Minnesota Democrats are ramping up their push to legalize recreational marijuana with significant pushback from top Republicans. Senate Republicans are still against moving forward with any changes to the state’s current stance on marijuana. Democrats have kicked off a statewide tour.
The first segment of the tour kicked off at the Minnesota State Fair, according to the Star Tribune. Governor Tim Walz has already told several state agencies to get ready for possible legal recreational marijuana. A working group has been busy looking at policies in other states ahead of potential legalization.
Walz said, “What does it look like from a revenue perspective? What does it look like from a Department of Public Safety [perspective]? What is the Department of Health’s responsibility?”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says that legalization isn’t going to happen in 2020.
Gazelka said, “We’re discouraging kids from smoking. We’re trying to fight the opioid epidemic. And then, at the same time, we want to legalize pot? To me that just doesn’t make sense.”
Referendums in multiple Minnesota jurisdictions have already shown that the state’s voters want legal recreational marijuana. It’s expected to be a heated debate in the state leading up to 2020 elections.