Marijuana legalization bill could come before DFL-controlled legislature this session

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Might you be able to pick up a pack of Marb Greens at your local SuperAmerica in the not-too-distant future?
Earlier this month, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use. With relatively pot-friendly DFLers in control of government here in Minnesota, might the Land of 10,000 Lakes become the third state to green light green-lighting?

SEE ALSO: The new Green Giant looks like he just took a bong rip [PHOTO]

Toward that end, the Minnesota Daily reports that "NORML is in the process of working with attorneys and the state Legislature's Revisor's Office to draft legislation that would regulate marijuana like alcohol in Minnesota." Legal pot already has a few legislative backers, including Sen. John Marty, who told the Daily: "I think we should treat drug use more as a health issue than as a criminal issue." We agree -- after all, eating loads of granola is bad for you!

In 2009, a DFL-controlled legislature passed a conservative medical marijuana bill that basically only legalized ganja for those on death's doorstep (for instance, cancer patients wanting to smoke to treat nausea from chemotherapy were disqualified). But it was vetoed by Tim 'bong water is a controlled substance' Pawlenty, and with pot-unfriendly MNGOPers in control of the legislature throughout the last biennium, reforming Minnesota's marijuana laws hasn't been a priority since.

In 2009, more than 60 percent of Minnesotans supported medical marijuana, and according to a national Gallup poll conducted last year, legalized pot is supported by 50 percent of Americans, with 46 percent opposed. (Of course, what a majority of Americans want is one thing, and what DEA agents working for the Obama administration want is another.)

Gay marriage and legal pot? Next thing you know, Minnesotans will be asking their new DFL majorities to do something really crazy, like allowing Sunday liquor sales.

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16 comments
green23
green23 topcommenter

With the current political situation, it might be wiser to re-introduce the medical marijuana bill again rather than legalisation.

 

Now that the Ron Paul faction has taken over the bankrupt shell known as the MNGOP, let's give the MN Republicans a chance to show their libertarian cred. I'm sceptical that they'll rise to the challenge, but either way it's a win for the State. If they oppose medical marijuana, the MN Republicans are exposed (yet again) as hypocrites beholden to the evangelicals. If they support it, then medical marijuana will be on the books and everyone will see that the world doesn't come to an end when that happens.

 

I sat through the majority of the hearings on the medical marijuana bills, and read the transcripts of the hearings that I missed. The opposition was uniformly Republican, and it was extremely stupid. Their argument was essentially that marijuana is illegal, so we can't legalise it. I guess that we can only legalise things that are already legal, at least in the minds of MN Republicans.

 

Pawlenty set up a situation where it had to be full legalisation or nothing, because the cops would be 'confused' by people who had a MM card and those that did not. Pawlenty is gone now, so we can move forward. The best compromise might be to allow medical marijuana county by county, which lets the red areas keep their fake 1950's delusions about the world. A State law is the best way to open that door.

Andy Stealth Trattar
Andy Stealth Trattar

Just focus on how much money the state could make. I really see that being the only hope for success.

Poof
Poof

I agree with the sentiments that say the DFL doesn't want to rush through legislation that would be regarded as too liberal. They saw what happened when Republicans tried cramming through legislation that many regarded as too conservative. Regarding Dayton's approval I think the prudent route (down the road)  would for a referendum to be proposed. Smoking pot is more of a privilege issue versus a rights issue. Let the people decide on this one.

swee2th
swee2th

Ahhh, yeah, that medical marijuana bill you're talking about? It was sponsored by a Republican. Stop stoking the Us vs. Them mentality, CP.

Patrick D. Dentinger
Patrick D. Dentinger

the dem state congress passed it in '09 but pawlenty vetoed it. so it HAS been done, and it CAN be done. it MUST be done.

Thomas Zocher
Thomas Zocher

This coming from the state of 10pm Liquor Store closings and no liquor stores on Sunday? I seriously have my doubts.

Geoff Pursell
Geoff Pursell

I think they're just being really careful not to be seen as overreaching. They know damn well that if they're seen by moderates as flying off the handle as soon as they win an election, they'll be gone in two years. That JUST happened to the Republicans -- and they have nothing to show for it. I think they're going to build credibility by working on the economy for a while, then take up some more controversial stuff once they've established themselves.

Jeffdavis612
Jeffdavis612

@citypages enough of the stereotypes!The LD50 rate is 1500lbs. to kill a person.It's never killed anyone!It has medicinal properties as well

xaulxan
xaulxan

Nope.  Dayton has said he opposes it.  Think RT Rybak is better?  Nope.  

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

This is going to be a freak show. Who says politics isn't entertainment?

A1batross
A1batross

There's not a chance in hell. We're talking about a victorious DFL that won a resounding victory in part based on opposition to the marriage amendment... and which is now making noises about  being too timid to repeal Minnesota's DOMA. If we're lucky their constituents may be able to shame them into doing so. Taking a step as courageous and progressive as legalizing marijuana will have to wait for leaders with courage and vision. Step One in that process is finding leaders who aren't afraid of Republican bullies.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

There's not a chance in hell. We're talking about a victorious DFL that won a resounding victory in part based on opposition to the marriage amendment... and which is now making noises about being too timid to repeal Minnesota's DOMA. If we're lucky their constituents may be able to shame them into doing so. Taking a step as courageous and progressive as legalizing marijuana will have to wait for leaders with courage and vision. Step One in that process is finding leaders who aren't afraid of Republican bullies.

pthorn01
pthorn01

Maybe you shoud lay off the bong water yourself, it must be preventing you from proof reading your articles! "Tim 'bong water in a controlled substance' Pawlenty."

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @Poof It's never wrong to do the right thing.  The DFL should be brave and do the right thing.  Legal marijuana reduces crime, increases tax revenue, and decreases spending.  It should be a winner for Republicans and Democrats.  I know the media is too stupid to actually report on marijuana but that doesn't mean the DFL shouldn't do the right thing.  Leaders lead.  Only the very stupid think marijuana laws work.  If I wanted weed I'd have it an hour.  I'd rather pay taxes to the government than profits to a cartel. 

green23
green23 topcommenter

 @swee2th As far as the Senate goes, two Republicans are listed as authors.  http ://tinyurl. com/ar45r9  - Sen. Michel and Sen. Debbie Johnson -

 

They even voted for it, unlike the usual MNGOP tactic of authoring legislation and then opposing it so as to be able to have it both ways."Sponsorship" is a relatively meaningless term. Often "sponsors" vote against legislation when it comes down to it.

 

32 Republicans voted against the Senate bill, among them Sen. Hann (minority leader) and Sen. Senjem. 22 Democrats voted against the bill. All of them but four are no longer in office.

 

It's not a mis-characterization to say that Republicans were the most vocal and prominent in opposition to the bill. Certainly the veto was carried out by a Republican. And two of the most prominent Republicans in opposition are currently in positions of high Party stature.

 

If anything, it's the Republicans that are "stoking the Us vs. Them mentality" by circumventing the veto and using Constitutional Amendments to achieve what otherwise could not get done. Hell, they were *counting* on that mentality in this election.

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