Cannabis Law Reform

Elections - City Councils and Commissions - Policies
a_tribe_called_chris
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Cannabis Law Reform

Postby a_tribe_called_chris » September 12th, 2014, 2:19 pm

I would love to hear what others think about Colorado (or Washington) style legalization in Minnesota.

How do others feel about the medicinal law that was passed? I followed the issue closely and personally I was very unhappy with the result. While better than nothing the bill that passed was the House of Representatives version and it is very limited in scope and qualifying conditions. Also, no plant material is allowed, only extracts. This really was due to Gov Dayton and his influence from Law Enforcement lobbyists. On the other hand, the Senate had a version that passed overwhelmingly and allowed plant based cannabis, a more robust provider system, the program paid for itself, and covered conditions like PTSD.

ECtransplant
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby ECtransplant » September 12th, 2014, 2:23 pm

If Minnesota were to legalize it, would you be able to buy it on Sundays?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby FISHMANPET » September 12th, 2014, 2:23 pm

I'm curious why Law Enforcement wants pot to stay illegal. Do they use pot as an excuse to stuff they couldn't legally do (searches and the like) if pot was legal? Or is it just a 1984-esque "we have always been at war with Eastasia" thing?

EOst
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby EOst » September 12th, 2014, 2:31 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I'm curious why Law Enforcement wants pot to stay illegal. Do they use pot as an excuse to stuff they couldn't legally do (searches and the like) if pot was legal? Or is it just a 1984-esque "we have always been at war with Eastasia" thing?
Police seizures.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Lancestar2 » October 5th, 2014, 6:24 pm

a_tribe_called_chris wrote:I would love to hear what others think about Colorado (or Washington) style legalization in Minnesota.

How do others feel about the medicinal law that was passed? I followed the issue closely and personally I was very unhappy with the result. While better than nothing the bill that passed was the House of Representatives version and it is very limited in scope and qualifying conditions. Also, no plant material is allowed, only extracts. This really was due to Gov Dayton and his influence from Law Enforcement lobbyists. On the other hand, the Senate had a version that passed overwhelmingly and allowed plant based cannabis, a more robust provider system, the program paid for itself, and covered conditions like PTSD.

The Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 is expected to pass this Nov. allowing recreational usage. Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 is still to close to call, though if a red state votes for recreational usage legalization at the polls that sure would show how quick the legalization trend may spread in the future. Even with full recreational legalization it will remain illegal to drive under the influence so little will change in the enforcement of pot laws for drivers.

twincitizen
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby twincitizen » October 6th, 2014, 8:00 am

Governor Dayton is saying he wants to see the current system/law be fully up and running before he would contemplate any changes/expansion. I think the legislature will take up a less strict Medicinal law in the 2016 session. I think the most Minnesota is going to get for a long, long time is the Senate bill that was passed last year (allows plant flower to be sold to patients, expands eligibility to "intractable pain", PTSD, etc.)

Due to Minnesota's lack of a referendum process (i.e. we have no legal process to petition for referendum like WA, CO, etc.) any changes to the law must go through the legislature. The only "put the vote to the people" thing we have is the constitutional amendment, and I think most folks on the side of full legalization would agree that the constitution is the wrong place for this. It is unfortunate, but Minnesota will be among the last states to make this change. It will be several decades before a majority of our legislature and a governor support full legalization.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby FISHMANPET » October 6th, 2014, 8:25 am

We just need a constitutional amendment to ban marijuana, and then use the political momentum of its defeat to legalize.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby EOst » October 6th, 2014, 9:20 am

twincitizen wrote:Governor Dayton is saying he wants to see the current system/law be fully up and running before he would contemplate any changes/expansion. I think the legislature will take up a less strict Medicinal law in the 2016 session. I think the most Minnesota is going to get for a long, long time is the Senate bill that was passed last year (allows plant flower to be sold to patients, expands eligibility to "intractable pain", PTSD, etc.)

Due to Minnesota's lack of a referendum process (i.e. we have no legal process to petition for referendum like WA, CO, etc.) any changes to the law must go through the legislature. The only "put the vote to the people" thing we have is the constitutional amendment, and I think most folks on the side of full legalization would agree that the constitution is the wrong place for this. It is unfortunate, but Minnesota will be among the last states to make this change. It will be several decades before a majority of our legislature and a governor support full legalization.
Ultimately, it really depends on the kind of support it gets elsewhere over the next decade. Think of gay marriage: ten years ago, where we are now (legal here, about to be legal everywhere) was more or less unthinkable, but here we are. If momentum grows and it becomes a liberal cause, I don't think it's impossible that it could happen in a decade.

