New MN Laws Come Into Effect August 1st

Previously, lower standards had been used to convict a student for using derogatory language on Twitter...

Photo by QuinceMedia--1031690
Photo by QuinceMedia--1031690

Several laws will go into effect August 1st, including legislation preventing minors from marrying, raising the state’s legal age to buy tobacco, and police reform.

Specifically, the new laws will raise the state’s legal age of tobacco purchase to 21, require police officers to intervene in situations of excessive force, and prevent people under 18 from getting married. The legislation also includes many minor adjustments, more freedom for hairstylists, and raises the standard of criminal harassment.

The tobacco legislation will prevent minors who purchase it from being fined and eliminates the petty misdemeanor associated with possession or purchase with a fake ID. Though it will require community service or participation in tobacco cessation programs as a substitute for the fines.

The section of statutory law that allowed minors aged 16 and 17 to get married with parental consent is being removed, and the state will no longer recognize foreign marriages that include at least 1 MN resident and 1 minor.

Due to an MN Supreme Court opinion from 2019, the classification of harassment will match federal standards and require intent to cause harm as part of the definition. Previously, lower standards had been used to convict a student for using derogatory language on Twitter, which the Court overruled due to free speech concerns.

Effective August 1st, freelance hairdressers and beauty artists will be allowed to do their work without getting a full cosmetology license.