DFL Reps Push for Marijuana Legalization in MN
St. Paul, MN – DFL representatives are pushing towards legalizing marijuana in Minnesota, offering several different avenues to achieve their goal.
Representative Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester) announced Wednesday that she intends to introduce legislation to put the decision in the hands of voters on the next ballot.
The ballot question would ask Minnesota voters if they want to end the prohibition on the personal use and cultivation of cannabis through a constitutional amendment. The measure would also include funding for chemical dependency and mental health education and treatment.
“My bill would let citizens decide whether it is time to try a different path—one already successfully paved by many other states.” says Liebling.
Another measure was introduced Wednesday by Representative Jon Applebaum (DFL – Minnetonka). His bill would circumvent voters and legalize the personal and recreational use of marijuana in the state of Minnesota. Under his legislation, the state would regulate marijuana in a similar fashion to alcohol, with purchase, possession, and use only permitted by those aged 21 or older.
“Ultimately, I envision a billion dollar ‘Made in Minnesota’ marijuana economy, where the products are grown by Minnesota farmers, distributed by Minnesota companies, and sold by Minnesota small business owners,” said Applebaum. “Ideally, all tax proceeds would be directed towards funding Minnesota’s public schools and would result in lower taxes for Minnesota families.”
These measures will likely never pass, with Governor Mark Dayton stating his opposition to legalizing marijuana. “I don’t support it. We’ve got enough drugs, an epidemic of drugs that’s floating through our society right now. And law enforcement’s got to deal with all the consequences of it. Whether it’s more or less harmful than alcohol, the fact is, alcohol causes a great many terrible tragedies around the state, on the roads and the like,” said the Governor in an official statement.
The DFL representatives also face challenges getting hearings for their bills, with the Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, Representative Tony Cornish (R – Vernon Center) saying the bills are “an exercise in futility.”
The possession and cultivation of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. President Donald Trump and newly-confirmed US Attorney General Jeff Sessions have vowed to take a strong stance against drugs in The United States.
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