Opponents Hope to Block Oil Pipeline in MN, Despite Recent Vote
Carol McCarthy | Feb 7, 2020 AT 7:44 am
ST. PAUL, MN--Supporters of legalizing marijuana in Minnesota say they still face long odds getting a bill passed this year – but they think the 2020 election might convince some lawmakers to give it more thought. Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature announced this week they'll make a strong push this session for a legalization bill, although Senate Republicans remain strongly opposed. Marty Super, chairman of the Legal Marijuana Now political party, says the roadblock can't be ignored. But he points out that lawmakers might be wondering what voters are thinking during a presidential election year.
"They'll be there to vote for the president, and then the representatives and senators – they might not have made up their minds as much on those. And they might vote for a pro-legalization candidate."
In the 2019 Minnesota House of Representatives’ State Fair Opinion Poll, 56-percent of respondents supported recreational marijuana use. Senate Republicans say their concerns are underscored by experts from Colorado who testified at a hearing last year about some of the issues that state has faced since legalization.
Pat Bradley, with Minnesota chapter's of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or 'NORML,' says those concerns are overblown.
"This material, this product, this plant, is safer than the things that we already have as legal for use by adults – nicotine and alcohol. And it can be regulated in a manner very similar."
At the very least, advocates hope lawmakers approve more expansions of the state's medical marijuana program, which is considered one of the most restrictive in the country