Minnesota is still pushing for legalization and planning to try again during this legislative session, although they are still facing some resistance from the state Senate.
“Public support is growing for legalizing and expunging criminal records for cannabis,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said regarding the new, proposed legislation. He plans to sponsor another bill for legalization this time around. “We want to create a safe, regulated marketplace where people can buy cannabis, know what they’re getting, where law enforcement knows where cannabis is coming into the community.”
“There are obviously big racial biases in the criminal justice system, very different arrest rates, very different incarceration depending on your race,” he added, regarding some of the other reasons for legalization in Minnesota. “The big hurdle is not really trying to convince people that cannabis is good. Nobody is trying to say that. What we’re saying is, the current system fails every test of a good, public response to a drug that has some adverse effects and has some positive benefits.”