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MNGOP spent $10,500 on study that supports legalizing medical marijuana

The MNGOP spent $10,500 on a study supporting legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota.
The MNGOP spent $10,500 on a study supporting legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota.

The MNGOP spent $10,500 on a study supporting efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota.

That's according to Tim Goar, the owner of TG Med Inc., the medical supply company in Mound, Minnesota, that was paid to do the research.

The September 2010 payment for the study was mentioned in an in-depth report by MPR on how the state Republicans found themselves $2 million in debt. City Pages contacted Goar for further explanation of the study's methodology and goals, and received a response from him via email.

"The main goal was to determine if this issue should become one that the party should consider looking at given the Libertarian infusion to the ranks of late," Goar writes.  "I concluded that this issue, based on existing research, polling and such, is one that the party should consider."

Here is the full email from Goar:

Hi Kevin...I have a confidentially agreement but can share a few things:

I did consulting on a myriad of issues with medical marijuana being just one of them. The main goal was to determine if this issue should become one that the party should consider looking at given the Libertarian infusion to the ranks of late.  I was simply taking the "pulse" of some in the medical community as to what their thoughts and potential actions might be if legislation was ever pursued. MPR may have taken my comments out of context.  I concluded that this issue, based on existing research, polling and such, is one that the party should consider.  Whether the party considers my work and brings it to another level I do not know but I do hope that policy on this matter will gain traction.

We wanted to make sure we were understanding him correctly, so we wrote back and asked:

It sounds like you are suggesting that legalizing medical marijuana could be a good thing and that the MNGOP should consider supporting efforts to legalize it, in part because the Libertarians within the party might support legalization? Is that correct?

To which Goar replied:

that would be an accurate statement yes.Thanks
Tim Goar

The advice to support medical marijuana stands in stark contract to previous MNGOP policy. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty was a staunch opponent, vetoing medical marijuana in 2009 and arguing against it during an appearance at the Libertarian Cato Institute in May 2011.

"I stood with law enforcement on this issue," he told a questioner from the Marijuana Policy Project. "We just have a respectful difference on this issue."

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