Online Sports Betting, Marijuana Legalization Unlikely for Minnesota in 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states are turning to new revenue sources in an attempt to avoid raising taxes while filling a projected gaping budget deficit.

For Minnesota, that number is a $1.3 billion projected shortfall for fiscal year 2022-2023.

But top lawmakers say two revenue sources that have been popular in other states are unlikely to be signed into law this year; namely, the legalization of recreational marijuana and online sports betting.

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Kamala Harris Had Nearly 2,000 People Locked up on Marijuana Charges: Report

Sen. Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, reportedly prosecuted nearly 2,000 people on marijuana-related charges during her time as California attorney general.

A total of 1,974 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses during Harris’s 2011-2016 tenure as the Golden State’s lead prosecutor, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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Audit Finds Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program Lacks ‘Adequate’ Internal Controls

A new report found that the Minnesota Department of Health’s “internal controls” for its medical cannabis program “were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements.”

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Michigan’s New Marijuana Laws: What Consumers, Business Owners Should Know

by Scott McClallen   The agency that regulates the marijuana market in Michigan has clarified rules to sell product legally to adult residents, making it easier for small businesses to enter the market. Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency said it plans to accept business applications through Nov. 1 and are required to…

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Arizona’s Tucson Border Chief Villareal: Drug Traffickers Using Migrant Crisis to Import Illicit Narcotics

by Jason Hopkins   Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal broke down how drug traffickers are taking advantage of the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, a situation he said will continue without help from Congress. “This appears to be a growing trend — something that we experienced before, but…

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Illinois Governor Pritzker Announces Plan to Legalize Marijuana

  Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Saturday that he’d reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year. The legislation would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess…

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Marijuana-Related ER Visits Triple in Colorado

by Joshua Nelson   A toxicology specialist has found a connection between legalized marijuana and a threefold increase in related visits to emergency rooms in Colorado for heart and other issues, confirming that cannabis poses health risks. Marijuana may be a recreational activity for many, but marijuana-infused “edibles” in particular…

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Recreational Marijuana Bill Dies in Minnesota Senate Committee

The Minnesota State Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly voted to kill a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana throughout the state Monday. Senate Bill, SF 619, would have made it legal for individuals “21 years of age or older to cultivate, consume, use, and possess cannabis, cannabis products, and cannabis accessories,” as…

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Republican-Backed Medical Marijuana Bill Clears First Hurdle in Georgia

by Evie Fordham   A Republican-backed bill to make it legal for Georgians to obtain, not just possess, limited amounts of medical marijuana oil cleared its first hurdle in the state’s House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill is sponsored by five Republican state representatives and one Democrat. Republican state Rep.…

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DFL Lawmakers Introduce House Bill 420 to Legalize Marijuana in Minnesota

DFL lawmakers took the first concrete steps to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota Monday by introducing companion bills in the Minnesota House and Senate. House File (HF) 420, sponsored by Rep. Mike Freiberg (D-Golden Valley), and Senate File (619), sponsored by Sen. Melissa Franzen (D-Edina), would make it legal in…

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Pro-Legalization Protesters Mock and Shout Down Minnesota Mother Who Lost Son to Impaired Driver

A Wednesday press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol kicked off what is sure to be an emotional and divisive debate over the legalization of marijuana. The press conference was called by Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota, and both Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie…

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St. Paul City Council Votes in Favor of Recreational Marijuana As Long-Time Member Resigns

The St. Paul City Council voted 6-1 Wednesday in favor of adding the legalization of marijuana to its list of legislative priorities for the upcoming session. The resolution, authored by Council Member Dai Thao and co-sponsored by Council Members Rebecca Noecker and Mitra Nelson, argues that the decriminalization of recreational…

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