Dayton denies telling mother of sick child to buy marijuana illegally

Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday denied that he told the mother of a sick child to buy marijuana illegally to help care for her son.

The allegation was made this week by a supporter of medical marijuana who met privately with Dayton. On Wednesday, Jessica Hauser of Woodbury said the governor suggested she buy marijuana for her son on the street, or in another state. 

Dayton responded on Wednesday to Hauser's comment by saying: "I cannot, and I do not, advocate breaking the law," he said. "But as a father, I understand parents who would do anything possible to help their children."

Today, Dayton told reporters that Hauser's claim was untrue, but declined to say what was said during the meeting.

"I've said all I'm going to say about medical marijuana," Dayton said. "You had statements. You asked questions. I'll give you another statement. I'm just not going to discuss it further."

Dayton later said that he considered medical marijuana a medical issue and noted the Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Psychiatric Association, the Minnesota Epilepsy Association and social service providers are all opposed to the legalization of marijuana. 

Dayton has been criticized for opposing legalizing marijuana to be used as medicine.

He put forward a plan that would pay the Mayo Clinic to conduct a study of the effectiveness of the drug for children with epilepsy. Parents with sick children said the study wouldn't help them and criticized Dayton for proposing the study as "political cover."

Dayton said he thinks it's hard to be "vilified" for accusations that he lacks compassion on the issue.

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