Pursuing recreational cannabis legalization this year, Minnesota lawmakers are in the game, hoping to follow in the footsteps of many of its neighbors. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says the number of Minnesota residents driving across the border to get cannabis has increased significantly.
People are willing to go to Wisconsin to buy fireworks, but we're definitely going to South Dakota to buy cannabis. While Democrats and cannabis advocates continue to press, with 51 percent of registered voters in the state backing legal cannabis, Republicans who control the Minnesota Senate are overwhelmingly opposed. Senate Minority Leader Paul Gazelka says the main concern is the unintended consequences of recreational use, just as they have concerns about tobacco, drinking, and drug abuse.
Just because it is legal does not mean that there are no consequences, and we are just beginning to learn more about the long-term consequences of recreational cannabis use in the United States. There's no reason to rush to Minnesota without learning more, he says, but we've learned a lot from other states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.