Minnesota: March 8 – House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee approved H.F. 1355 (Gomez), a bill to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis mixtures

Minnesota: March 8 – House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee approved H.F. 1355 (Gomez), a bill to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis mixtures
CANNANNEW REPORT

Blunt Strategies report → On Tuesday, March 8, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee approved H.F. 1355 (Gomez), a bill to reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis mixtures, as amended. The bill was approved on a 12-6-1 vote, with all DFL members and Rep. Patricia Mueller (R-Austin) voting to approve, GOP member Eric Lucero (R-St. Michael) voting to abstain, and GOP members Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge), Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook), Paul Novotny (R-Elk River), Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake), John Poston (R-Lake Shore), and Donald Raleigh (R-Circle Pines) voting to reject. The bill has been referred to the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. Its senate companion, S.F. 2348 (Abeler), has not been scheduled for a hearing. Tuesday’s hearing can be viewed here and included testimony from Republican Liberty Caucus chair Andrew Schmitz and criminal defense attorney/legalization advocate Tom Gallagher. Letters of support submitted to the committee can be viewed here. Per an excellent bill explainer from Sensible Change MN and MN Norml: “Why these changes are needed: Minnesota decriminalized bud/flower cannabis in the 1970s, but did not include any other forms of cannabis, like edibles and wax, meaning that individuals caught with these products face felony charges instead of petty misdemeanor tickets. This is increasingly problematic because the trends in MN’s illicit market are shifting heavily toward non-flower cannabis, resulting in more felony charges instead of petty misdemeanor tickets.”  

Also → On Wednesday, March 9, Sen. Mark Koran (R-North Branch) introduced S.F. 3857, a bill to reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis mixtures. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. Its House companion, H.F. 2652 (West), was introduced last session. Leili’s Take: The language of this bill is identical to H.F. 1355 (Gomez)/S.F. 2348 (Abeler) as amended and approved this week by the House Public…

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Source : Minnesota: March 8 – House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee approved H.F. 1355 (Gomez), a bill to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis mixtures

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