What's more likely in the near term, though, is local legalization/decriminalization, places like Minneapolis declaring themselves out of the enforcement game. It would require more public support than there is now, however.

twincitizen
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby twincitizen » October 6th, 2014, 9:43 am

To what extent could Minneapolis actually do something like that? How much cooperation from the Hennepin County Sheriff and Attorney would that require? I imagine you'd want those two elected officials to be friendlies.

I guess what I'm asking is what specific action could the City Council take (assuming infinite liberalism/progressivism) that would have any impact?

The Council/Mayor would send down an edict to the police chief that we're no longer charging people for lesser marijuana violations? I imagine the police (and everyone, really) would still want to be able to arrest/charge people for driving impaired, possessing large amounts, etc. I imagine the people that would benefit most are those that are subject to searches or traffic stops for other reasons, but wouldn't face additional charges for possession. Your average Joe Stoner smoking in the privacy of his basement probably isn't affected much by the current laws anyways, other than driving extra careful on the way home from his dealer's house.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby David Greene » October 6th, 2014, 10:04 am

twincitizen wrote:It will be several decades before a majority of our legislature and a governor support full legalization.
And remember the Prohibition was a Minnesota product.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby mplsjaromir » October 6th, 2014, 10:15 am

True, the legislation was introduced by a Minnesotan, and the Temperance movement was a messianic movement by New England/Yankee public protestants. The strongest supporter of prohibition was the KKK, mostly as a way to stick it to Roman-Catholics and Germans.

mattaudio
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby mattaudio » October 6th, 2014, 10:18 am

I'll be honest, this is a major generation gap regarding alcohol and "soft" drugs.... I remember when doorknocking, there were **multiple** old ladies who supported me because my opponent had hosted an event at a bar, or didn't fight a liquor license in the neighborhood, or things like that. Dead serious. I have no idea why they thought I'd be **more prudish** about those issues, but they did.

Since I'm a straight-laced chap who always sticks to the legal stuff, I have no idea how harsh minor drug offenses are policed and prosecuted. I know city PDs/prosecutors in other states have chosen to ignore as much as possible and hand out tickets cheaper than parking fines. And obviously we need forfeiture reform too, but I'm not sure the state will take that up unless a court forces their hand.

I'm curious to see if WA/CO/etc have seen a decrease in distribution via violent drug gangs since the trade can now be daylighted and regulated.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby xandrex » October 6th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Lancestar2 wrote:Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 is still to close to call, though if a red state votes for recreational usage legalization at the polls that sure would show how quick the legalization trend may spread in the future.
Alaska is red, but they're more of the "live and let live" variety of red state. If they pass marijuana legalization, I don't see that as being a sign that red states will have suddenly seen the (green) light.

beykite
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby beykite » October 9th, 2014, 4:36 pm

Yea its really hard to label Cannabis reform as a Democrat or Republican issue. Following both parties ideologies, they both should have strong reasons to support its legalization. However, just look at the medical bill we got this year despite having an all DFL legislature and governor :/ Unfortunately there are some incredibly uniformed/stubborn people on both sides of the aisle.

Fun fact since we're talking about Alaska. During the discussion of allowing statehood to Hawaii & Alaska, Republicans feared giving statehood to Alaska would be giving the Democrats a stronghold pretty much guaranteeing a consistently blue state regarding presidential and congressional elections. While on the other hand, Democrats feared allowing just Hawaii into the Union would be creating a Republican stronghold with 3 guaranteed electoral votes along with house and senate seats always going to the Republicans. They were pretty much right, except completely wrong at the same time.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Lancestar2 » October 12th, 2014, 8:14 pm

xandrex wrote:
Lancestar2 wrote:Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 is still to close to call, though if a red state votes for recreational usage legalization at the polls that sure would show how quick the legalization trend may spread in the future.
Alaska is red, but they're more of the "live and let live" variety of red state. If they pass marijuana legalization, I don't see that as being a sign that red states will have suddenly seen the (green) light.
Libertarians usually get lumped in with Republicans, so "red is red" Once for profit marijuana businesses start making some nice profits they surly will donate to political campaigns and attempt to corrupt local government officials just like all the other for profit businesses. If you have a state republican party that support keeping it legal to ensure the profits continue to fund projects to keep themselves in office and ensure campaign funds I'm sure you would see some push back. Of course no suddenly seeing the green light, but still I would think that cannabis legalization would spread easier than same sex marriage considering it's less controversial and it's decreases stretched police budgets and can help generate tons of additional revenue. If done correctly it could greatly improve a community and it's budget.

