Marijuana legalization advocates rally at Minnesota State Capitol (w/ video)St. Paul, MN (CNN) - Hundreds of people rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday to call for the legalization of marijuana. Not everyone thinks it's a good idea for the state.
By: Pat Kessler, CNN, CNN
St. Paul, MN (CNN) - Hundreds of people rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday to call for the legalization of marijuana. Not everyone thinks it's a good idea for the state.
Supporters of legalizing pot say it's less dangerous than beer, cigarettes, even peanuts. In fact, many in the crowd said it's illegal only because we want it to be.
Max Bauer – St. Paul: “The fact that it is criminal is because it is labeled criminal. There's nothing wrong with doing it morally, we are told that we can't do it.”
Only the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for personal use. Colorado is expecting the heavily taxed product to generate $100 million in revenues. Only one state lawmaker publicly expressed support for legal pot, noting that blacks are 8 times more likely to be arrested for possession.
Rena Moran - Minnesota State House: “Let's create a system right here at the Capitol where we can tax! Where we can regulate the sale for the state of Minnesota, so that we can invest more wisely in all of us.”
The push for personal pot comes at a delicate time for a separate marijuana lobby - the group pushing for legal medical use only. Personal use advocates say they're sensitive to that effort:
Randy Quast - Executive Director, Minnesota Chapter of NORML: “The first people who ought to have marijuana are those with a medical need, but the best way to make that happen is to make it legal for everybody.”
But lawmakers who watch the rally believe that won't happen anytime soon.
Dan Hall - Minnesota Senate: “Not a chance. I don't think we are ready for that in Minnesota.”