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Mark Dayton still not inclined to sign medical marijuana bill

Dayton: Still not a fan of the (medicinal) sticky icky.
Dayton: Still not a fan of the (medicinal) sticky icky.

During a Friday interview with the Associated Press, Mark Dayton said he'll sign a bill legalizing Sunday liquor sales if it gets through the Legislature. But the governor isn't as supportive of efforts to relax marijuana laws.

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Dayton has long held he'll only support medical marijuana if a bill to that effect has the support of law enforcement, and he reiterated that position during his chat with the AP.

"Dayton says he has urged supporters of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in Minnesota to work with opponents in law enforcement if they want progress on the issue," the AP writes in a summary of the interview. "Dayton repeatedly cites law enforcement concerns for his own opposition to medical marijuana.... [though he] says he'd probably sign a bill to legalize it if sheriffs, prosecutors and other law enforcement groups get behind it."

But with officials like Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek still linking marijuana use to violent crime, it seems unlikely law enforcement will be on board with medical marijuana anytime soon.

Late last legislative session, Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing, and Sen. Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis, introduced a medical marijuana bill that had the backing of some Republicans. Supporters promise to push the bill in a big way this session, but in light of Dayton's AP interview, it appears that effort will be for naught (assuming the bill doesn't have so many votes that legislators can override Dayton's potential veto).

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


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