ST PAUL, Minn. — A bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana and clear the records of Minnesotans with minor pot offenses in their history was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday.
KARE 11 political reporter John Croman says that means for all practical purposes, recreational pot is dead - at least for this session.
The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, has been doing more to hear legalization bills. Leaders of the House, which is in Democratic control, have already said it is not a priority this year for them.
The bill that was voted down on Monday was lead-authored by State Senator Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina). Among other things, it would have allowed those 21 years or older to possess, use, and cultivate small amounts of cannabis products and accessories. It would not allow residents to consume marijuana products in a public place. The language also set out requirements for businesses and establishments who want to get into the manufacturing and sales part of the business, and laid out how the state would gather tax from sales.
Franzen's bill also had a component that would reach back into court records and expunge convictions of people on low level marijuana possession charges, or possessing pot while in a motor vehicle. It would apply to those whose convictions involve less than an ounce-and-a-half of marijuana.