Minnesota Republican Senators Block Marijuana Legalization Vote

Minnesota Republican Senators Block Marijuana Legalization Vote
MJ moment

The Minnesota’s Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday blocked Democrats’ move to advance a marijuana legalization bill that’s been stalled in committee. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen (D) announced her plans to bring the issue up for consideration on the chamber floor through a procedural mechanism that would have required a supermajority of 41 votes to advance. As was expected, the motion failed to reach that threshold in the GOP-run body. The process López Franzen sought to use is called recall from committee. The Senate legalization bill was referred to committee in February 2021, but it did not advance. Democrats sought to leverage that process to skip committee consideration and bring it straight to the floor for consideration. “We all know that legalization would have economic benefits, but there’s other urgent aspects of my legislation,” López Franzen said. “With all the discussion about public safety this year, we also need to address disparities in the criminal justice system around cannabis that disproportionately impact communities of color. That’s why I’m asking to make this urgent motion to bring my bill to the floor.” “Minnesotans want to have this discussion and conversation about legalization of cannabis,” she said. “They broadly support moving ahead with this legislation. They expect us to debate the merits of this proposal and not block the conversation from happening.” But the motion was defeated in a 31-33 vote. A House companion version did pass the full chamber last year. “We’ve seen the benefits of legalization in the states where it’s move forward, and we should join them not just for the economic benefits but also to address disparities in our criminal justice system that have a disproportionate impact of Minnesotans of color,” López Franzen said in a video previewing the plan on Tuesday. The majority of Minnesotans support…

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