A dilemma for Minnesotans: Canada's legalizing recreational marijuana in October. And in November, North Dakota voters will decide whether to follow suit.
Minnesota Marijuana News and Politics
Franken, Al - (D - MN)
309 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Klobuchar, Amy - (D - MN)
302 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Marijuana Policy Project on Minnesota:
Last update: July 1, 2015
In 2012, there were 12,051 marijuana-related arrests in Minnesota. Sixty-two percent of these arrests were for marijuana possession. While the penalty for a first offense of possessing a small amount of marijuana in Minnesota is a $200 fine and mandatory drug education, having two ounces could land Minnesotans in jail for five years! These arrests hit minority communities the hardest. According to data from the ACLU, African Americans in Minnesota are nearly eight times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors! You can learn more about Minnesota’s marijuana penalties and enforcement by reading this report by Jon Gettman, Ph.D
Legislature adjourns; medical marijuana program launches
On May 18, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned the first half of its 2015-2016 legislative session, and although lawmakers failed to improve significantly upon the restrictive medical marijuana program enacted last year, they did make some changes. While most of the changes were technical, legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton included a provision that requires the health department to consider adding severe pain to the list of qualifying conditions by January as opposed to July 2016, as the law originally called for. While this will not allow individuals suffering from extreme pain to access medical marijuana immediately, it will hopefully mean they will be able to do so six months earlier.
Mere days after the session adjourned, the medical marijuana program patient and healthcare practitioner enrollment officially began, and on July 1, Minnesota’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors to qualified patients. Minnesotans with qualifying conditions who are interested in enrolling in the program, and healthcare practitioners who are interested in certifying some of their qualified patients, should contact the Minnesota Department of Health for details. Unfortunately, there have been reports that healthcare practitioners have been slow to enroll. However, the program is new to Minnesota’s healthcare practitioners, and enrollment just opened. We hope that more doctors will register as it becomes apparent this is a patient-focused law. If not, we will seek legislative changes.
Statewide television ad campaign highlights the need for medical cannabis in Minnesota
On April 2, 2014, MPP and Minnesotans for Compassionate Care began running television commercials across the state highlighting just one of many Minnesotans, and his mother, who could benefit from passage of a compassionate law. You can watch the ad here.
On April 8, 2014, we began airing a second ad featuring Patrick McClellan, who has found that medical cannabis alleviates his debilitating spasms far more safely and consistently than prescription medications.
From 24/7 Wall Street:
According to a study conducted by SAMHSA, from 2010 through 2013, Minnesota teenagers’ attitudes toward occasional marijuana use have relaxed. In 2010, 70.9% of 12-17-year old state residents did not consider smoking pot once a month to be risky behavior. By 2013, 75.4% of teenagers held the same perception.
Minnesota Cannabis News