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Murdock talks issues with constituents in Wadena

State Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail, touched on a wide variety of issues at a town hall meeting with constituents Saturday in Wadena. Murdock talked about the budget, medical marijuana and his first year in the Legislature, to name a few.

Murdock summed up the session so far as "challenging, fun, frustrating," and said he had been putting in some long hours at the Capitol. And he said while the Legislature has introduced about 2,000 bills this session, only seven have reached the governor's desk, "nothing on the deficit," he added.

Murdock said he supports Gov. Tim Pawlenty's position that no taxes be raised.

"With the economy in the tank, increased taxes are going to drag us down," Murdock said.

He did predict that the economy could start to turn around late this year.

"I'm thinking by this time next year, we'll be through it," Murdock said.

After a brief legislative update, Murdock took questions from the audience.

One question dealt with medical marijuana, and whether Murdock supports it.

"My aunt passed away from cancer," he said. "She was taking a marijuana pill that was alleviating her cancer pain."

Murdock said he'd support the substance in a pill form, but worried that controls on growers and distributors wouldn't protect kids from the drug.

"There's just too much pressure for kids to get into it," he said. "The temptation is there."

Murdock was also asked about early voting, which he said he'd have to see the specific proposal before commenting, but said he wasn't sure why early voting would be necessary.

Murdock said he's supporting a bill that would move people on MinnesotaCare to private health insurers. He said the bill is a "no brainer," saving the state money and "the people who are on MinnesotaCare would have better care."

Murdock was also asked about same-sex marriage.

"In the Minnesota Constitution, it's one man, one woman," he said.