Democrats introduce bill to legalize marijuana & expunge pot convictions

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (KVRR) – House and Senate DFLers announce a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older and expunge pot related convictions.

Author of the House bill, State Representative Zack Stephenson of Coon Rapids, explains the measure would make a legal marketplace to grow, buy and sell cannabis with regulations. He says it also includes traffic safety provisions and has an eight percent tax.

A hemp farmer from Pine County believes legalization would give more job opportunities in rural Minnesota.

Bill authors have gotten nine of Minnesota’s 11 tribes input on the bill.

“We heard really loud and clear from Minnesotans that we cannot legalize cannabis without expungement. This is a racial justice issue and, as we have heard, the harm that has been done to communities of color needs to end,” Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten of St. Paul said.

The bill’s first hearing is January 11 in the House Commerce Committee.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, Politics / Elections