Candidate for governor Jeff Johnson recently tweeted that he believed legalizing recreational marijuana was a bad idea for Minnesota. He views the social and health harms that would accompany recreational marijuana as far outweighing any possible tax revenue from product sales.

In my opinion, he hit the nail on the head.

Some states are rushing headfirst to legalize recreational marijuana without thinking of the potential consequences and relying on industry-backed lobbyists to tell them that everything will be okay. It is a myth that marijuana is a harmless drug. States that have legalized it recreationally and are monitoring the impact are having regrets.

Does Minnesota want their highways to be more dangerous due to increased rates of drugged driving? And it is a falsehood that legalization will reduce the black market. This promise by politicians has not occurred in pro-marijuana states. Marijuana is dangerous for developing minds and has been linked to elevated risk of mental illness.

Our state does not need more revenue from questionable sources. We need politicians to support healthy and safe communities. The last thing our lawmakers should be doing is promoting drug use.

We can’t afford another public health crisis like Big Tobacco, and it’s up to the people who represent us to vote with our best interests — not the deep pockets of special interests like the pot industry.

Judson Bemis

Chair, SAMMn

(Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Minnesota)

Minneapolis

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