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2014 State Fair poll: slight majority of Minnesotans oppose pot legalization

The results of this year's State Fair poll were released Tuesday, showing that Minnesotans favor same-day voter registration and an increase in the gas tax for road and bridge construction.

But a slight majority also opposes the idea of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, thereby extending access beyond the medical program established last spring.

See also:
Pro-legalization Rep. Rena Moran says she won't author marijuana legalization bill

The poll isn't scientific -- fair goers volunteered opinions in the Education Building -- but it does resemble what St. Cloud University previously concluded. Back in January, researchers found that 46 percent of Minnesotans were in favor of legalization and 48 percent were opposed.

However, a Star Tribune poll released in February gives vastly different numbers. In that case, 63 percent of Minnesotans opposed legalization and only 30 percent believed the state should follow the example of Colorado and Washington. Residents of Alaska and Oregon are all set to vote on legalization in November.

At home, Minnesota NORML is preparing to push for legalization in the next legislative session, but it's unclear which politicians, if any, would take up the cause. The activists are framing the issue as one of social justice and economics in an attempt to bridge the traditional left-right divide.

Randy Quast, a board member and retired businessman, says he intends to leave Minneapolis for Portland to make use of his Oregon medical marijuana card. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder but does not qualify under the law here.

Quast wrote last month that he's saddened to take his "millions of dollars" elsewhere. "Minnesota & Minneapolis should realize the economic impact that prohibition is causing."

-- Send story tips to the author or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse



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