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.
Submit a letter of support if you could benefit from allowing oral uptake delivery or from adding chronic pain or TBI to the program.
Minnesota's medical cannabis law started as one of the most restrictive in the nation. Thanks to the hard work of our allies at Sensible Minnesota and the voices of patients and providers, it has steadily been expanded via the Department of Health petition process. Intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and other conditions have been added administratively to include tens of thousands more patients.
Sensible Minnesota is now focused on expanding conditions to include chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to allow oral uptake delivery. If you are a patient, caregiver, family member, healthcare provider, or someone else who could benefit from the addition of these conditions or delivery method, please consider providing a letter of support by the end of the day on Friday, July 26.
The National Academy of Sciences found there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis relieves chronic pain. Adding "chronic pain" would allow thousands more patients to qualify who do not fall under the restrictive definition of intractable pain.
Oral uptake delivery — which can be done with gums, lozenges, or mints — permits patients to absorb cannabinoids through the mucosal lining of the mouth. This means the patient doesn't need to swallow the product, which can take far longer to get into the bloodstream to provide relief.
If you are a pain or TBI patient who has already received benefit from medical cannabis, please consider providing a letter to share your story.
You can submit your letter of support using Sensible Minnesota's online form or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to email@example.com.
If you live in Minnesota, ask Senators Michelle Benson and Jim Abeler to improve Minnesota’s medical cannabis law.
A conference committee is winding down its work on possible revisions to Minnesota’s medical cannabis law, and we need your help to convince lawmakers to side with compassion.
Please call Senator Michelle Benson at 651-296-3219 Senator and Jim Abeler at 651-296-3733 TODAY to politely ask them to stand up for patients by including flower (whole plant cannabis) in the Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill.
Currently, only costly extracts are allowed, and many patients cannot continue to access their medicine because they cannot afford it. Allowing non-smoked flower will provide relief to more patients.
The conference committee is made up of five members from the House and five members from the Senate. Our allies have secured the House-side votes, but we need help getting two more senators to vote in favor of the compassionate provisions.
That's where you come in! Please call Senators Benson and Abeler and then share this message with members of your community, so that they, too, can speak out for compassion.
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!
This coming Tuesday, February 12, please join Minnesota Political Director Jason Tarasek, Rep. Mike Freiberg, Sen. Michell Benson, and Ken Winters for a forum on marijuana policy, which follows a discussion on tax reform. The forum is hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.
What: A forum on tax legislation and marijuana legalization, hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.
When: Tuesday, February 12, tax discussion begins at 6:30 p.m., marijuana discussion begins around 7:45 p.m.
Where: Mitchell Hamline School of Law auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
The event will also be streamed online here: https://mitchellhamline.zoom.us/j/725771811?status=success
Rep. Freiberg recently introduced legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in Minnesota. The companion bill in the Minnesota Senate is authored by Sen. Melisa Franzen and Sen. Scott Jensen, a Republican who is also a physician. Although Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) supports legalization and House leadership (DFL) is very open to it, the Senate leader, Paul Gazelka (R), is opposed. It is far from certain that the legislation will pass this year, but it's crucial lawmakers hear that this is an issue voters care about.
We hope to see you on Tuesday! Please spread the word so others can join us!
Exciting news! Yesterday, Senators Melisa Franzen (DFL) and Scott Jensen (R) and Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL) introduced bills to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults who are 21 years or older.
Although the DFL-controlled House and DFL governor are the most receptive they've ever been to ending cannabis prohibition, significant challenges remain. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) has said the bill has no chance in his chamber. But don't despair: Major change typically takes time.
It's crucial that lawmakers hear from supportive constituents so we can build support for passage, whether it happens this year, next, or in 2021 — after the next state Senate election. If this is a voting issue for you, you can let your legislators know you won't be supporting them if they stand in the way of humane marijuana policy.
Prohibition sends an incredible number of people through the criminal justice system, and the collateral consequences can have life-altering effects. . By legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana with measures to expunge records, the number of marijuana-related arrests will be reduced, and those harmed by prohibition in the past can move on with their lives. It will also free up resources so police can focus on more serious crimes.
It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in the state. Together, we can end prohibition in Minnesota!
P.S. Please be sure to check out Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation ("MRMR") a new organization MPP helped launch.
With the dawn of a new legislative session — and a newly elected governor who supports marijuana legalization — there is renewed hope that the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes may have a path to legalizing and regulating marijuana.
MPP is thrilled to announce we’re bringing on attorney Jason Tarasek as our Minnesota political director. Jason is lobbying lawmakers and working with allies to build a strong coalition to legalize adult-use cannabis. If you’re a member of an organization that might consider supporting legalization, let Jason know.
We’re also looking to engage community leaders who support regulating marijuana — such as local officials, members of the clergy, law enforcement, civil rights leaders, educators, and medical professionals. If you are one of those individuals, or if you know one who is up for supporting the effort, please reach out, too.
And we can’t forget the importance of grassroots pressure. It’s crucial that lawmakers hear that their constituents want them to end the disastrous war on marijuana. You can use our free, automated system to send an email to your newly elected legislators.
Finally, please consider contributing to our Minnesota effort to end cannabis prohibition and sharing this message with friends and family so that they, too, can get involved in this campaign for humane marijuana policies.
Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, but rejected opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.
Many thanks to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program! Their dedicated work (with an assist from MPP) also resulted in the addition of intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and sleep apnea.
Under state law, Alzheimer’s disease patients will be able to apply for medical cannabis starting next summer.
Please consider voicing your support for expanding Minnesota’s medical marijuana program!
On Wednesday, a medical marijuana review panel will meet to discuss the petitions to add opioid use disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, panic disorder, and psoriasis as qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program.
What: Public meeting on adding conditions, including an opportunity for public comment
When: Wednesday, October 24, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: Room 300N, State Office Building, 100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155
You can check out MPP’s letter in support of adding opiate use disorder here, in case you want to make any of the same points.
If you are unable to attend, you may also submit written comments in support of adding one or more conditions.
Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy reform: Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (R) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.
Don’t miss this opportunity to voice your support for marijuana policy reform, and be sure to get out and vote!
Last November, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the additions take effect the following summer.
Starting on July 1, 2018, patients with a doctor’s certification and either of those conditions could begin registering for the program. They can start accessing medical cannabis no sooner than August 1. Our allies at Sensible Minnesota offer one-on-one assistance to patients who need help navigating the process. Learn more here.
Congratulations to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program!
Sensible Minnesota is now working on petitions to expand the program to include opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.
If you are a Minnesota medical professional who might be willing to add your voice to the petition, contact Sensible Minnesota at 952-529-4420 or by email.