MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Dayton's opponents pounce on 'illegal option'

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Dayton's opponents pounce on 'illegal option'

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Flickr/Creative Commons/eggrole Flickr/Creative Commons/eggrole
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Thursday saw another dust-up on the issue of medical marijuana as Gov. Mark Dayton's political rivals seized upon the chance to criticize his recent comments that advocates have an illegal option.

Just one day after angry parents rallied at the Capitol to accuse Dayton of using their children for political cover, Republicans who hope to unseat the governor are now picking up the baton from a group of mothers whose children have severe forms of epilepsy.

In recent weeks, the mothers have led the charge for cannabis in Minnesota, even meeting with Dayton and other advocates at his residence weeks ago. On that day, Dayton suggested to both those parents -- and to reporters in a conference call -- that purchasing marijuana illegally on the streets was an option for them, albeit not one he supported.

Many of those parents were appalled by the suggestion, and on Thursday, it was clear that Republican candidates were ready to voice their own disapproval.

"The idea that a governor would literally advise somebody to go out and break the law is mind boggling to me," Sen. Dave Thompson, GOP gubernatorial candidate, said. "I would not give that advice."

Yet, just a day earlier, Dayton issued a statement saying, "I cannot, and I do not, advocate breaking the law. But as a father, I understand parents who would do anything possible to help their children."

Fox 9 News asked all of the Republican candidates where they stand on medical marijuana. Only one, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, said he would support a strict medical marijuana law. Scott Honour said he is opposed, and the remaining three candidates -- Thompson, Rep. Kurt Zellers and Marty Seifert -- all said they have yet to see a bill they would support.

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