Publish date:

DFL leader reveals plan for marijuana legalization in Minnesota

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler aims to introduce it early in the 2020 session.
Author:

We're a week away from the start of the 2020 legislative session in Minnesota, and a DFL leader says he intends to propose a marijuana legalization bill early on.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley) revealed on Tuesday the "principles" that will guide the legislation for the legalization of cannabis use by adults.

It's based on the findings and feedback at 15 Be Heard on Cannabis events held by Winkler and other lawmakers around the state in recent months.

The principles revealed by Winkler on Tuesday looks at how the cannabis marketplace would be regulated, how it would be handled at the criminal and legal level, what opportunities there would be economically, and what the requirements would be on the health and education side.

Among the tenets set out by Rep. Winkler is establishing the cannabis market in a way that "creates opportunities for inclusive economic growth with an emphasis on communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis laws," such as the African-American population.

Related to that is addressing the past harms created by the state's current cannabis laws, which comes after other states that legalized the drug included provisions allowing for prior marijuana offenses to be expunged from individuals' criminal records.

The DFL also wants the marijuana marketplace to be, forgive the expression, homegrown, in an attempt to prevent "big marijuana from taking over the marketplace."

The plan would also be to increase public health and safety education about the drug, and to take steps to prevent underage youth from accessing the drug.

The big question will be whether such a law can pass.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Gov. Tim Walz has indicated he would be willing to sign a marijuana legalization bill, but while it could make it through the DFL-controlled House, the GOP-controlled Senate is a different matter.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said before last year's session he didn't consider marijuana legalization a priority, before linking it to "mental health problems, driving accidents, and impaired teen brain development."

He also told MPR News in October that he didn't expect the Senate would pass such legislation in 2020 either.

There is a possibility next year in the event that the DFL flips the Senate and retains the House in this November's elections, which could potentially pave the way for legalization to start in 2022.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.

Fleck

Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.

Walz

'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.

Related

20200504_marijuana

Minnesota legislative leader introduces marijuana legalization bill

The bill would allow adults age 21 and older to possess and consume cannabis.

Marijuana legalization bills are officially proposed in Minnesota

Companion bills have been put forward in the House and the Senate.

Marijuana, cannabis

MN lawmakers to introduce bill to legalize marijuana

Democrats plan to introduce the bill on Monday, while it's expected to be opposed by many Republicans.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota legal marijuana bill headed for House vote for first time ever

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

Could Minnesota be next in line for legal marijuana?

Michigan voted for it, North Dakota against it, could Minnesota be asked next?

Marijuana legalization bill fails in Senate committee

Today's vote is a blow to Minnesota's "legalize recreational pot" movement.

43114238084_8b3df34bcf_b

Sen. Tina Smith introduces federal bill to legalize marijuana

The legislation would legalize and regulate marijuana similar to alcohol and tobacco.