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Debating legalized marijuana won’t hurt

The question of legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota was reintroduced in the Legislature this week. House Democrats are pushing the legislation to legalize marijuana, to expunge minor marijuana convictions. It would, they say, create a fair, regulated marketplace for marijuana and “address the deep inequities in our criminal justice system,” according to House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley.

There is little chance of this measure making it through the Republican-controlled Senate, however. That’s fine with us. Marijuana may not pose the same dangers as narcotic like heroin or cocaine or meth, but it is still carries physical and emotional effects that must be weighed against any potential tax revenue the state may gain from the legalized sale.

So, let legislators discuss and debate the pros and cons, as they have been elected to do. Let them gather input from the public and from experts. Let them study the experiences of other states that have gone this route already.

There is no rush on this debate. There doesn’t need to be passage this session. The Legislature should take its time and come up with a responsible conclusion, whatever that may be.

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