Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday that there isn’t enough research to back medical marijuana in Minnesota, and denied allegations by the mother of a sick child that he suggested she buy marijuana on the street.
“No.” Dayton responded flatly to the claim made at a Wednesday news conference by medical marijuana advocates.
Asked to elaborate on why the claim was made, Dayton said simply. “I don’t know.”
“I’ve said all I’m going to say about medical marijuana, I’ve issued a statement, I’ve answered questions, I’m just not going to discuss it further.”
Dayton backed his stance opposing medical marijuana on the grounds that it’s an unresearched medical issue, adding that his opinions are influenced in part by the Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Psychiatric Association and his own Commissioner of Health. He said in the past, unresearched prescription drugs have had “horrific” impacts.
“There’s protocol that proponents of legalizing this want to ignore. I don’t think that’s wise; I don’t think that’s in the best inteersts of most of Minnesotans.” He said. “I greatly sympathize with their plight, to have a child or any loved one who’s suffering like they are and the anguish is terrible to witness, but we’re making policy here and passing laws for 5.3 million people, but on the medical side this is the best judgment for most Minnesotans.”
Dayton said dealing with the backlash hasn't been easy.
"It's very hard to be vilified; it's very hard to be told that I don't care about sick people and their suffering. I'm in this to help people." he said.