More Minnesota House and Senate committees have approved companion bills to legalize marijuana, moving them closer to the floor after weeks of legislative action.
The House Human Services Policy Committee passed the legislation from Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) in a voice vote on Monday, marking the eighth panel in the chamber to clear the measure.
Hours later, the Senate Transportation Committee approved the companion version, also in a voice vote vote. This is the sixth Senate panel to advance the legislation, which is being carried by Sen. Lindsey Port (D).
“It’s time. Minnesotans are ready,” Stephenson said in opening remarks on Monday. “Our current laws related to cannabis are doing more harm than good. There is a more sensible approach to this issue that relies not on the criminal justice system to solve problems related to cannabis, and other tools within our disposal.”
“Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make their own decisions about cannabis—and this bill is about providing them with that opportunity,” he said.
During the Senate panel hearing, Port said that “prohibition of cannabis is a failed system that has not achieved the desired goals and has had incredible costs for our communities,
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