Minnesota begins renewed push for legalized marijuana

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Minnesota is possibly on track to be one of several states to advance marijuana use this year

2022 was a pretty important year for marijuana legalization in Minnesota. The state made several efforts that are now being reflected in 2023 and that is why the push for the plant to gain legal status has begun at the state Capitol.

A measure introduced yesterday before the Minnesota Legislature clarified that legal use and sales of cannabis would begin a few months after the proposed law on the drug’s reclassification receives the go-ahead. As a result, this long-term attempt to legalize marijuana would allow adults 21 and older to use marijuana for any purpose through a new legal framework.

The 240-plus page bill was recently summarized by supporters, who predict a rather turbulent journey through the DFL-controlled Legislature starting next week. Tim Walz, the state’s governor, said he has no problem putting his signature on the bill. However, it has been nearly impossible to get the proposals to his desk due to strong opposition in the Senate.

Representative Zack Stephenson is aware that the bill will undergo rigorous scrutiny this session, requiring the involvement of nearly every committee. The measure is intended to cover everything from legal sales to production, taxes and even cancellation of prior violations. The Bureau of Cannabis Management, according to the measure, would be established as the new state agency to regulate all hemp and marijuana-related activities.

“Minnesotans should have the freedom and respect to decide for themselves how to use cannabis responsibly,” Stephenson argued at a press conference at the Capitol. “Our current laws are more harmful than beneficial. State and city governments are spending millions to enforce rules that benefit no one.”