Gov. Walz Has Directed State Agencies to Prepare for Recreational Marijuana


Gov. Tim Walz recently said he’s directed state agencies to prepare for the passage of a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota.

“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 told MPR News Monday.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) said in a recent op-ed for The Star Tribune that he plans to sponsor a legalization bill when lawmakers reconvene next year.

“As a majority leader of the Minnesota House, I will take the lead in starting this conversation with Minnesotans and I intend to introduce legislation in the next legislative session that reflects the public input we hear,” he said. “Legalizing cannabis for responsible adult use in a sensible way could offer broad benefits across Minnesota. We need to pursue this policy, and get it right.”

Winkler met with the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization on Thursday to discuss “principles and goals for legislation,” according to a Facebook post. Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL-Minneapolis) and a policy staffer from Walz’s office were also in attendance.

“We were very encouraged that the House seems to share the principles and goals that we have, and we are confident that an acceptable bill will pass the House in 2020,” the Campaign for Full Legalization wrote on Facebook. “After that we will need to flip the Senate in next year’s election to get a majority that will pass the companion bill there in 2021.”

“It’s a frustratingly protracted struggle, but we are inching towards victory in the fight to end prohibition and fully legalize cannabis for adult personal use in Minnesota,” the group added.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) told MPR News that he won’t support a recreational marijuana bill.

“It’s my position that it’s not good for Minnesota. It’s dead as far as I’m concerned in the Senate for next year,” he said. “We’ve gone through the due diligence and the process to listen to the issue. There were just a lot of negative issues around recreational marijuana.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].






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