The Democratic governor of Minnesota is taking steps to prepare the state for the possible legalization of marijuana next year. This came to light when Gov. Tim Walz (D) was hosted during a radio program.
Different agencies, such as those charged with matters of revenue, public health and safety, have all been put on notice to get ready to swing into action as soon as lawmakers pass the appropriate law.
Ryan Winkler, the Democratic House Majority Leader, also revealed that he would sponsor a marijuana legalization bill during the 2020 legislative session.
In an editorial he authored, Winkler underscored the necessity of taking action on marijuana legalization and expressed his displeasure regarding the blockage in the Senate of a proposal that would have seen a committee established to study and find answers to the different concerns raised about legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota.
While the governor and the leadership of the state Assembly support marijuana legalization, efforts in this direction are likely to face stiff resistance in the Senate which is controlled by Republicans.
For example, Paul Gazelka (R), the Senate Majority Leader, said that the proposal which was defeated in March wasn’t good for Minnesota. He has also vowed to block any legalization bill that gets to the Senate because, in his view, “due diligence has been done and there are lots of negative issues related to legalizing recreational marijuana.”
Winkler and other lawmakers who want to see a legalization law enacted therefore have their work cut out for them on this bumpy road ahead.
As a way to build consensus on matters of marijuana legalization, Winkler plans to conduct a listening tour in order to hear what residents have to say about this matter. The information he gathers will form part of what his draft law will include.
Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation, a pro-marijuana advocacy group, is also involved in efforts to reform the marijuana laws of the state. The group reported that they had met with Gov. Walz last week and the two parties discussed matters of cannabis legalization.
Cannabis for Economic Growth, a marijuana advocacy political group, is also campaigning for marijuana legalization. This group emphasizes the economic benefits that can accrue when marijuana is made legal for recreational use by adults.
The Minnesota branch of anti-marijuana legalization group, SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) also seems to be resigned to the fact marijuana will eventually be legalized in the state and they are urging for caution in the way the legalization process is handled.
While the odds may appear to be stacked against those who want to push for a legislative approach to the legalization of marijuana, experts share the view that industry participants like Geyser Brands Inc. (TSX.V: GYSR) and Grapefruit Boulevard Investments Inc. (OTCQB: IGNG) would rather go with this method than go through a ballot measure that is time-consuming.
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