ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Emotions ran high as the debate kicked off at the state Capitol on whether Minnesota should legalize recreational marijuana.
A news conference called by opponents of legalization Wednesday was marked by heckling from marijuana supporters before ending in a shouting match.
Judson “Kim” Bemis of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota said the current science does not support the commercialization and normalization of recreational marijuana. He said use by teens and young adults skyrockets when marijuana is legalized.
After Dakota County authorities also spoke against legalization, activist John Thompson heatedly related how his friend, Philando Castile , was shot and killed by a police officer who smelled burnt marijuana after stopping Castile’s car in Falcon Heights in 2016. He said marijuana is a tool that police use to attack black men.