The push to fully legalize marijuana in Minnesota will be up for debate again this legislative session.
The issue has gained momentum in the last month, with the House of Representatives passing federal legislation. It still faces opposition in the Senate. Voters in South Dakota, Montana, New Jersey and Arizona made recreational Marijuana legal in November.
“Public support is growing for legalizing and expunging criminal records for cannabis,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said.
Winkler will again sponsor a bill for legalization, and explains there are two elements to it.
“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,” Winkler said.
He said addressing the criminal justice aspect of marijuana is paramount.
“There are obviously big racial biases in the criminal justice system, very different arrest rates, very different incarceration depending on your race. 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,” Winkler said. [Read more at CBS Minnesota]