Winkler Pushes for Legalization of Cannabis
Legalizing marijuana was a hot topic Thursday at the Minnesota State Fair. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, kicked off a statewide event called “Community Conversations on Cannabis.”
Winkler joined members of ACLU-MN and Minnesota Veterans for Cannabis in front of the Minnesota Farmers Union building to talk about the benefits of changing the law.
“Right now Minnesota’s laws on marijuana are doing more harm than good. We know that it’s already widely available. People are able to access it for health needs, and there are significant racial disparities in our criminal justice system that make it this current set of laws not workable,” said Winkler.
The Golden Valley lawmaker is inviting Minnesotans to join the conversation to talk about how to create a comprehensive framework for legalizing cannabis. Winkler will tour 15 communities to discuss the matter.
“We think by regulating and making it a legal product we can better handle some of the harms that marijuana causes and make sure that the goals that we have for our criminal justice system and for our healthcare system are better upheld with a more sensible set of laws.
Winkler said legalizing cannabis for adult use will be a legislative priority during the 2020 session. However, he will encounter a few hurdles. Some law enforcement agencies and Republican leaders are against legalizing marijuana.
“Not everyone is opposed, and we intend to listen to concerns and if we can accommodate we will do so,” said Winkler.