We launched our grassroots, volunteer-based organization one year ago on November 18, 2017 to organize a statewide campaign for full legalization. We were recruiting and training people to #CaucusForCannabis, and some of us become state convention delegates advocating for full legalization and trying to get candidates to take these issues seriously and become champions. For the second election season we got the Democrats to collectively support full legalization while the Republicans still remain devoted to maintaining prohibition. We surveyed candidates throughout our state and produced a voter guide to inform voters and influence election outcomes. We’ve traveled to meet with Minnesotans in different regions of the state beyond the Twin Cities, and will continue to do so increasingly with the hopes of recruiting volunteer supporters in every state legislative district to become local organizers and citizen lobbyists who will educate, encourage and support candidates and legislators in their home districts who support our cause, and hold Prohibitionist candidates and legislators accountable for supporting or tolerating unjust laws. We’re also working to provide public education to increase public opinion in favor of full legalization among people who represent the “Marijuana Middle,” which are people who support some form of medical cannabis legalization, but not yet adult personal use.
Today our chances and hopes for having full legalization legislation passed at the state legislature have increased significantly. 19 days ago on November 6, 2018, we elected Tim Walz as our next Governor, and he supports full legalization. The Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party won a majority of the 134 state House races against the Grand Old Party (GOP), 75-59. The Democrats have full legalization on their official party platform, and to date, all four full legalization bills that have been introduced in the House were authored by Democrats. The full state Senate was not up for election this year, but there was a special election in Senate District 13, which broke the 33-33 GOP – DFL tie, giving the Republicans the majority there. Since 2017, there has only been one full legalization bill introduced in the Senate, and that was authored by a Democrat. The reality is that we have a fighting chance to see the first full legalization bill committee hearings in 2019, and its possible that we could even see one passed in the House, but it’s doubtful that we will even see committee hearings in the Senate. This may mean that we will see progress, but not enough until the 2020 election year when both the full House and Senate will be up for election. Having a Governor who supports the cause is helpful, but no Governor can sign a bill into law unless and until their state legislature first passes one.
We’ve been drafting model legislation that we will be sharing with all of our state legislators, Democrats and Republicans, and the Governor-elect in the weeks leading up to the upcoming state legislative session in January, and we’ve already begun meeting with many of them individually. We’re also going to be engaging the community of cannabis legalization supporters though out the coming year to try to organize an army of advocates and storytellers to individually and collectively demand an urgent end to cannabis prohibition in our state. Today, Sunday, November 25, 2018, from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, we are having our third Monthly Movement Meeting at New Rules, located at 2015 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis, MN where we will have a deep dive discussion about how we envision an equitably regulated, reasonably taxed and just model of full legalization in Minnesota.
For more information, email Marcus@legalizeitmn.com
To volunteer, email John@legalizeitmn.com
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