On Wednesday, May 18th, members of the Minnesota Senate blocked a vote on whether the state should legalize marijuana for recreational use.
An attempt by Democrats to pursue cannabis legalization legislation was rebuffed by the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate. By a vote of 33 to 31, the chamber, dominated by Republicans, voted against the motion to consider the measure.
The bill’s sponsor, Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen, DFL-Edina, indicated that Minnesotans support efforts to legalize marijuana for adults. “The majority of Minnesotans support legalizing cannabis, and I’m one of them,” she tweets.
The inequities in the criminal justice system around cannabis, according to López Franzen, must be addressed if cannabis is legalized. “We all know that legalizing cannabis will have economic benefits, but just as importantly, we need to address the disparities in the criminal justice system around cannabis,” López Franzen states.
Minnesota presently permits the medicinal use of cannabis for certain conditions authorized by the state’s department of health. Currently a total of 18 states have enacted legislation permitting the recreational use of cannabis.