Local lawmaker sponsors bill to legalize pot
It's controversial and concerning for some. A local state lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana. DFL Representative Jon Applebaum, who represents portions of Plymouth and Minnetonka, is set to introduce a bill for the recreational use of marijuana on Thursday.

"The world is changing, and Minnesotans are developing different attitudes when it comes to marijuana,"  Rep. Applebaum said. "I think legislators would be keen to change their positions because the public is heavily in support of this issue and it's only a matter of time."

Under Applebaum's plan, recreational marijuana would be regulated in a similar fashion to alcohol. Only people older than 21 years old would be able to purchase or possess the product. People in Minnesota would also be allowed to buy up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use and be able to grow up to six plants at a time. Applebaum says the marijuana business could help the economy.

"People are going to use marijuana anyway, it's proven to be non–dangerous, and so we have an opportunity to capitalize on it, to regulate it, to tax it and we could use those revenues to benefit our public schools."

Applebaum says legalizing marijuana would improve the criminal justice system by allowing cops to spend more time on serious crimes. However several law enforcement agencies are not buying that theory. Plymouth Public Safety Director Mike Goldstein says he's "concerned" and "disagrees" with that statement, but wants to reserve further comment until he sees the bill.

Governor Dayton also opposed the idea.

"We've got enough drugs, an epidemic of drugs that's floating through our society right now. And law enforcement's got to deal with all the consequences of it," he said. "Whether it's more or less harmful than alcohol, the fact is, alcohol causes a great many terrible tragedies around the state, on the roads and the like."

Currently eight states and the District of Columbia have approved the recreational use of marijuana.

Sonya Goins & CCX News staff



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