A new measure out of Minnesota would legalize marijuana by the year 2022.

Legislation was introduced at the Minnesota Capital this week, as supporters push to have the drug be allowed for sales and possession in the state by 2022.

“The issue of cannabis legalization is one that’s moving incredibly fast around the country, at a certain point it will become inevitable in Minnesota, ” said Rep. Mike Freiberg, D-Golden Valley.

“We have two options in front of us. One is to get in front of this issue and put strong public health protections in place and the other is to wait for it to come to us.”

Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa stated, “Legalizing recreational marijuana is a controversial issue, to say the least, and not something I would consider a priority issue,” Gazelka said in a statement. “Considering that it’s linked to mental health problems, driving accidents, and impaired teen brain development, I don’t think it has a chance to pass the Senate this year.”

“It’s going to be a long discussion,” Freiberg said. “It will not be an easy one, but we are all up for the challenge.”

The new bill would allow for commercial marijuana sales by 2022 and small-scale personal possession, such as growing plants at home, starting in 2020.

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