source: By UPI February 19, 2014
ST. PAUL, MN – As Minnesota lawmakers continue to debate legislation introduced last year that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, a poll indicates a slim majority favor such a move.
Fifty-one percent of Minnesotans support legalization of marijuana for medicinal uses while 41 percent oppose a change, results of a Minneapolis Star Tribune Minnesota poll reported Tuesday indicated.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical conditions ranging from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for Minnesota to consider allowing marijuana use for medical purposes when the Legislature returns to St. Paul later this month.
Opponents of legalization, including nearly every major law enforcement group in the state, said they fear greater access to marijuana will harm more people than help.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has expressed reservations about legalizing medical marijuana as long as law enforcement groups oppose it.
Minnesota decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana years ago. Legislation proposed in the Minnesota House and Senate would legalize medical dispensaries, where patients could purchase medical marijuana if they didn’t want to grow their marijuana at home.
The poll also found that 63 percent of Minnesotans said they oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use while 30 percent said the state should follow the lead of Colorado and Washington, which legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults in 2012.
Results are based on a statewide phone survey of 800 adults conducted Feb. 10 and 12. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.