The meeting was meant to gather community feedback so state legislators can decide whether to legalize marijuana, and how they would go about doing so.
Community members both for and against the issue gathered in the Memorial Building Little Theater.
Some who are in favor of legalizing marijuana say it could go a long ways to help bring money into the state.
“I think we need to look at what’s really going to benefit our state, what’s really going to benefit the public, and just because it’s something that’s maybe scary or uncomfortable to talk about doesn’t mean that it’s not something that needs to be done,” said Kenna Freestone of Bovey, who is in favor of legalizing marijuana.
On the other side of the debate, some of those against legalizing marijuana say the health complications outweigh any potential economic impact it could have.
“I just think that we need to value the lives, and the health of our young people, and our citizens more than making money in this particular way,” said Patty Jacobson of Hibbing, who is opposed to legalizing marijuana.
House Minority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler says even if marijuana is legalized, there will still be limits on what people are able to do. He adds that it won’t allow the access to be “wide open.”
11 states, along with Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use.