Short takes for may 16

Medical marijuana close to reality

THUMBS UP:

One thing the Legislature did get right was medical marijuana, where it was able to compromise after much emotional debate and testimony. Gov. Mark Dayton, who at first sided with law enforcement and was against any legalization of marijuana, has promised to sign the bill. The drug won’t be available to anyone who wants to smoke it; it will be strictly for qualifying patients only. We hope the state makes it easy enough for the sick and suffering to get their hands on.

Help from the state in fight against mental illness

THUMBS UP:

We’re very encouraged to see local agencies receive grant money to help fight mental illness in our schools. The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced this week it will spread out more than $45 million to a number of service-based agencies throughout Minnesota, including Southwestern Mental Health Center, Western Mental Health Center and Woodland Centers in southwest Minnesota. The mental health issue is one that is not going away, and the state needs to do what it can to treat our youth who might be having serious mental issues. We have seen all too often what can happen when youth and adults alike who are struggling with mental health issues fall through the cracks, so hopefully these grants will go a long way in helping our young students.

$15 minimum wage?

THUMBS down:

The city of Seattle is raising the minimum wage bar much too high. The city’s mayor is proposing to raise the wage to $15 per hour in the coming years, which would be the highest in the nation. While we agree employees at the minimum wage level have been underpaid for years, we think going to $15 is too big of a leap. Much too big. We prefer what Minnesota has decided to do – raise the minimum wage in phases until it hits $9.50 in a couple years for some businesses. Small businesses would not be further burdened by having to decide between paying their employees more than $10 per hour or cutting their staff.

New chief in Minneota

THUMBS UP:

We’re glad to see the city of Minneota has chosen a new chief of police in Worthington Police officer William Bolt, who was chosen over Marshall officer Kathy Bresson, according to the Minneota Mascot newspaper. The position has been anything but stable in recent months since the Minneota council accepted the resignation of Eric Johnson, who was the city’s only full-time cop at the time. Bresson had been serving as Minneota’s interim chief since Johnson’s resignation.