ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura said Wednesday that he supports legalizing marijuana for medical use.
"Medical marijuana? I fully support it, absolutely. Who is government to tell someone if they have AIDS or cancer, what they should be taking?" Ventura said in response to a question from a student at University of St. Thomas during a talk to a political science class.
Ventura cited the experience of his mother, who was given a mix of narcotics to help the pain caused by a respiratory disease. She died in 1995.
If marijuana provides the same sort of relief to others who are suffering, the Independence Party governor said, he's all for it.
"To me, you've got a kid here with cancer," Ventura said. "I don't give a damn if he smokes a joint."
Ventura plans to attend a forum on the issue Friday, sponsored jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety. Organizers say the state hopes to encourage more research.
A bill before the Legislature this year would appropriate $100,000 to study potential medicinal uses of marijuana.
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