Cannabis Law Reform

Elections - City Councils and Commissions - Policies
upzoned
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby upzoned » February 9th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Chef wrote:
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.
The situation is actually worse than what twincitizen described. Minnesota voters, along with voters in most of the southern states, do not have referendum or ballot initiative rights. There is an extremely limited scenario when Minnesota citizens can chime in: legislatively-referred constitutional amendments. But voters only get to vote after it the amendment has been approved by both chambers of the state legislature.

The bottom line is this will have to go through the legislature. There is no way for voters to directly petition the state. That's why it's really important to contact your state representatives on issues that are important to you, especially when there is pending legislation like there is right now on this issue.

grant1simons2
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby grant1simons2 » February 19th, 2017, 9:45 pm

It's being proposed as a constitutional amendment

Full text:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.p ... n_number=0

MNdible
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby MNdible » February 20th, 2017, 9:54 am

Dumb. This is clearly a legislative issue, not a constitutional issue.

grant1simons2
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby grant1simons2 » February 20th, 2017, 11:10 am

Then you'd like HF927, which is a bill that wouldn't need to be on a ballot.

grant1simons2
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby grant1simons2 » February 21st, 2017, 9:50 pm

Hayden introduces SF1320 in companionship to HF927

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.p ... 0&b=senate

talindsay
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby talindsay » February 22nd, 2017, 9:34 am

A big issue with legalization is the supporting laws that deal with controlled situations around legal substances. For example, the .08% BAC limit for driving: there's no established equivalent for marijuana. No legislation exists limiting its use while driving, or its use in public areas or around children. I suspect that's part of law enforcement's issue - it adds a whole lot of headache to impaired driving, public nuisance, etc. that isn't currently defined because it's simply illegal to even have it.

Personally I'm opposed to legalizing it until we've seen how other states find workable solutions to all these types of issues. I'm not opposed to decriminalizing possession, but legalizing its use is a bad idea until we know more about how to address all the knock-on effects.

One of the most amazing public health breakthroughs of my life is the near-elimination of second-hand smoke. People born after about 1990 have no idea what public spaces used to be like, and it's easy for the rest of us to forget how clean the air now is. Introducing a new legal source of second-hand smoke isn't something I welcome with open arms.

grant1simons2
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby grant1simons2 » February 22nd, 2017, 10:26 am

But you also act differently than when driving under the influence of alcohol. Most times it's forgetting to put on a signal, driving under the speed limit, or stopping at a green light. Although it can be different for everyone, police have started to see the technology to read whether or not a person is driving high.

As for public consumption, I'm pretty sure it says that's going to stay illegal. If it were to be legalized, second hand marijuana smoke doesn't cause nearly as much harm as cigarettes. You can't even get second hand high technically. You'd just smell burning herbs for a couple of seconds. I already smell it downtown all the time.

amiller92
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby amiller92 » February 22nd, 2017, 10:27 am

talindsay wrote:
February 22nd, 2017, 9:34 am
No legislation exists limiting its use while driving
I don't think that's true as I believe there are laws against driving while impaired, which won't change if it's legalized. The difficulty, of course, is deciding who is impaired when we don't have good road-side tests for marijuana. Is this a major problem? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it.

My understanding is that legalizing it hasn't dramatically increased usage, which would imply it's not dramatically increased driving under the influence.
or its use in public areas or around children.
These aren't difficult laws to create. As to the former, we already got some (see below).
I suspect that's part of law enforcement's issue
Don't be so naive. Big chunks of any law enforcement agency's budget come from civil forfeitures relating to marijuana offenses. A huge portion of each agency's actual work in marijuana enforcement.

They want to keep it illegal because it's their funding and their jobs.
Personally I'm opposed to legalizing it until we've seen how other states find workable solutions to all these types of issues.
We have several states we can observe as examples. I haven't particularly looked, but I've not heard of major issues on these topics in Colorado, Washington, DC, etc.
I'm not opposed to decriminalizing possession
We more or less already did that for small amounts.
One of the most amazing public health breakthroughs of my life is the near-elimination of second-hand smoke.
At least according to MDH, the existing Freedom to Breath law already covers marijunan:
“Smoking” means inhaling or exhaling smoke from a lighted tobacco product or any other lighted plant
product intended for inhalation. Carrying a lighted tobacco product or lighted plant product is also considered smoking."
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/i ... alinfo.pdf

talindsay
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby talindsay » February 22nd, 2017, 11:23 am

amiller92 wrote:
February 22nd, 2017, 10:27 am
I suspect that's part of law enforcement's issue
Don't be so naive. Big chunks of any law enforcement agency's budget come from civil forfeitures relating to marijuana offenses. A huge portion of each agency's actual work in marijuana enforcement.

