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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Dehn Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Rep. Raymond Dehn

Press Release

Minnesota House of Representatives

District 59B

537 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155



CONTACT: Nathaniel Leonard (651) 297-8203

January 23, 2019


Rep. Dehn Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Recreational Cannabis


ST. PAUL, MN – Yesterday, Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced HF 265, a bill to legalize recreational cannabis through a constitutional amendment. The amendment would require approval from a simple majority in both chambers of the legislature before being placed on the ballot during an election year.

“Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis. It’s time for Minnesotans to decide if we want to join them,” said Rep. Dehn. “It’s time for Minnesotans to have access to the opportunities recreational cannabis could bring to our state. Minnesota is currently in an opioid epidemic, and legalized cannabis would offer an alternative solution to pain alleviation.”

“This is to say nothing of the moral responsibility to end the War on Drugs. In my district, African-Americans are 11 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession, despite similar usage rates among other groups,” said Dehn. “This is in sharp contrast to a Minnesota that has become more accepting of recreational cannabis use.”

Two pro-cannabis groups qualified as major political parties by receiving at least five percent of the vote in statewide races during the 2018 election. Last election season also saw the majority of DFL gubernatorial candidates express support for legalizing recreational cannabis, including Governor Tim Walz.

The bill has been referred to the House committee on Health and Human Services Policy.