4/20 probably won’t be legal in Minnesota anytime soon
There was a glimmer of hope for marijuana advocates when two bills that made pathways for legalization hit the Minnesota Legislature in February.
One proposal would set up regulations for the drug and make it legal for people 21 and older. Another plan would’ve put the legalization question to voters.
But as of Thursday — 4/20, the Christmas for stoners across the country — where have those bills gone?
Since their introductions and first readings on Feb. 9, the bills have seen a sprinkling of support with an additional handful of co-authors joining the bill.
Recreational weed is legal in eight states, and a 2016 Gallup poll said 60 percent of adults support legalization.
Attitudes on weed appear to be changing, even among some police. In Minnesota, Maplewood and Wyoming police departments sent out some joking 4/20 tweets, an unusual tone on an illegal drug.
Undercover #420 operations are in place. Discreet traps have been set up throughout the city today. #Happy420 pic.twitter.com/Jo8mh0Z5lQ
— Wyoming, MN Police (@wyomingpd) April 20, 2017
Twitter jokes aside, Minnesota’s law enforcement community is opposed to recreational pot use and it has the ear of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
The national outlook is a major buzzkill for advocates too. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t fond of legal marijuana’s expanded use either, and legalization proponents are worried. The drug is illegal federally and deemed a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin.
Still, that’s not stopping weed advocates from trying. On Thursday, the state chapter of NORML — the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — is co-hosting a six-hour “Cannabis Rise 420 Rally” at the Capitol.
Of course, medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota for a few conditions, including epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s one of the most restrictive laws of its kind in the U.S., and that has the program facing some financial struggles.