on marijuana's potential to treat infantile seizures while not legalizing medical marijuana has been rejected, and that he's "been wrongly portrayed as the sole barrier between sufferers and their access to medical marijuana."

"That ignores the concerns expressed by the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Psychiatric Association, and the state commissioners of Health, Human Services, and Public Safety, and many other authorities on public health and public safety," Dayton says.

Dayton still prefers his aforementioned proposal, but concludes his statement by urging "stakeholders on all sides of this issue to work together on this proposal, agree on a compromise that can pass in the Legislature this session, and provide relief this year to children who will otherwise find none if we instead choose to engage in finger-pointing, and a protracted political debate."

Medical marijuana supporters want the governor to go further and support a bill introduced by Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing, that would allow people suffering from specific debilitating conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and epilepsy, to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Dayton, citing law enforcement's objections, has adamantly maintained any bill allowing anyone to actually smoke marijuana is off the table this session.

In a statement distributed by Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, Maria Botker, a Clinton woman whose daughter suffers from epilepsy, blasted the governor for saying during the 'CCO interview that medical marijuana supporters' opposition to his proposal is tantamount to opposing a measure that would "would help hundreds of kids that are suffering from epilepsy."

"We informed Governor Dayton that we cannot get behind his unworkable proposal when there is a bill on the table that would actually help our children," Botker says. "He responded by taking to the airwaves to accuse us of opposing legislation that would help our children."

"For Governor Dayton to say he is working in the best interest of my daughter is disingenuous," says says. "For him to say I am working against the best interest of my daughter is reprehensible."

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

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57 comments
dhouge59
dhouge59

In the end, Mark Dayton's worst nemesis will turn out to be his buddies in big business when they prove that he's on the wrong side of history. The attitudes that make up this whole mess are extremely uninformed, irrational and outdated. The good people of Minnesota won't take it lightly when they're aware of all of the facts. It is incumbent on everyone who cares about this issue to take it upon themselves to go out and educate. Know the issues, become an expert. The only way we'll get this done in Minnesota is by applying strong and steady pressure.

Rob Vallone
Rob Vallone

Face it people whether we vote or not the law enforcement agencies define our rights in the eyes of Dayton. And to further add insult to injury, yes I mean all the people actually suffrring who could benefit from tbe use, we are treated kike ignorant children who cannot dicsern when something isn't good for us and not do it...has anyone else heard a prescription commercial lately where the side effects arent worse than the malady?

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

I'm glad the man has an open mind, on a topic where a lot of people have evolving opinons as more information becomes available.  Good on you Governor Dayton!

Matt Terry
Matt Terry

Police and correction officers are against legalizing marijuana, even medically, because non-violent drug offenders are one of the main reasons they are employed. The funding police organizations receive to enforce marijuana laws, and drug laws in general, is insane. They get so much money from it that they hire lobbyists to make sure it remains illegal. Dayton in turn backs those lobbyists because they finance his political campaigns. Like most politicians, Dayton doesn't care about the opinions of his constituents. He cares about big money and corporate interests.

Greta von Otto
Greta von Otto

You voted for this elitist, obnoxious, dishonest ass-hat, now you can live with his narrow minded policies. Hopefully you learned your lesson and won't elect him again!

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

You know what you call a man who knows the right thing to do, but because of fear he does what is wrong in order to stay consistent?


An asshole.


DFL - GIVE US SOMEONE BETTER.

Christine Brown
Christine Brown

This is the most ridiculous over reaction I've ever seen. Where was all the outrage last year? the year before? It's amazing how people can hop on a trend and 'be outraged.' Frankly, I think all drug laws create the same problems prohibition did and are therefore counterproductive. BUT to act like two year olds throwing a tantrum because Dayton isn't doing exactly what you want NOW NOW NOW is stupid. Yeah, he sounds like a dork talkking about smoking leaves. So why isn't anyone making him understand? Why aren't people talking about pills and tinctures and the variety of ways to take in the medicinal benefits? People suffering from extremely poor health are often far too weak to actually smoke anything, and I hope parents aren't trying to get their sick two year olds to start SMOKING! Maybe it's just Aaron Rupar's terrible reporting but it doesn't seem like the supporters of this bill are doing anything except complaining.

Brave Crow
Brave Crow

Comeon guys. He needs to study the matter further (aka check with the people who give him money first). His paycheck (getting reelected) is way more important to him than your sick kids' pain. Besides... you can just buy it off the street.

MaidenJapan
MaidenJapan

Worst kind of Hypocrite - 

Our Governor is a drug addict, which necessarily removes him from posing a strong, logical argument for the legalization of medical marijuana.  This sounds somewhat counter-intuitive, but please remember that this man is a depressed alcoholic.  Before coming to terms with alcoholism, he used alcohol to self-medicate his depression.  After he put alcohol aside, he takes pills to keep his depression under control.  He has been battling and using, and battling and using.


Governor Dayton has no power over his individual drug use.  If he truly believed that medical marijuana would truly, TRULY, help someone, he would be able to stand up to the cops and debate his point, like an elected official is supposed to do when the time is right!  The time is right this time.


http://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2010/01/mark-dayton-no-one-can-guarantee-sobriety

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/80168257.html

http://www.examiner.com/article/former-senator-mark-dayton-should-not-be-govenor-of-minnesota

http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/3981/1/Senator-Mark-Dayton-reveals-stuggles-with-depression-alcoholism/Page1.html

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

haha! all the fools who are whining about his stance on marijuana are the very same fools who voted him into office.

Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen

I like Gov Dayton, but just legalize it already. All the way legal.

Sabrina Edwards
Sabrina Edwards

I am sick of these weak kneed pussy ass Dems. Thanx to the dcts who treated for 6 yrs I was hooked on legal Rx n it was hell gettin off of em! I SMOKE POT to ease the anxiety n PTSD n PAIN frm that horrible car crash...thanx gov for lookin out for the citizens of your state...asshole!

greenthinks
greenthinks

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents." 

-- William F. Buckley, 
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495  

Ryan Wachtel
Ryan Wachtel

I have an honest question to all here... when you say you won't vote for this guy again because of this one issue, do you really think a Republican would have a different stance? I'm being serious.

Curt W. Schneider
Curt W. Schneider

Ol' shifty eyes, lol. This guy is as dumb as a box of hair. Hair that, when drug tested, tests positive for benzodiazepines and opiates.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

Dayton keeps talking about advocates that want to smoke "leaf marijuana". What a fucking joke, nobody smokes the leaves. Maybe it's time to cut down on his daily percocet intake?

Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane

Dayton is trying to CHA. He's a coward. I will be glad when his term is over. He IS the only one standing in the way of medical legalization.

Andrew Ainsley
Andrew Ainsley

This is comical. Thanks for making me smile Jake.

Eric Hackman
Eric Hackman

Deep breathing bud, pretty sure he was referencing the man in the article....

Jake Wood
Jake Wood

you little shit who the HECK do you think you are

Jake Wood
Jake Wood

dont ever call me a tool again do you understand me answer me yes or no that is HIGHLY disrespectful.

blueyzmn
blueyzmn

Put simply, he doesnt want to loose votes or support for his causes, and theres a generational gap in attitudes toward pot in play in the government. Get with the times!! Most people under 50 approve of or dont care about medical marijuana. They're supposed to speak for the people of MN right? We're not even talking legalizing recreational use here! Why not a referendum? Take it to the voters of MN themselves just like Colorado & Washington did. Im suprised they arent rushing a vote to totally legalize it after hearng the amount of sales tax collected in one month in Colorado.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

The police will be against making it legal as they listen to the lies about it if they would do some reading & reseach they would change their minds but that would be easy. Dayton I voted for you but if you can't change you mind on this I'll never vote for you again. As this will help so many people. My little sister would be alive today if big business hadn't turned the country against it. There are Presidents who grew it & said it was a great crop. look it up.

ConcernedCitizen
ConcernedCitizen

Please, for the sanity of anyone reading your comment, work on your grammar, sir. You state that you are treated like an ignorant child, and I am assuming you want to be treated like an adult. But how can someone treat you like an adult when you can not even properly create a sentence with no errors? 

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

In your estimation; which candidate in the last gubernatorial election would have taken a stance with doctors and the majority of Minnesotans over drug companies and law enforcement?

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

He's a lot better than the corporatist jerk that the radical right ran against him.

I hope Dayton gets re-elected, along with the Democratic legislature; the MN GOP did a crap job when they had control of the lege.  Emmer or any of the alternates run by the MN GOP would have been disastrous.

Thank God and the Dems we are in better shape than the poor Republican dominated state next door.  Poor Wisconsin - I hope they wake up and throw out their terrible Governor and legislators, and the corrupt money that funds them to act against the interests of their constituents.

dhouge59
dhouge59

Educate yourself before you speak, Christine Brown. Uninformed opinions like yours are exactly the reason people are pissed off.

sosmpls
sosmpls

And you are nothing but an apologist for a mental midget!

imgadgett
imgadgett

well it's not like we didn't defy the odds and vote in Jesse Ventura when we were disgusted with the dems/repubs.  Of any state in America, I believe we could vote him out of office because of his stand against the people in Minnesota and we SHOULD if the Medical Marijuana Bill HF 1818 doesn't pass this session. 


The support has been bipartisan, but I probably would look for a candidate that supports legalization of medical marijuana.  

principlesnotparty
principlesnotparty

#1 we must stop voting because someone has a "R" or "D" in front of their names. We must start voting on principles and not party. We then achieve #2 which would be a yes to your question. 

sosmpls
sosmpls

@blueyzmn

Sorry, but you punks didn't invent pot. LOL That would be us baby boomers, Summer of Love and all that. And, we are mostly in our 60's now. Free the Weed! 

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Dog Gone "Corporatist".  Give me a break!   He's no less so than anyone else that ran or was Gov.   Wisconsin is doing quite well thank you!   Look at the State and their finances.   Thank God they Cut the Union influence!    Unions are nothing but a money laundering scheme for Democrats.    That said, i am no making a statement about grass.   But Crazy eyes Dayton is an over medicated freaking lunatic. 

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@kurt124 MN state finances are better than WI; there is no metric of which I am aware in which they are in better status.

And no, the Governor is not an overmedicated freak,he is functioning perfectly well.

But hey - the next time you hear about the 23 vets who commit suicide rather than get help because people like you stigmatize it, look down at the blood on your hands.  Like the blood in MacBeth, it won't wash off.

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