Shaw: Pro-pot candidates, term limits and other thoughts

Columnist Jim Shaw covers marijuana legalization, term limits, Fargo news and more in this column. Read on for the latest from Jim.

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw

If you’re voting in Minnesota, don’t be fooled by the pro-marijuana candidates. There are about 15 of them running this year for statewide office, Congress and the state legislature.

They have no chance to win. They are spoiler candidates. Historically, many of these candidates don’t even favor legalized recreational marijuana. Their objectives are to take votes away from the Democratic Party candidates, so the Republican Party candidates can win. In the last statewide election, some of the pro-pot candidates accomplished just that. Pro-marijuana candidates in Minnesota took enough votes away from the Democratic Party candidates to allow Republicans to win one U.S. House race and two state legislative seats.

One of the pro-marijuana candidates this year is Travis “Bull” Johnson. He is running for Congress in Minnesota’s seventh district as a member of the “Legal Marijuana Now” Party. If you look at Johnson’s social media posts, it’s very clear that he’s no liberal.

Travis "Bull" Johnson is running for Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District this November under the Legal Marijuana Now party and hopes his honesty, realism and political outsider status will be enough for voters to send him to Congress.

Speaking of pot, there’s an egregious error on the North Dakota ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana. It says the state will lose money on this, when it actually will make millions of dollars a year.

State officials who calculated a fiscal note for the pot legalization measure did not attempt to quantify how much tax revenue North Dakota would bring in through the sale of marijuana.

Often overlooked, the North Dakota term limits measure doesn’t limit legislators to eight years of service. It limits them to 16 years. That’s because House or Senate members could serve eight years in their chamber, and then another eight years in the other chamber. That’s long enough.


The Fargo Parks Sports Complex project is a wonderful plan, but it’s fiscally irresponsible. The Fargo Park Board pledged that half the money would come from private funds. However, only one-fourth of the money is coming from private donations. So, that extra funding is coming from taxpayers. The Park Board should either scale down the project or delay construction of Phase II until more private money is raised.

In August, Fargo Park Board members voiced support for pursuing a Phase II, which could include four multipurpose hardwood courts, two sheets of ice, two community rooms, six pickleball courts and an indoor play area with birthday rooms.

Good move by the Fargo City Commission to oust City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn from his position as deputy mayor. Piepkorn has made too many inflammatory and insensitive remarks over the years to serve as deputy mayor. City Commissioner Denise Kolpack was spot on when she said Piepkorn has violated the code of conduct for the office.

After watching the latest brilliant documentary film by Ken Burns, “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” I am trying to figure out why Charles Lindbergh has a terminal named after him at the Minneapolis airport. Lindbergh was a bigot, a Nazi and a traitor.

Columnist Joan Brickner reflects on the Ken Burns documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust and the continued rise of antisemitism.

WDAY-TV’s Matt Henson did an outstanding job of reporting the shooting deaths of Steve and Stacey Stearns of rural Detroit Lakes. Henson found that it was a murder-suicide “Done out of love.” Both had advanced stages of cancer and agreed that they wanted to die together. Here’s hoping the Minnesota Legislature will pass a death with dignity bill, so terminally ill patients who are found to be of sound minds, can take medication to end their suffering.

The family of Fargo’s Roger Maris was very classy and gracious when Aaron Judge broke Maris’ home run record.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.


Opinion by Jim Shaw
InForum columnist Jim Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
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