House Majority Leader Winkler and several of my colleagues have been working on a path forward for a safe, responsible and unique framework for adult-use cannabis legalization that’s responsive to Minnesota’s needs and concerns.
On November 18th, I was able to attend a “Listening Session” in Eden Prairie where we heard from two officials from Colorado about the “lessons learned” from their experience with the legalization of recreational marijuana and then took public testimony. Two of the biggest concerns that many of you have expressed to me are related to legalization’s impact on driving while intoxicated and teen use of marijuana.
It was a relief to hear from them that Colorado saw no increase in DUIs. The lack of a good test to measure the level of THC in the bloodstream remains a concern. The presence of THC can be detected with a saliva test and that, plus a “field sobriety test”, are being used to enforce the DUI law in Colorado.
Teen use of marijuana has actually decreased in Colorado! This is attributed to the reduction in black market sources with the implementation of a regulated market.
You can find the Colorado presentations here.
We also heard directly from members of the public who told of the great benefits they’ve received from using medical cannabis for relief from pain and PTSD symptoms, and who advocated for easier access.
I have been impressed with how thoroughly Rep. Winkler’s task force has been researching this issue with the cooperation of the Walz administration. Every agency in State government has weighed in on how legalization might impact their operations, from Public Safety, to Health, to Revenue, and no stone is being left unturned in their examination of this issue. If proposed legislation emerges from this work, I’m sure that it will be comprehensive and very well-considered.
I am judiciously considering all pros and cons, data, and concerns of Minnesotans, which is why I would appreciate your input. Take a short survey to share your thoughts and sign up for updates on future events here.
Please contact me anytime with questions or input. I appreciate hearing from you!