As a pair of cannabis legalization bills make their way through Minnesota In the state legislature, advocates hail the legislation as a commonsense approach to marijuana policy reform. But the sheriff of a small rural county is asking lawmakers to consider the impact of legalization on law enforcement and urging caution.
pieces of legislation, House file 100 And Senate File 73Adults 21 and older are allowed to purchase up to two ounces of cannabis. Adults are allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis in public and up to five pounds in a private residence. Adults are also allowed to serve up to two ounces of cannabis to another adult. The bills also allow home growing of marijuana, with adults allowed to grow up to eight cannabis plants, including up to four mature plants.
The bills, which are currently under consideration by several legislative committees in both the House and Senate, also establish a framework for regulating the production, processing, and sale of commercial cannabis. The legislation mandates a new office of cannabis management to license and regulate cannabis businesses and contains provisions allowing cities and counties to own and operate government-run dispensaries. In addition to cannabis growers, processors and retailers, the bills allow licenses for home delivery services and temporary permits to consume cannabis products on site on special occasions.
The legislation also includes social justice provisions including the automatic deletion of records of past marijuana-related offenses. In addition, Social Justice applicants for cannabis business licenses will be awarded bonus points during the application process.
The proposed legislation to legalize cannabis includes provisions designed to ensure that the adult-use cannabis market in Minnesota is not dominated by large corporations and incorporates the experiences of other states that have legalized cannabis, said Travis Kopenhaver, partner at cannabis law firm Vicente LLP.
“Legalization is always a difficult time with many unanswered questions,” Copenhaver wrote in an email to High times. “Senate File 73/House File 100 will create 12 types of adult use licenses, each with the goal of preventing monopoly and ensuring opportunities created for the benefit of Minnesota and its residents.”
He added, “As these laws continue to move forward, Minnesota has the luxury of examining the successes and failures of other states in its region, as well as its own successful medical program.”
The county sheriff urges caution in Minnesota
Sheriff Chad Meester of Lincoln County, a rural state in the southwestern part of Minnesota with a population of less than 6,000, urged lawmakers and state residents to be vigilant in the campaign to legalize marijuana. In a post on social media Marshall cited it independentMeester pleaded with county residents to consider the arguments for and against legalizing marijuana.
“Basically, what I’m trying to communicate to the public and my constituents,” said Meester, “is that there needs to be some serious, serious consideration of the pros and cons in the legislature.”
“There are some serious concerns” about legalizing marijuana, Meester said, adding that he was concerned about the potential for an increase in disabled drivers on the state’s roads. He also acknowledged that deputies would face challenges in determining whether a driver had a disability due to marijuana.
“We’re going to need training, and we’re going to need resources to deal with that,” Meester said.
Meester called for “sufficient funds to be raised” for law enforcement agencies to successfully transition to legalizing cannabis. The sheriff also said the legislation should include funding to develop a roadside test for vulnerability, training of drug recognition officers and other public health and safety costs.
“For me, I’d like to know how the experts factor in,” Meester wrote.