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Minneapolis Mayor Wants In On Marijuana Legalization

Many Canadians and cannabis activists were enthused last week when Canada officially legalized recreational marijuana on the federal level. But included in that wave of excitement was none other than Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Though Minnesota officially legalized medicinal marijuana in 2015, it’s known as one of the more restrictive programs in the country. Frey used the news from Canada to voice his support of changing the Minnesota system. He tweeted a CNN article on Canada’s Senate passing the historic bill and added a succinct, but clear message.

“Marijuana will soon be legal in Canada. Let’s make Minnesota next—and then the USA,” Frey wrote.

Minneapolis has already made significant policy changes on its own. News broke earlier this month that Minneapolis police leaders would end sting arrests that targeted low-level marijuana possession and sales. Change came after a downtown sting on open drug sales ended in 100 arrests, including 47 for the felony sale of marijuana. However, 46 out of 47 of those arrested for marijuana were homeless and black, who were dealing a couple grams to survive. Those numbers resulted in significant criticism of the police.

Minneapolis’ Police Chief Medaria Arradondo then announced a change in policy, steering petty-level drug offenders toward possible treatment or counseling instead of jail.

“Mayor [Jacob] Frey has directed us…we will discontinue specific low-level marijuana enforcement,” Arradondo said. “And I agree with the mayor’s decision … Too often in society the police and MPD is looked at as the one to solve this problem, and it is far greater than just us.”

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