The conversation about legalizing cannabis is picking up in the North Star State! House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler will be sponsoring legislation to legalize cannabis for adults and aims for it to pass the House of Representatives in 2020.
Before crafting the legislation, Rep. Winkler will be leading "Be Heard on Cannabis," a listening tour throughout the state where Minnesotans can weigh in on the issue this fall. Don't miss this opportunity to voice your support for sensible cannabis policy and to make your priorities heard.
Here are the upcoming known tour dates so far:
When: Saturday, September 21, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Teatro in the Zeitgeist Arts Building, 222 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 5580
Who: Hosted by Rep. Winkler, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections Paul Schnell, Rep. Olson, and Rep. Schultz
When: Wednesday, September 25, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411
Who: Hosted by Rep. Winkler, Sen. Hayden, Sen. Champion, Sen. Dziedzic, Sen. Hawj, Rep. Dehn, and Rep. Lee with special guest Dr. Raj Sethuraju, Associate Professor at Metro State University
When: Saturday, October 12, 1:30 p.m.
Where: St. Cloud Public Library, Mississippi Community Room, 1300 W. St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN 56301
Who: Hosted by Rep. Winkler, Sen. Hayden, and Rep. Wolgamott with special guest Jeremy Sankey, founder of Minnesota Veterans for Cannabis
You can also click here to take a survey to share your thoughts, sign up for updates, and learn more about "Be Heard on Cannabis."
In other encouraging news, Gov. Walz is asking his agencies to prepare for legalization. Still, the measure could face a hurdle in the Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said, "it's dead as far as I'm concerned in the Senate for next year." Even passing the House in 2020 would represent tremendous progress, moving Minnesota leaps and bounds closer to the end of cannabis prohibition.
It's important lawmakers hear from supporters like you. Please consider attending a listening session near you, and email your lawmakers today. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Minnesota.
Do you believe that #mnisready for legal, adult-use marijuana? Join our allies at Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation (MRMR) on Tuesday, May 14 at their campaign kick-off party to show your support.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 14, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
HOW: Buy your tickets here. General admission is $25, and VIP tickets are $100.
Featuring live music by Fat Kid Wednesdays & Malamanya!
MRMR (pronounced “murmur”) is a broad coalition of organizations and individuals supporting the legalization and regulation of adult-use marijuana.
Join the MRMR team, fellow supporters, friends, and neighbors as they kick off the MRMR campaign and gear up for a big year of advocacy ahead!
Today at 12:01 a.m., doors opened to qualified medical marijuana patients at Minnesota’s first dispensary — Minnesota Medical Solutions’ Minneapolis location. The July 1 opening date adheres strictly to the implementation timeline proscribed by lawmakers last spring. To say that MPP is thrilled that some seriously ill Minnesotans finally have legal access to medical marijuana products recommended by their doctors is an understatement. That said, we know there is plenty of work still to do.
While the Minnesota medical cannabis law will offer relief to some seriously ill Minnesotans, it offers no relief to others suffering unnecessarily. For instance, patients suffering from intractable pain are still excluded — though the health department is required to consider whether to recommend adding that condition.
Even for those patients with qualifying conditions, severe limits on the number of dispensing locations and unnecessary health care practitioner participation requirements will make it difficult to benefit from the program. We are hopeful that the program will prove helpful for those who do qualify and that lawmakers will compassionately expand it in the near future.
For more information on the medical marijuana program, visit the Office of Medical Cannabis’s website.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has recently taken to Minnesota’s airwaves in a misguided attempt to blame violence at the hands of criminal gangs on consumers of marijuana. “When you pay for marijuana, you are paying for the bullet that goes into the head of someone on the streets,” he told the Star Tribune, in one instance.
Today, MPP called upon Mayor Rybak to get honest about what actually fuels violence in the marijuana trade: prohibition. Here’s the statement by MPP’s Steve Fox:
“Like alcohol prohibition in the last century, marijuana prohibition has helped to fuel violent crime in Minnesota and across the country. Mayor Rybak is out of touch with reality if he does not recognize that prohibition—and any elected official who supports it—is to blame for giving criminals a virtual monopoly on marijuana’s lucrative trade. It is unrealistic to assume we can somehow magically remove the demand for marijuana. The only true solution is to regulate marijuana, and bring its sale under the rule of law, the same way we ended the criminal violence that stemmed from alcohol prohibition.
“If the mayor wants to end violence associated with marijuana, he too needs to be honest, and join the growing ranks of those calling for an end to prohibition and the failed policies that drive money into the hands of criminals, and yes, bullets into people’s heads.”
Well, as it turns out, the first call I got back about our release was from Mayor Rybak himself. He was not too pleased, to say the least. To his credit, the mayor seemed more nuanced and open-minded about the issue than some of the Minnesota headline writers have made him out to be. He reiterated that this is a complicated subject, but that he is open to a debate on solutions. “I’m telling people that we need to talk about this,” he told me.
If you’re in the Minneapolis area and want to tell Mayor Rybak what you think about this, he responds regularly to comments made on his Facebook page.