(RightWing.org) – Recreational marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but that’s quickly becoming irrelevant as states ignore Washington, DC and go their own way. Last week Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) signed a bill legalizing the drug for recreational use. It’s now legal in almost two dozen states.
On May 30, Governor Walz signed HF 100, A bill for an act relating to cannabis, which legalizes “the possession and use of cannabis and certain hemp products by adults” and authorizes a new state system for licensing, regulating and monitoring the drug. The bill faced a tough fight in the state legislature; five GOP lawmakers voted with Democrats to pass it in the Minnesota House, but in the state senate, it came down to a partisan vote and finally passed by a narrow 34-32 margin.
Under the terms of the new law, Minnesotans aged 21 or over will be allowed to possess up to two pounds of cannabis flowers at home. They can carry smaller quantities — two ounces of flowers, eight grams of concentrate or 800 milligrams of edibles — on their person when they’re outside their homes. The new Office of Cannabis Management will regulate sales, prevent the sale of drugs to under-21s and “promote economic growth” in areas that had been affected by prohibition.
The bill’s chief author, Minnesota Senator Lindsey Port (D), claimed the state’s previous ban on cannabis “had tremendously negative impacts.” Most Republican legislators disagreed; State Senator Warren Limmer (R) said legalization was “opening a door that is going to be very difficult to close” if the bill leads to an increase in crime and mental health issues.
Unfortunately for Senator Limmer, that door might already have been knocked off its hinges for good. Twenty-three out of 50 states have already legalized cannabis, the Justice Department doesn’t prosecute cannabis offenses in states where it’s been decriminalized, and there’s growing support in Congress for an end to the federal ban. For better or worse, the cannabis genie is well and truly out of the bottle.
Copyright 2023, RightWing.org