Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Minnesota governor: legal cannabis simply a matter of time

Minnesota towns like Pipestone, Luverne, Worthington, Lake Benton, Ortonville and Hendricks near the South Dakota border could reap the coming cannabis whirlwind as Governor Tim Walz urges legalization.
“My agencies have been tasked to put all of the building blocks in place, from Revenue to the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health. We will have everything ready to go, and we will be able to implement it in Minnesota the minute the Legislature moves this.” [Walz wants state to be ready to roll on legal marijuana]
According to a report released in July by the Minnesota Department of Health over 70 percent of survey respondents said therapeutic cannabis was helping to ease their post-traumatic stress and most showed “clinically meaningful” reductions in the severity of their symptoms.
“Better sleep, better appetite, I’m not so angry all the time,” said one respondent. “My memories don’t seem to bother me like they used to. This has been a life-changer for me!” [StarTribune]
Corey Day, a former executive director of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party has formed Cannabis for Economic Growth and will make the dollars and cents case for legalizing for all adults in Minnesota.
Day said he would like to see special efforts made in Minnesota to make sure that low-income people and communities of color share in the economic advantages of legalization. [MinnPost]
A New Mexico task force is drafting legislation using two bills from last session as templates. One member of the legal team is a graduate of Lyman (South Dakota) High School. Enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program is over 76,000 patients and the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts.
Just two other states – Illinois and Vermont – have legalized marijuana legislatively. The other nine states that have legalized recreational cannabis use have done so through voter petition or referendum efforts, which are not allowed in New Mexico. [Albuquerque Journal]
Despite Democratic Governor Steve Bullock's reticence therapeutic cannabis is flowering in Montana.
The Marijuana Regulation Act, or Ballot Issue No. 5, as it is currently titled with the Secretary of State's Office, would legalize recreational marijuana use, establish the state's duties in facilitating the industry, and establish tax revenue policies. "You look across all the states" that have passed recreational measures, said Pepper Peterson of Coalition 406. "Those who are willing to work with the national groups are usually the ones who rise to the top." Boiled down to their basics, both groups' measures have similarities: tax recreational marijuana about 15%, and lower or eliminate the tax on medicinal marijuana; build from the medical marijuana program and protect those providers from the large-scale retail shops that would flood the state if recreational passed; and maintain the state's tracking system to ensure [cannabis] isn't flowing in from or out to the black market. [Missoulian]
In May red state North Dakota quietly decriminalized possession of small amounts and a dispensary just opened in Williston to better serve therapeutic cannabis patients. An interim legislative committee is currently researching legalization for all adults and an initiative that provides for the Legislature to set up regulatory and licensing systems for growing and sales has been resubmitted after its sponsor made some changes.

North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.
A new class available at the University of Minnesota this fall aims to teach students about an often-controversial topic: cannabis. An undergraduate course in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, the class covers issues around cannabis such as its biological makeup, uses and impact on society and regulations at the state and federal level. [Minnesota Daily]
Yes, South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse yet even Democrats in that red state believe residents are too fragile for legal cannabis and the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.

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