Minnesota Democrats came this close to making marijuana legalization a priority


At the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention in Duluth last month, 1076 delegates cast ballots related to the party’s 2014-15 action agenda. Resolutions ranged from taxes to veterans to recreational cannabis.
This last one needed 619 votes to pass, but ended up with 603, according to tally takers. In other words, the activists who guide policy for the DFL — the party that currently controls the House, the Senate and the governor’s office — were 16 votes shy of making recreational cannabis a legislative priority for the next two years. That comes out to a mere 1.5 percent.

Had it passed, the DFL would have joined the Independence Party in believing recreational cannabis is an acceptable form of leisure, profitable to the state, and badly needed to stop wrongs committed in our criminal justice system. Some have gone so far as to declare its use a civil right.
Of course, it’ll take more than a piece of paper to convince most legislators, especially those beholden to the state’s powerful law enforcement lobbyists. Using cannabis for pleasure (or religious ceremony) is still a taboo position to hold in politics, and some top-ranking DFLers last session made the case for medical by blasting recreational.
Read more, including the state Republican stance on marijuana over at the Minneapolis City Pages.