They want to keep it illegal because it's their funding and their jobs.
I'm not naïve, I didn't say it was the whole reason. I think implying that they don't have any legitimate reason for opposing its legalization isn't fair, and I suggested one potentially legitimate reason. Do police like the convenience of being able to arrest somebody simply for having it? Sure. But there well may be legitimate reasons as well.

amiller92
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby amiller92 » February 22nd, 2017, 12:14 pm

talindsay wrote:
February 22nd, 2017, 11:23 am
I'm not naïve, I didn't say it was the whole reason. I think implying that they don't have any legitimate reason for opposing its legalization isn't fair, and I suggested one potentially legitimate reason. Do police like the convenience of being able to arrest somebody simply for having it? Sure. But there well may be legitimate reasons as well.
With the self interest obvious, I guess I'm not sure there's value in looking for other reasons.

And the problem of driving under the influence exists whether it's illegal or not.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby talindsay » February 22nd, 2017, 2:53 pm

Yes but right now the action a police officer can take in such a case is straightforward. If a law doesn't exist stating a measurable (I was going to write "objective" but I'm not sure that BAC is always measured objectively) method of deciding whether they're over the limit, then the police officers are in the difficult judgment space of deciding what constitutes "too much", which is the space where racial disparities (for instance) are most likely to rear their heads.

I appreciate the information about the Freedom to Breathe act, it sounds like they thought ahead on that one.

amiller92
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby amiller92 » February 22nd, 2017, 3:04 pm

talindsay wrote:
February 22nd, 2017, 2:53 pm
Yes but right now the action a police officer can take in such a case is straightforward. If a law doesn't exist stating a measurable (I was going to write "objective" but I'm not sure that BAC is always measured objectively) method of deciding whether they're over the limit, then the police officers are in the difficult judgment space of deciding what constitutes "too much", which is the space where racial disparities (for instance) are most likely to rear their heads.
Again, I don't see what any of that has to do with whether it's illegal or not.

Today, if an officer pulls someone over and suspects they are impaired by marijuana, what do they do? There's currently no standard for how to measure acceptable levels of impairment, leading to all of the issues you're concerned about.

I suppose they find an excuse to conduct a search and make an arrest if they find some marijuana and that wouldn't happen anymore. Is that a bad thing?

Actually, given that posession of less than 42.5 grams is not subject to jail time and, according to NORML, "treated like a minor traffic offense" I don't know they even do arrests for it.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby LakeCharles » February 22nd, 2017, 3:32 pm

Colorado law is thus:
Colorado law specifies that drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their whole blood can be prosecuted for driving under the influence (DUI). However, no matter the level of THC, law enforcement officers base arrests on observed impairment.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby mplsjaromir » February 22nd, 2017, 8:49 pm

There are studies that suggest that cannabis may not significantly reduce one's ability to operate a motor vehicle.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017 ... .keBeil15o

The concern is that without a test to prove a driver has used, police will not be able to make arrests and issue fines.

The number one reason to support the end of prohibition is that you would see a decrease in arrests and prison time. This country solves less than 50% of the murders that occur, but police have immense resources to find and confiscate property from cannabis users. This issue probably has the broadest constituency to easily end human suffering.

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Didier » February 23rd, 2017, 8:43 pm

White House expects justice crackdown on legalied marijuana

http://www.startribune.com/white-house- ... 414662713/

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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby twincitizen » February 24th, 2017, 8:43 am

This was inevitable once Sessions became AG. I'm sure Pence is a big time anti-marijuana guy too.

Y'know, in the grand scheme of things, I sincerely hope the Trump administration does crack down on legalized marijuana. People will be pissed. And they will vote. That includes people in those states, people who visit those states & want legalization in their state, and libertarian-minded types everywhere. Trump's administration going against legal pot (and against states' rights) is going to be broadly unpopular with the general electorate, not just with the lefties who already oppose him. Looking forward to seeing approval ratings fall in the 20s.

talindsay
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby talindsay » February 24th, 2017, 9:05 am

I hope he's not still around in the 20s.

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Mooglemuffins
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Mooglemuffins » April 26th, 2017, 2:22 pm

I agree, twincitizen. Despite all the turmoil of this past election at least all the buffoonery seems to have gotten more and more people interested and even involved in the process. Hopefully as time goes on they continue to get out there and facilitate change. It'll certainly be nice to have more of the public than just a few activists here and there calling for reform.

talindsay
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby talindsay » June 22nd, 2017, 12:22 pm


Chef
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Re: Cannabis Law Reform

Postby Chef » May 31st, 2018, 1:25 pm

The Marijuana Justice Act has been introduced in Congress to repeal federal marijuana prohibition. It has six cosponsors in the senate and 37 in the house. Not a single Minnesotan among them. Our representatives are cowards, we are supposed to be a progressive state.


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