Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler reintroduced an adult-use cannabis legalization bill alongside other Democrat lawmakers Feb. 1, according to a local KSTP.com report.
Lawmakers say the legislation is based on a series of public discussions that were held across the state to gather public input on legalization ahead of the 2020 legislative session, the news outlet reported, and the bill aims to address criminal justice inequities caused by prohibition.
“The failed criminalization of cannabis has resulted in a legacy of racial injustice that can no longer go unaddressed,” Winkler told KSTP.com. “Adults deserve the freedom to decide whether to use cannabis, and our state government should play an important role in addressing legitimate concerns around youth access, public health and road safety. Veterans and Minnesotans with serious illnesses like PTSD deserve better access to our medical program, which is not working well for most people. It’s time to legalize, expunge and regulate.”
Winkler’s proposal would expunge past cannabis convictions; direct funds to public health awareness campaigns, youth access prevention and substance abuse treatment; provide grants, loans, technical assistance and training for businesses; require the testing and labeling of medical cannabis products; place restrictions on product packaging based on dosage size; and allow home cultivation, according to KSTP.com.
Lawmakers will now hold a series of public hearings on the legislation to allow Minnesotans to ask questions and provide input, the news outlet reported.