Several Minnesota lawmakers were leery about passing medical marijuana legislation. They approved a very restrictive program, which led to high patient cost. With patients not being able to afford the state-approved products, they still went to the black market.
Now, the Governor says that full legalization won’t happen while he’s in office, but those potentially running against him feel differently, according to City Pages. Some Gubernatorial hopefuls would happily sign recreational marijuana into law. Five DFL candidates are “card-carrying supporters” themselves, including Reps Tina Liebling, Erin Murphy, Paul Thissen and Congressman Tim Walz. Mayor Chris Colemen also has a card.
Liebling was the first to display her support for legalization openly. She’s open about her previous use in her younger days, and about going to smoke shops with her adult son. While Liebling says she’s not interested in using marijuana herself anymore, she does support legalization. She introduced legislation to display a model for what legalization could look like in Minnesota. Some Republican support was shown, but none would go public with their support.
She’s running for governor, and much of her campaign material discusses legalizing marijuana.
Liebling said, “I’d like to think I’m responsible in some way in getting people to step forward. My activism on the issue might have pushed some of the other candidates to come forward on it because I think it’s pretty clear that a lot of people in Minnesota are interested.”
Coleman has only been on the legalization bandwagon for a short time. He read how marijuana prohibition disproportionately affects people of color.
Coleman said, “I don’t think there’s any question of if we will legalize it. It’s when, and I think the time is now.”
Murphy also converted to pro-marijuana recently. In 2006, she said she wasn’t ready to support legalization. Murphy is a nurse, and she’s seen what painkiller addiction does to people first-hand. The medications are stronger than marijuana and led to an opioid crisis. This is when her opinion shifted.
Walz is a little questionable still. He said, “I’ve been in an evolving position on that over time, but from a personal standpoint, like many of us, I’ve witnessed that he system in place simply isn’t working.”
He also said, “As governor, one of your responsibilities is to try to lay these things out there. You won’t be voting for it, but you have to try and shape the debate on it. There are opportunities from an economic standpoint to make a positive difference, and I think I trust adults to make decisions with their personal lives.”