Legalize marijuana? Other priorities exist

As Gov.-elect Tim Walz begins his transition to take over the seat from Gov. Mark Dayton in January, he has been meeting with past governors to seek their counsel and advice on the role he will now play. That is a wise strategy, provided he doesn’t feel too obligated to accept their advice.

We would imagine a lot of that advice would be contradictory — Gov. Dayton and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, for example, would give him completely opposite advice about taxes and budgets. Walz will no doubt reject the “no new taxes” philosophy that guided Pawlenty, but hopefully he will pick up on the idea of fiscal restraint.

We wonder what Walz will take away from his visit with Jesse “The Governor” Ventura? Ventura’s term as governor started strong as he leaned heavily on the team of excellent aides and advisers he had assembled, but as he got comfortable in the office he began doing it his way, and his way tended to alienate lawmakers he needed to support him.

After his meeting with Walz this week, Ventura said he and Walz talked about legalizing recreational use of marijuana in Minnesota. He told Walz that the state is missing out on the economic benefits of a legalized pot trade.

Minnesota already allows for the use of “medical marijuana,” although its system of distributing oils has been criticized as clumsy and for playing favorites with the firms making it. One has to wonder why adults cannot simply decide for themselves whether to use marijuana, in any form. At the same time, we cannot say Walz needs to put marijuana legalization at the top of his agenda. There are plenty of other issues that need more immediate attention.