Minnesota was a leader in decriminalizing marijuana, with the move made in 1976 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug.
They were middle of the pack in terms of state proactive moves in the trend to legalize medical use, with a law passed in 2014 that legalized marijuana use for nine severe medical conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and glaucoma.
Now, they are predicted to be relatively early in the decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act passed the House with an 89-40 vote and the Senate with a vote of 46-16. However, until the current Gov. Tim Walz, the support in government to legalize recreational use just was not there.
Gov. Walz was vocal in his support of the idea, noting one of his goals while in office is to legalize the drug for recreational use — and tax it, of course.
Walz also has a history of working towards this goal, as he is the first to have a standalone cannabis bill pass a congressional committee when he was a member of the U.S. House.
Following the November 2018 election, Democrats control the state House and Republicans control the state Senate — by one seat. Therefore, Gov. Walz will see most of his support from the Democratic-controlled House, although marijuana supporters hope that the House may pleasantly surprise those who work hard to see recreational marijuana legalized.
The time to oppose marijuana legislation has passed, as more than 30 states have some broad law in place regarding marijuana use, and 10 states and the District of Columbia have already made the jump to legalizing marijuana use recreationally for adults over the age of 21.
Most states are looking at key benefits for the locale, including revenue to shore up struggling areas of the state budget and reduce black market activity. In other cases, the move to legalize may be a concession to the inevitable. As more states move to legalize for recreational use, those states that are boxed in by proactive states will make the move to avoid being left behind. U.S. residents are in favour of the move, so legislators have little choice but to follow.