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.
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.