Gov. Tim Walz, the incoming governor for Minnesota, may change the tide for marijuana legislation in the state, moving them towards becoming the 11th state to legalize the drug.
Walz spoke on Nov. 25, 2018 and shared his opinion that now is the time to legalize marijuana, providing an additional revenue stream to the state and also the opportunity to regulate the drug within the state boundaries.
However, Walz is not the only governor who will be in office in 2019, thereby increasing chances that the trend to legalize marijuana will continue across the US. Meanwhile, Minnesota still faces a somewhat precarious battle to legalize marijuana, since the Minnesota legislature will be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans in the new year, meaning neither party has more sway than the other.
Democrats tend to be supportive of legalization, while Republicans stand on the side of leaving legislation as it currently stands.
When former Governor Jesse Ventura met with Walz on Nov. 14, Ventura’s stance was clear: get the ball rolling on marijuana legalization. Walz invited four of the five governors who have held the seat prior to Walz and welcomed their input, listening carefully to Ventura for nearly an hour.
Ventura shared some of their conversation points, including the focus on legalizing marijuana within the state.
Meanwhile, Walz has been vocal that the issue is one where he stands in favour of the legalization measure. His campaigning platform was partly based on the premise that his plans to resolve debt issues included creative alternatives. The revenue streams from online retailers and also legalizing and taxing marijuana are expected to help the state deal with expenses and issues like healthcare funding.
Meanwhile, Walz made big promises to spend $300 million on broadband technology for the state and other big expenditures that he hopes to spread out over his entire term but nonetheless has promised will occur.
Without the backing of additional revenue from taxing legalized marijuana, the promised expenditures will be empty promises at best. Walz will take office Jan. 7, 2019, and marijuana advocates statewide anxiously await the transition. At that point, state residents can see what promises might come to fruition.