Robbinsdale Police Prepare for August Marijuana Legalization
Beginning Aug. 1, Minnesotans age 21 and up can legally grow and possess cannabis products.
The new law was a big adjustment for law enforcement.
“There are incredible changes coming to the drug statues,” said Capt. John Elder of the Robbinsdale Police Department. “It has to do with well more than just marijuana.”
Change is in the air. For many, the hundreds of pages of legislation symbolize a new era.
“I think that it will serve a great purpose and reduce down other things that are going on,” said Christian Scott, who was walking in downtown Robbinsdale.
“The biggest focus is… absolutely going to be public safety. We are most concerned about that,” Elder said.
Robbinsdale police prepared a 30-slide powerpoint briefing its staff on the new laws.
“If people are going to be using THC gummies, concentrate, whatever. Know the law; because we do,” Elder said. “We want them to use responsibly within the confines of the law.”
Cannabis use laws
The cannabis legislation bill can be read here.
As of Aug. 1, possession is not a crime anymore. That is as long as people have less than two ounces of flower, eight ounces of concentrate and 800 mg of THC edibles.
Smoking is not allowed in indoor public spaces, on school vehicles, in correctional facilities or in multifamily housing.
It also is not allowed in the presence of minors.
“Use it where you need to use it. Don’t use it out in public because you don’t want to have the children looking,” Scott said.
At this time, smoking cannabis is allowed on public sidewalks.
“I am just really hoping people do not smoke in public areas and affect other people,” Sandy Myron, who was walking in downtown Robbinsdale, said.
Elder said some community members express concerns about how secondhand smoke will affect communities.
What comes next
Elder said some rules could still change. The legislation left public use ordinances up to each city.
“The city of Lakeville just passed an ordinance that made it unlawful to smoke in any public space,” Elder said.
The Robbinsdale City Council will take up the issue on Aug. 8.
For now, Elder said police are prepared.
Robbinsdale police plan to educate the community on cannabis laws at this year’s National Night Out on Aug. 1.
Elder said police are also holding an open house on Aug. 12, which will have a number of educational opportunities.