Heck even if Alaska legalizes cannabis, Republican national candidates will at least have to tone down the keep it illegal rhetoric in at least Alaska if not several other key swing states such as Colorado. Not sweeping changes but it does suggest if Alaska votes yes, we will start seeing a shift towards legalization even if it's still a tiny shift in toning down the anti pot talk. No movement in changing peoples minds has ever been sudden, and I do not mean to imply one red state would have any sweeping change. If the majority of people in Alaska support legalization Republican will at least have to start asking the question how many people support full legalization within the republican states and the key swing states they wish the remain competitive in.

Tcmetro
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Tcmetro » October 12th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Alaska has a very different culture than the rest of the US, however. It's generally considered to be a red state, but many of their own policies are quite blue. Look up Ted Stevens, for instance.

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jw138
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby jw138 » January 12th, 2016, 4:56 pm

Minneapolis City Council members Jacob Frey and Andrew Johnson will introduce a measure on Friday to downgrade minor possession of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a petty misdemeanor.
http://www.citypages.com/news/minneapol ... on-7959316

twincitizen
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby twincitizen » February 8th, 2017, 12:27 pm

http://www.startribune.com/dfl-rep-jon- ... 413179013/
State Rep. John Applebaum of Minnetonka has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in MN. Safe it say it has zero chance of passage with the current slate of legislators (too many over age 60, religious GOPers, etc). Doubtful it even makes it out of committee for an up-down floor vote, though that would be fascinating to see. It would be super telling to see how many "progressive" urban DFLers would vote against, despite overwhelming public support in their districts. Not a chance it would get any traction in the Senate right now, with the reverend Gazelka in charge (and on the DFL side, crony-ass Bakk probably opposes too).

Here are my full thoughts (copy/pasting my Strib comment):
This won't happen for many years in MN, but if and when it does, it will take a strong coalition of progressive/non-establishment DFLers, and libertarian-leaning GOPers. Currently, there are very few of either in the MN House and Senate. Still way too many religious types in the GOP, and too many old-school cronies in the DFL.

One thing that will never happen in MN is a referendum like you're seeing in the 8 states that have passed this in recent years. The MN Constitution doesn't allow for such "ballot questions", only for actual constitutional amendments. I strongly support legalization (and enjoyed it in trips to CO and WA last year), but most rational people would agree that it would be inappropriate as an amendment to our state constitution. It should come through the legislature, but we're a long way off from that. First of all, we need to stop electing people over the age of 60, as they're way behind the public on dang near every issue (marriage equality, Sunday liquor sales, etc.)

And as with every issue, most seats in the legislature are safe seats. You're not going vote out your current representatives in a November election if you live in a safe-DFL or safe-GOP district, which is most districts. You need to get involved in the party process as early as February/March in election years and attend party caucuses. Marijuana legalization is likely going to come from the DFL, with their existing (but dwindling) coalition of progressives in the big cities and farmers in rural areas.

Elect a DFL governor who favors legalization and a DFL legislature (along with some libertarian-leaning Republicans like former state senator Brandon Petersen), and we could get it done in the early 2020s (current state senators were just elected to a 4 year term, so this is 100% not going to happen before the 2021 legislative session), sorry!

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Chef » February 8th, 2017, 11:41 pm

I just emailed my representative to urge her to support this. It is depressing how far behind Minnesota is on this compared to the states that a lot of the Twin Cities peer cities are in.

I worry that lagging behind on this issue could hurt our ability to maintain the vitality of our creative community. As a chef, I can say that a lot of talented people in my field smoke marijuana. I know a lot of very good young cooks who have moved or are considering moving to states that have legal marijuana. On my last trip to Denver I noticed that it now has the sort of dynamic energy that Minneapolis had from the '80s to about 5 years ago. Until we legalize here we are going to continue to lose a lot of the sort of young people who grow up to start small, culturally driven businesses and make their cities an interesting place.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Chef » February 9th, 2017, 12:16 am

twincitizen wrote:
February 8th, 2017, 12:27 pm


One thing that will never happen in MN is a referendum like you're seeing in the 8 states that have passed this in recent years. The MN Constitution doesn't allow for such "ballot questions", only for actual constitutional amendments. I strongly support legalization (and enjoyed it in trips to CO and WA last year), but most rational people would agree that it would be inappropriate as an amendment to our state constitution.
This is how it happened in Colorado though. The referendum was for an amendment to the Colorado constitution that provided for personal use, sale and cultivation.


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