Minnesota House Committee Urges Marijuana Decriminalization And Expungements As Racial Justice Moves For 2021

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A panel of Minnesota lawmakers is backing the decriminalization of marijuana and expunging past cannabis records as a way to help “dismantle systemic racism” in the state. Last week, the House Select Committee On Racial Justice adopted a report that broadly details race-based disparities and recommends a series of policy changes that could resolve those issues. In order to “address disproportionately harmful impacts on communities of color” in the legal system, the legislature should pursue cannabis decriminalization and clearing the records of those convicted on non-violent marijuana offenses, the report states. The select committee was tasked with assessing racial disparities in the state as part of a resolution that was approved by the House in July. It urges the governor and the Senate to “adopt resolutions affirming that racism is a public health crisis resulting in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness, education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice, and housing.” To that end, panel members are calling for their recommendations to “be at the center” of the legislature’s work to put together a budget in fiscal year 2021, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) said in a press release. Winkler filed a bill earlier this year to fully legalize marijuana in Minnesota, describing it as the “best” in the country in part because it would have prioritized social equity in the industry. It did not move in the legislature, however. Gov. Tim Walz (D), who backs legalization, said last year that he was directing state agencies to prepare to implement reform in anticipation of legalization passing. “I’m proud of the Select Committee’s hard work this year to help Minnesotans understand the historical context behind systemic racism, and to give the unacceptable racial disparities throughout the state the attention they deserve,” the committee’s co-chair Rep. Rena Moran…

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Source : Minnesota House Committee Urges Marijuana Decriminalization And Expungements As Racial Justice Moves For 2021

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