Tevlin: Legalizing pot is this former businessman's passion

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 11, 2014 - 9:19 PM

Randy Quast built a hugely successful trucking company, then sold it and retired at age 37. He didn’t become a political activist until police knocked in his door and arrested him.

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norselandcJan. 12, 14 5:15 AM

Thank you for your work Mr. Quast.

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rms316Jan. 12, 14 6:42 AM

Good for him. I lived for a time in Holland where pot is legal. While it has a few problems it works just fine. Let the adults in the room make the choice to smoke if they want. The mentality of considering this contraband has become archaic thinking at best.

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mnavariceJan. 12, 14 7:02 AM

Quast said police officers he talks to aren’t afraid that legalizing pot will cause more crime. “They don’t want to lose it as a reason for probable cause” to search people and vehicles, he said.----- please cite specific cops that will stand behind your claims ( that is if you didnt make this up)

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jpsletteJan. 12, 14 7:13 AM

Good luck, sir.

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cartoonconnJan. 12, 14 8:19 AM

A stepping stone drug that will get your kids to being high and drive them to experiment with more dangerous substances.

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swmnguyJan. 12, 14 8:25 AM

Thanks to Mr. Quast for telling his story and getting out there to be active. All the justifications for maintaining Prohibition fall apart when considering Mr. Quast. If you take the illegality of marijuana away, the criminal involvement itself goes away because without that risk, there's no reward to criminal behavior. The social problems related to marijuana use itself are similar to and less severe than those caused by alcohol, tobacco and prescription medications.

On the other hand, there's a huge incentive in the law enforcement industry to maintaining the prohibition. And money talks. Look at HSBC bank, which was caught red-handed laundering enormous amounts of drug money between Mexico and New York, and got off with a puny fine in relation to the profits. Look at the various intelligence agencies, which are known to use drug trafficking as a "black budget" source of revenue. Look at all the asset forfeiture laws, which law enforcement agencies include in their budgeting and revenue estimations, and in planning on whom to target for raids.

Mr. Quast is very lucky to be wealthy and white, for many reasons but mainly because if he weren't both, all his assets would have been seized and he wouldn't have been able to pay for legal representation. Marijuana prohibition causes more problems for our society than marijuana use does. 68% of narcotics cases in Minnesota are related to marijuana? What a travesty.

My youngest brother is an attorney in northern MN who does a lot of family law. He handles far too many situations where families have been devastated by cocaine, or even more often, methamphetamine. Marijuana? Not even a blip on the radar of factors in family chaos.

Put the law enforcement dollars and powers to work on meth and coke, and into medical and behavioral intervention to help the people who are torn apart by that evil stuff, and stop bothering with stuff that is only a problem because of our misguided definitions.

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slpmommyJan. 12, 14 9:10 AM

"A stepping stone drug that will get your kids to being high and drive them to experiment with more dangerous substances." Kids have very easy access to it. I think legalization is more to benefit adults.

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detachedJan. 12, 14 9:46 AM

Considering the permanent damage that alcohol does (fetal alcohol syndrome and affect, auto accidents, domestic violence, homicide, etc), the criminalization of much less dangerous marijuana is incredibly hypocritical.

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stanceJan. 12, 1410:54 AM

Marijuana has been around in medical care and in recreational use for 5,000 years. It was on the American Formulary for 100 years. And it wasn’t until 1970, it was declared a Class I drug, which means it has no value and has risk.

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absent_carloJan. 12, 1411:14 AM

I'm in favor of legalization, but I do worry about the message to children, especially when students are graduating in N. Minneapolis at a 7th grade reading level. Pot isn't going to help those numbers.

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