Where do the Republican candidates stand on medical marijuana?

Five GOP gubernatorial hopefuls were asked today whether they’d support a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.

All five have criticized Gov. Dayton for the way he has handled the issue, especially for reportedly telling parents of sick children that they could buy the drug illegally on the street. The governor has denied he did that.

The candidates also offered their opinions on where they stand on medical marijuana.

Here’s what they told reporters today:

Open to it

“I have been on the record as willing to sign a medical marijuana bill, not necessarily the one out there right now, if it very strictly controlled access,” Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson said. “That’s something I’d be willing to do as governor.”

“I have not seen a piece of legislation that I would support,” Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, told reporters. He later clarified that he is open to supporting medical marijuana if he’s elected governor.

Oppose it

“When I speak with law enforcement and the medical community, I am guided by them,” said Scott Honour. “They are focused on the issues at hand, and unless I heard strong advocacy from those groups for the use of medicinal marijuana I’m against it.

“I voted against it when it was brought up years ago,” former state Rep. Marty Seifert said. “Unlike Mark Dayton, I will read the bills before they’re presented to me. I don’t have a specific bill before me to read, but when I have one, certainly ask me and I’ll let you know where I’m at on it.”

“I haven’t seen legislation that I could support yet,” said state Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove said. “What you’re seeing in California is that there are all kinds of 15-year-olds walking around with glaucoma apparently because they are able to get prescriptions willy nilly. I think that’s an absolute wrong place for our state to go.”

Zellers voted against a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in 2009. That bill passed, and GOP  Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed it.

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