Minnesota House Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

MJ moment

After hours of debate on Thursday night that at times became heated, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize marijuana in the state. After moving through 12 committees since being introduced in February, the full chamber passed the measure on a 72–61 vote, with some Republican support. It now proceeds to the Senate, where leaders in the GOP majority have vowed to derail it. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers, the legislation would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature. “Cannabis prohibition in Minnesota has been a failure,” Winkler said on the House floor before the vote. “The criminal penalties associated with cannabis prohibition have been unfairly applied to communities of color, especially Black Minnesotans.” “House File 600 legalizes cannabis for adult use in Minnesota, expunging records related to past cannabis convictions,” he continued. “It creates a legal marketplace focused on allowing more opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses in Minnesota and creates a pathway for social equity applicants to be part of a growing industry.” The governor supports legalization, but the bill is still expected to face a significant challenge in the Republican-controlled Senate, where lawmakers have indicated that they’re more interested in revising the state’s existing medical cannabis program than more broadly ending prohibition. However, Winkler said that, if the chamber does take it up for vote, he expects it would pass. At the very least, the momentum could spur GOP members to take up more modest reforms such as expanding the state’s medical marijuana program, he told Marijuana Moment in an interview on Tuesday. “I think we are having an effect on them, and they…

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Source : Minnesota House Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

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