DFLer Jon Applebaum is the House Deputy Minority Leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
As the chief author of Minnesota’s first ever bill to legalize recreational marijuana, I think the best path ahead for health, personal liberty and economic opportunity is clearly right in front of us. Through full legalization of marijuana – for both medicinal and recreational use – we have an opportunity to create a true billion-dollar made-in-Minnesota marijuana economy. The next governor and legislature must courageously work to eliminate our failed criminal prohibition in order for Minnesota to realize the significant benefits that full legalization has brought to a growing number of states. Full legalization will not only improve availability for those who count this product for their health, but will create phenomenal economic benefits for our entire state, of which both the public and private sectors are currently missing out. [LeafLine struggles highlights need for marijuana legalization in Minnesota]Black market cannabis not tested or subject to inspection makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life/safety concerns.
Unless Democrats weave cannabis into their platform at their state convention and arch-conservatives run for offices outside the Greedy Old Party it's curtains for the South Dakota Democratic Party in November.
Minnesotans suffering from autism and obstructive sleep apnea will be able to seek relief with therapeutic cannabis starting in July.