Democrat politicians in the state of Minnesota are aiming to introduce a bill this week to legalize adult use of marijuana.
The bill is expected to be heavily opposed by Republicans.
House Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, and other DFLers say the bill will address criminal justice inequities and allow police to focus on more serious crimes.
A news conference on the proposed legislation was held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1st.
This is not the first time bills were introduced in the state to legalize the plant.It was in May of last year that during the last legislative session a bill had been introduced that would legalize the plant and laid out provisions for cannabis legislation in the state. This included regulations for retailers, consumers, and packaging and labeling.
Under the bill, an adult would be permitted to possess 1.5 ounces of cannabis in public and up to 10 pounds at a private residence.
It was then in August that U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, DFL-Minnesota introduced a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana on the federal level. A version of the bill passed the DFL-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in December.
“Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn to The Center Square. “By creating a regulatory framework we can address the harms caused by cannabis and establish a more sensible set of laws to improve our health care & criminal justice systems and ensure better outcomes for communities.”