Navigating the New Recreational Marijuana Law
As the state of Minnesota welcomed the implementation of the new recreational marijuana law, Andrew Draper, Maple Grove Prosecuting Attorney, emphasized the importance of understanding the law’s nuances.
“It’s not just a carte blanche legalization, there are still are a lot of prohibitions that are within the new law,” said Draper, who emphasized that while the law permits recreational use for adults over 21, it comes with restrictions.
The law prohibits smoking in motor vehicles, regardless of whether one is the driver or a passenger. And certain locations are also off-limits for smoking, including schools, drug rehabilitation centers, and public transit.
The law strictly prohibits smoking in motor vehicles, regardless of whether one is the driver or a passenger. And certain locations are off-limits for smoking, including schools, drug rehabilitation centers, and public transit.
“Each city is responsible if they want to enact an ordinance for the prohibition of public use,” stated Draper, who advises residents to familiarize themselves with their city’s specific rules to avoid smoking in parks, sidewalks, or other public areas if prohibited.
Residents Should Educate Themselves on the New Law
“Whether you’re for or against it, knowing the rules and regulations, knowing what’s allowed and what’s not allowed is crucial,” he said, adding that this knowledge would prevent unnecessary emergency calls reporting legal conduct.
Under the legislation, the Office of Cannabis Management will be in charge of regulating marijuana and hemp businesses. It’s expected to take 12 to 18 months before Minnesota sees retail sales of marijuana-derived products.
According to Draper, the law allows for the possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana in public, but with a caveat: “It also states in there that it has to be in the approved packaging,” he explained.
The law will allow Minnesotans to grow up to eight cannabis plants in their home, however no more than four cannabis plants can be mature and flowering at a time. It also is no longer a crime to possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis in public or up to 2 pounds inside your home.
Importance of Community Vigilance
“If you see an issue of public use or you suspect someone might be impaired while driving or smoking while driving, it’s still important to follow the ‘see something, say something’ guideline,” cautioned Draper. “Now that there’s legalization, and you’re able to use it, don’t abuse that law and put the community in danger. Don’t smoke around children who don’t have a choice in inhaling the side effects from that.”
Draper said that all residents should read comprehensive details of the legislation themselves.