Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL Leaders Outline Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, and other DFL leaders outlined a plan in St. Paul Tuesday to legalize marijuana in Minnesota.
“A lot of people in Minnesota, more than 650,000 people every year use cannabis,” Winkler said. “Because they are adults who want to make their own responsible decisions knowing the risks.”
Winkler and a group of lawmakers recently crisscrossed the state to gather feedback on the issue. They stopped in 15 cities to gauge interest in making cannabis legal.
According to Winkler, many Minnesota residents believe the state’s cannabis laws are doing “more harm than good.”
Ryan Winkler: Legalizing Cannabis is “Just a Question of When”
Ryan Winkler is one of the key politicians behind a bill that would regulate cannabis in the marketplace. The bill would also focus on public health, safety and criminal justice reform for those unfairly impacted by marijuana enforcement. However, it would likely face opposition in the Republican-led Senate.
“We are preparing for that change by creating legislation that will address all the harms of our existing prohibition of cannabis,” Winkler said. “We’ve seen this on issue after issue. Senator Gazelka and Senator Limmer can fold their arms and say no they don’t want to hear it. But the people of Minnesota will roll over them eventually on issues like this. They can decide to be speed bumps, or they can decide to be active participants in correcting policy.”
The Minnesota Senate vetoed the bill last session. Marijuana use is now permitted in 11 states and is legal for medical use in 33 states.
Winkler and his political cohorts are studying places where marijuana is legal to see what those states have done right and wrong in the process.