The governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, recently made a public announcement to State agencies regarding the legalization of recreational cannabis in Minnesota.
A Democratic-Farmer-Labor party member, Walz said in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio news that he is depending on the support of the General Public to ensure Minnesota cannabis is legalized for adult-use in the Democratic-leaning state.
During the last legislative session, Minnesota’s Senate dismissed a cannabis bill created to decriminalize the plant by 2022. Despite the death of this bill in February 2018, it did manage to gain approval from two House committees.
Obstacles must be overcome if Minnesota cannabis is to be legalized for recreational use
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) is adamant that a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Minnesota will be voted down for the coming year. In spite of the fact that Democrats rule the roost in Minnesota, the Senate is controlled by Republicans.
This means that the chances of cannabis being legalized for adult-use in the state are somewhat slim. Whatever happens, it is going to be a struggle.
Back in March, following the rejection of Minnesota’s cannabis decriminalization bill, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) declared that the law is “not good for Minnesota.”
“It’s dead as far as I’m concerned in the Senate for next year,” he said. “We’ve gone through the due diligence and the process to listen to the issue. There were just a lot of negative issues around recreational [cannabis].”
Nonetheless, with the support of Gov. Tim Walz and House leaders, Minnesota is demonstrating promise for cannabis reform.
House Majority Leader was to sponsor Minnesota cannabis bill next year
The failure of the previous Minnesota cannabis bill has spurred on fresh efforts to legalize weed. One such example was an announcement made by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), who says he will sponsor a cannabis legalization bill in 2020.
At the end of August, openly discussed the prospects of cannabis legalization at the Minnesota State Fair. The discussion is called “Community Conversations on Cannabis.”
“It’s a big issue that needs a lot of attention to be done well,” Winkler said regarding his participation in Minnesota’s cannabis legalization efforts.
Winkler will educate the general public about the benefits of legalizing cannabis in Minnesota by embarking on a listening tour before the proposal is put forward.
“I think most of us who have looked at the issue think that legalization is the path we have to take,” he said. “But I don’t want to prejudge that until we’ve had that conversation with Minnesotans.”
Cannabis legalization efforts in Minnesota are also being considered by advocacy groups Cannabis for Economic Growth and Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation.
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