Incoming Gov. Tim Walz has been paying attention to all the cannabis legalization going down in the U.S. and believes that it’s high time Minnesota joined the ranks. Aside from seeing it as a good source of new revenue, Walz doesn’t want to see any more people arrested and/or locked up over a plant.
As a congressman, Walz encouraged the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis. Now he says with utter optimism, “I just think the time is here and we’re seeing it across the country. Minnesota has always been able to implement these things right.”
However, legalization is never a one-man show, it takes a community. The Minnesota legislature is split between democrats and republicans now, but that may not be such a bad thing. Cannabis, though more celebrated on the left, is still not a partisan issue. Countless republicans see it as a safer alternative to alcohol and hard drugs, simply see it as an herbal remedy or also don’t like seeing people unnecessarily incarcerated.
The temperature seems to be heating up though. Tom Gallagher, who is a criminal defense attorney serving on the board of NORML said, “In Minnesota, the people want it already. A lot of politicians would rather not be bothered with it. We think this is a very important issue because people are sitting in prison just rotting away, the families are wasting away without their family members. They’re not making money, they’re not paying taxes, we think it’s very important.”
Gallagher also noted a Gallup poll showing that over two thirds of the people support legalization. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a hard row to sow, though. An amendment would have to be approved by legislature in order to make it law.
As of now, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis while 33 have medicalized the herb. Marijuana is talked about on the news daily and has become a mainstream issue. It’s not that it’s just close to time for Minnesota to flip over to the green side of life, it’s a matter of when the rest of the states are going to follow suit. When, not if.