Most GOP Candidates for Minn. Governor Oppose Medical Marijuana

Updated: 03/28/2014 9:29 AM By: Tom Hauser

Gov. Mark Mark Dayton is facing a lot of criticism over his handling of the medical marijuana issue. 

Not only has he seemed to shift his position from outright opposition to opening the door to compromise, he also raised eyebrows by telling some parents of sick children they might need to get marijuana "on the street." 

Predictably, Republican candidates for governor criticized Dayton for his comments.

"The idea that a governor literally would advise somebody to go out and break the law is mind-boggling to me," says Dave Thompson, a state senator running for governor. He was one of five major GOP candidate who held a joint news conference Thursday to oppose a proposed new $90 million legislative office building and parking ramp.

Although they unanimously condemned Dayton for his comments to the parents, most of them agree with his position on medical marijuana. Dayton is opposed to signing a bill that doesn't have the support of law enforcement and the medical community. He has offered a bill that would call for a study of the issue before any decisions are made.

At their news conference Thursday, four of the five Republican candidates said they'd be unlikely to sign a medical marijuana bill as governor. Only Jeff Johnson left open the door to signing such legislation. 

"I have been on the record as being willing to sign a medical marijuana bill," Johnson said. "Not necessarily the one that's out there right now, but if it very strictly controlled access that's something I'd be willing to do as governor."