Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura met with Gov.-elect Tim Walz Tuesday to discuss managing the transition into the governor’s mansion and pitched Minnesota’s new leader on legalizing marijuana in the state.
While Minnesota currently has a medical marijuana program, Ventura told reporters after his meeting that “we’re just plain missing the boat” on the issue.
“Minnesota has never been like that. Minnesota has always been a leader. But in the case of cannabis we’ve become a follower,” Ventura said, according to MPR News. “And I think the new governor-elect is going to change that.”
The legalization movement has been gaining momentum in Minnesota as two issue-based parties are about to receive major party status in the state. Leaders of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and the Legal Marijuana Now Party have indicated that they will work together to draft mock legislation for use by the state Legislature, and Walz has indicated that he will support their venture.
“How does it sound? Pot for potholes,” Ventura said Tuesday, touting the economic benefits of legalization.
After his meeting with Walz, Ventura turned heads when he indicated that he could run for president in 2020 as the nominee for the Green Party.
“You have got to get in shape—either for Wrestlemania or you know, 2020. I get in shape for a reason. What would happen in 2020 if Jesse Ventura were the candidate of the Green Party?” said Ventura, who is one of the most notable politicians to find success outside of the two-party system.
Ventura went on to speak highly of Minnesota’s next governor, saying he thinks Walz can “make headway on a lot of things.”
“He’s a guy who wants to get things done. In order to get things done, you have got to have people willing to compromise and, as the old cliche says, work across the aisle,” Ventura told reporters. “And that’s what the American people are looking for right now. That’s why the governor-elect had such success in this election.”
While Walz said that he believes “it’s important for our partners both in the House and in the Senate to start and work things out,” he didn’t offer more detail on how he plans to pursue legalization.
“I’ve kind of and will be a little clearer as we lay out our agenda, as we get close to the transition time when we come in,” he added. “But we certainly talked about it on the campaign trail.”
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