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Under the recreational marijuana bill, minors could not legally purchase pot. The new state agency that would oversee licensing and regulation of the marijuana market would be tasked, among other mandates, with enforcing the prohibition of sales to minors and stamping out the black market ("Keep improving marijuana legislation," editorial, May 2). People aged 21 and older would be allowed to buy up to 2 ounces of pot per purchase, but the House bill would allow purchasers to possess a total of 24 ounces. In the Senate bill, the private possession limit is 32 ounces. I support the legalization of recreational marijuana, but I have to ask what legislators expect some people might do with a pound or two of pot. Maybe sell some to teenagers on the black market? How ironic if illegal black-market sales to minors were to contribute to the new state agency fulfilling its mandate to "meet the market demand for cannabis flower and cannabis products."

David Aquilina, Richfield


A reader's comment ("Revenue can't outweigh risks," May 2) claims the rush to legalize marijuana possession and use in Minnesota is rooted in potential tax revenue. Perhaps.

I'm thinking politics. Legalization of marijuana will likely spell the end of two Minnesota political parties: the Legal Marijuana Now Party, and the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota.

Those two parties together received 51,945 votes in the 2022 race for governor in Minnesota, about 2% of the total vote (according to the Secretary of State's Office). Two percent might not swing a governor's race, but 2% could have an impact on contests for Congress and county and city council elections. Which Minnesota political party will benefit from legalization? Oh, please!

Paul Hager, Northfield, Minn.


Curb the antipathy

Responding to Clive Crook's opinion piece and a recent letter about a potential Joe Biden/Donald Trump rematch ("An extravaganza of unfitness," Opinion Exchange, May 2, and "Please, no," Readers Write, May 3): I ask that people stop insisting that the likely two major party candidates for president are unacceptable, especially those on the left, given that the phenomenon of people voting on social wedge issues has created a massive divide in America. In 2016, people were complaining that Hillary Clinton and Trump were both bad candidates. Some voters even protested by voting for a third-party candidate, wrote in Bernie Sanders' name or decided not to vote at all on Election Day. Does anybody remember who ended up becoming president after the election was over?

It's also not just a leftist problem. In 2010, third-party centrist gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner complained that both Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer were bad candidates as they were both too far to the extreme, and Horner got nearly 12% of the vote. Does anybody remember who almost became governor after a Tea Party Republican state Legislature got elected?

So again, please stop complaining about Biden and support his re-election campaign, unless you're willing for Trump to become president again.

William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul


Clive Crook laid out the reasons he believes President Biden and former President Trump may not be fit to serve again. But Crook does not specify two fundamental reasons the former president is clearly unfit. The first is that Trump lied to the American people, and continues to lie, saying he won the 2020 election. The second is the former president's incredibly brazen attempts overthrow the election. One such instance is Trump pressuring Mike Pence to decertify the election results. Another is his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whereby Trump tried for an hour to persuade him to change the Georgia election outcome and suggested that if he didn't cooperate, he could be subject to criminal liability.

Of course it's the former president, not Raffensperger, who now faces criminal liability for his subversive actions.

Mark O'Neill, St. Michael


Standards for allies, opponents alike

When will this knee-jerk partisanship end? Democrats (and some highly regarded conservative legal experts) are calling for new ethical standards for the Supreme Court justices after learning of expensive unreported trips and real estate deals with powerful conservative elites by some members of the court ("Retired judge urges ethics rules for justices," May 3). The Republicans are calling this a partisan effort by Democrats to target conservative judges. Don't they stop for just one rational second to realize that liberal judges would be required to meet those same new standards? Republicans' knees are jerking so high I'm afraid they might break their jaws.

Mary Alice Divine, White Bear Lake


A news article in the May 3 paper concerning ethics rules for justices quotes retired Judge J. Michael Luttig as follows: Congress "indisputably has the power under the Constitution" to "enact laws prescribing the ethical standards applicable to the nonjudicial conduct and activities of the Supreme Court of the United States." Article III of the U.S. Constitution states in the first sentence of the article: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." This establishes the judicial branch as a coequal branch of government and, other than giving the Senate the duty to approve judicial appointments made by the president, there is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress the authority to set up ethics standards for Supreme Court justices. The court already has its own ethical standards and can change them or not if it chooses to do so. Moreover, any standard change would not apply to past conduct of any justice.

It is my understanding that Justice Clarence Thomas has complied with the ethical standards currently in effect. As to whether the standards should be changed, it would make sense for the court to look at its standards and possibly accept recommendations from Congress, but that is up to the court to decide.

Robert Sullentrop, Minneapolis


The class itself is the problem

It's not every day you see a sharp, indicting opinion title like "Our new robber barons are worse than the old ones" in the Star Tribune. Perhaps it was only fitting that the commentary that followed completely failed to live up to that title. Like many conservatives, John C. Chalberg does not appear to take issue with the hoarding of wealth and power by the upper class, but merely takes issue with the consequences that offend him and his political ilk (see: China) and proposes solutions that will either not address or exacerbate the problem (see: gutting spending on education and health).

As a progressive, I despise plutocrats like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, but I also despise Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the nameless thousands of wealthy individuals and corporations that raid our country, regardless of their political differences. No one should be entitled to the ear of policymakers or the natural wealth of our nation, much less over the teeming masses who lack the access to education, health care, housing, job security and other basic human needs that these aptly named "robber barons" take for granted. Despite his lofty historical rhetoric, Chalberg is more concerned with modern culture war issues like the coyly mentioned "societal contagions," which I'm sure is not a dog whistle of any sort. His opposition to robber-baronism is not meaningful, and judging by his most concrete proposals, I'd say he's not truly opposed, he just doesn't think we're doing it right.

Paul Villerius, Minneapolis