420 Rally at St. Paul Capitol Draws Minnesota Cannabis Advocates

 

April 20- St. Paul, MN

As American support for legal marijuana reached an all-time high, Minnesota cannabis supporters rallied at the St. Paul Capitol to hear legislators and community leaders discuss what’s at stake in the fight for cannabis legalization and the road ahead.

 

Minnesota Cannabis Movements Want Changes to State’s Medical Marijuana Program

Minnesota signed its own medical Marijuana legislation back in 2014, known as one of the country’s more restrictive medical program, being limited to sufferers of:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cancer/cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable pain
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette’s syndrome

The festivities hosted by Minnesota NORMLLegal Marijuana Now, began with speeches from legislators and citizen activists in the Capitol’s rotunda. Speakers included:


 

Rep. Applebaum expressed gratitude for the public’s support of his amendment for full legalization, pointing to it as an example of changing attitudes toward recreational cannabis-use.

Rep. John Applebaum speaking at an event hosted by Minnesota NORML on 420 before Minnesota Cannabis Supporters
Rep. Applebaum expressed his gratitude in a speech to the Rotunda crowd of Minnesota Cannabis supporters on 420 for supporting him after submitting the first legal cannabis bill to the MN legislature

Applebaum pointed out states like Colorado reaping high revenues from cannabis taxation, a result he believed that Minnesota could repeat with its own legal cannabis program

” … we know viewpoints on this issue are changing, there are still those with outdated attitudes based on myths and dangers that we all know don’t exist.”

 

 

 

Drawing on her own legal research, Nekima criticized the disparities of cannabis enforcement, pointing out that minorities and women make up a greater portion of those in prison despite being smaller subsets of the state population.

Nekima Levy-Pounds Speaking to an Audience at a 420 Event in St. Paul Capitol Rotunda
Nekima Levy-Pounds, Mayoral Candidate, Civil Rights Lawyer

 

Citing one in five Minnesotans admitting cannabis-use, Nekima highlighted that police enforcement appeared largely in minority communities. A 2014 Report from MN2020 showed African-Americans are at least 6 times more likely to be arrested for use, despite being 6 percent of the state’s population, they composed 27 percent of cannabis arrests.

 


Tina Liebling Speaking to the Rotunda Crowd of Minnesota Cannabis Supporters
Tina Liebling Addressing Crowd in the Rotunda of St. Paul Capitol

In line with her gubernatorial platform, Liebling criticized anti-cannabis laws, believing they don’t respect the rights of those that consume it responsibly and stand in the way of more sensible policy being made in the future.

Singling out civil forfeiture, which allows police to seize property of those convicted of crimes like cannabis possession, as an example of senseless policy currently in place going as far as to say “it should be illegal”.

 

 

 


Want to keep current with changes in Minnesota Cannabis legislation?

Keep track of the following bills currently in session at the links below or check back in with DarkMarketEconomist for more coverage.

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Also published on Medium.

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  • Tyler Newman

    Reporter

    I am a 24-year old online reporter based in Minnesota. With Leafly and the Minnesota Daily, I wrote AP-style compliant copy, and produced multimedia pieces covering U.S. politics, markets, lifestyle, and college sports. Data Journalism is a cause I stand firmly behind, furnishing existing visualizations with fresh data and producing some of my own. On the side, I’m a gadget geek, coffee snob, and blockchain technology enthusiast.

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