if (window.location.pathname.includes('/order-confirmation')) { const id = document.querySelector('.ec-confirmation__number').textContent.trim(); const total = parseFloat((document.querySelector('.ec-confirmation__order-confirmation-total').textContent).replace('$', '')); const product = document.querySelector('.ec-cart-item__title').textContent.trim(); const quantityVal = document.querySelector('.ec-cart-item__count-inner').textContent.trim(); const quantity = parseInt(quantityVal.split(' ')[1]); console.log( id, total, product, quantity ); window.tracker( "addTrans", id, "N/A", total, 0, 0, "N/A", "N/A", "N/A", "USD", ); window.tracker( "addItem", id, "N/A", total, "N/A", total, quantity, "USD", ); window.tracker("trackTrans"); }
top of page

MN Republicans Call for Special Session to Address ‘Glaring Issues’ with Cannabis Legalization Law

GOP lawmakers cite the potentially damaging effects of certain unintended consequences by the new statute, which goes into effect on Tuesday.

With just one day until a new law legalizing the possession, consumption, cultivation, and sale of recreational cannabis in Minnesota is set to take effect, a small but vocal contingent of Republican state lawmakers is asking for an emergency hearing to address their concerns about policies on underage marijuana possession and public consumption that the new measure could negatively impact.


According to multiple local and national media outlets, Minnesota Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz (D), Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (D) and House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) on Friday asking them to convene a "narrowly tailored special session" to address what they view as unintended consequences of the new marijuana legalization law.


In the letter, 20 GOP legislators outlined their deep concerns about recent reports suggesting that the new statute effectively "legalizes marijuana for children." One excerpt from the letter states, "Legal consequences are a significant and important deterrent from youth addiction and can help avoid more grave issues later in life. This legislation deliberately took away an important tool for parents, law enforcement, and local communities to keep kids from harming themselves or others."


"Legal consequences are a significant and important deterrent from youth addiction and can help avoid more grave issues later in life. This legislation deliberately took away an important tool for parents, law enforcement, and local communities to keep kids from harming themselves or others."

- Letter Requesting Special Session by 20 MN GOP Lawmakers


Complaining that the legalization measure has already created issues and confusion for local municipalities and law enforcement, Republicans are calling for the special session to address:


  • The reinstatement of penalties for possession and consumption of marijuana by individuals under 21.

  • Empowering local communities with broader and permanent regulatory authority concerning the sale, possession, and consumption of marijuana and the ability to impose stricter limits on smoking and vaping marijuana in public places.

  • Closing the black market loophole that allows for illegal sales to flourish during the time between when cannabis possession and consumption becomes legal and when a regulated adult-use retail market is established.


They go on to say, "Democrats' marijuana legalization is only in the beginning stages, but problems have already emerged from this hastily crafted piece of legislation. We urge you to agree to a narrowly tailored special session to address several glaring issues already confounding parents and local communities."


"Democrats' marijuana legalization is only in the beginning stages, but problems have already emerged from this hastily crafted piece of legislation. We urge you to agree to a narrowly tailored special session to address several glaring issues already confounding parents and local communities."

- Letter Requesting Special Session by 20 MN GOP Lawmakers


However, according to drug policy reform advocate and lobbyist Kurtis Hanna, there is no basis for their concern or the special session. Hanna points to the language of the statute, which says that activities that are illegal but for which there are no specific penalties are automatically deemed petty misdemeanors and are punishable by a civil citation and a fine of up to $300, with no threat of jail time.


In Hanna's estimation, that would seem to apply to the issue of underage cannabis possession since the new law does not make that activity legal and removes any potential penalties. However, because much of the motivation behind the letter and request for a special session seems driven by partisan political intent, the courts may ultimately decide the issue.


In an interview with KSTP-TV, Teddy Tschann, a spokesperson for the governor, said, "It's illegal for minors to use marijuana today, and it will be illegal for minors to use marijuana after this law goes into effect. Any minor caught consuming or possessing marijuana could be charged with a petty misdemeanor, and any adult caught selling marijuana to a minor could be subject to jail time. This group of Republican legislators should stop implying otherwise."


"It's illegal for minors to use marijuana today, and it will be illegal for minors to use marijuana after this law goes into effect. Any minor caught consuming or possessing marijuana could be charged with a petty misdemeanor, and any adult caught selling marijuana to a minor could be subject to jail time. This group of Republican legislators should stop implying otherwise."

- Teddy Tschann, Spokesperson for MN Governor Tim Walz (DFL)


Hanna and other legalization advocates, including Sen. Lindsey Port (D), the chief sponsor for legalization reform in the Senate, view this action by Republicans as a bizarre and "outrageous" attempt to unnecessarily impede the law's implementation. By using worn-out scare tactics to alarm the public and stall the rollout of the regulatory framework for the legal and regulated adult-use market, Republicans will only be delaying the inevitable.


A majority of Minnesotans say they want legal recreational marijuana. Moreover, with a potential $1.5 billion in revenue at stake, it will take more than fearmongering and political gamesmanship to stop the will of free markets and the people.



40 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page