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For racial justice and economic common sense, Minnesota needs to legalize weed

Minnesota is missing out on a bonanza that causes far fewer problems than alcohol.

Minnesota is missing out on a bonanza that causes far fewer problems than alcohol. Dank Depot

Reader Chris Kurle responds to Reefer Riches: What Minnesota could learn about recreational marijuana:

This story put a good smile on my face.

As I lay here in the land of 10,000 DUIs, I can't help but wonder why the powers that be are blocking this. Could it be the ease at which they can harass and justify searches of people of color in our state? Given the well documented racial disparity in enforcement here in Minnesota, that is plausible.

Could it be that this system makes for an easy way to bring home big money from federal grants based on drug arrest statistics that count cannabis arrests the same as meth?

I used to live in Colorado and go back to visit my friends often. They have a great regulated market. They are still one of the most highly-educated states in the country, earning some of the highest incomes, and are also ranked amongst the healthiest in the country, much like Minnesota.

They have seen a boom and this new industry is driving a good portion of their economic engine. As Minnesota loses young people and our population continues to age, we need to look at alternative revenue systems. This issue is more than economic common sense, as the racial justice component is the true travesty.

Marijuana prohibition is against basic personal liberty and based on racist hysteria. We live in a region with a binge drinking culture. How many of our young people die due to excessive alcohol consumption each year? What about those who pass out in the snow and end up getting limbs amputated?

Guess how many people have died from cannabis? None. Let's not forget that another critical component to regulation is that as dealers go out of business or become legitimate, they also start checking IDs.

Your kids aren't getting booze from bootleggers anymore. Why not tighten up the access around cannabis so it's only easily available for adults?