Will marijuana ever become legal in Minnesota?
Could 2020 be a new dawn for Minnesota and the state’s views on marijuana? If state rep. Ryan Winkler and Gov. Tim Walz are successful, marijuana could become legal within the next year.
The Pioneer Press reports the pair of state lawmakers planned to meet with former county and city attorneys from Colorado on how to make marijuana available for recreational use in Minnesota.
The pair of former municipal attorneys recommended the Minnesota politicians to meet with every agency head as legalization would affect every area of state government and could take considerable time to put in place. Other recommendations include requiring child-resistant packaging for edible marijuana products; restricting the amount of plants to be grown per caregiver, and not authorizing enough funds for law enforcement officials to stop black market marijuana operations.
Whether marijuana legalization comes to Minnesota remains to be seen. The Pioneer Press reports a task force study aimed at legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana failed this year in the state Legislature. Democrats may face opposition from state Republicans too, who may push to focus on other concerns link jobs and health care.
Legalization of substance would have a profound impact on Minnesota, as marijuana is still considered illegal for those who don’t medical clearance to use it. Under state law, a person who possesses a small amount of marijuana is charged with a petty misdemeanor. In this instance, the offender could be required to participate in a drug education program or a similar punishment.
If a person crosses state borders with 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, he or she could be charged with importing the drug. A felony offense, the person could be punished with up to 35 years in prison and/or up to $1.25 million in fines.
Other penalties depend on if a person is selling marijuana, how much of the substance he or she is selling and if it was sold to someone younger than 18. Depending on the factors involved, an offender could face up to $250,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison, under serious charges.
Still, with medical marijuana already approved in Minnesota, legalization may not be that far off. Patients in Minnesota can get medical marijuana for specific types of cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, seizures, Crohn’s Disease, ALS, Tourette’s Syndrome or a have a terminal illness and are expected to die within a year.
Medical marijuana in Minnesota is prohibited from being provided in dried leaf or plant form. Patients can take it as a liquid, pill or through a vape.
The best advice on marijuana in Minnesota is to avoid using it, unless you are medically cleared to use it. If you do get caught with possession of marijuana, calling an attorney knowledgeable with the state’s drug laws can be all the difference in if the offender faces jail time and how large of a fine they will have to pay.