The bill is headed to Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) to be signed and our state will join 22 others in ending Refer Madness. Prior to the consortium orchestrated attack on the smokable product—the likes of William Randolph Hearst, due to his publishing empire’s purchases of timberland for paper pulp, other trust interests in shipping and banking, and the alcohol industry’s post-prohibition opposition to a competing product—cannabis, and hemp was a viable agricultural commodity. It is a hardy and easily grown plant that produces longer fibers than wood or cotton, in a shorter growing time. In fact, everyone in Minnesota knows about ditch weed, which can grow nearly anywhere. These were used to produce rope, clothing, and other longer-lasting textiles, not to mention the pharmacological plant flowers.
We saw the rapid rise in the THC industry and the provision of seltzers and other edibles occur virtually overnight, after the passage last session of enabling legislation for low-dosage (5% THC) products. This new law will bring about an even greater offering. The supply will come because the demand is there.
Additionally, what is most beneficial is the expulsion of the convictions of past drug offenses. The fabricated “Drug War” created by President Ronald Reagan (R) came at a drastic cost and destroyed many people’s lives. It is irrational for our nation to prosecute a war on a concept like an illicit market. As we have seen before, prohibition especially on a naturally occurring plant, is nigh on impossible.
It is good to see, our state’s leaders specifically, the legislative authors, Rep Zack Stephenson (DFL-35A, Coon Rapids) and Sen Lindsey Port (DFL-55, Burnsville) were well-suited to navigate the plethora of committees to bring this to fruition.
The residual benefit for the DFL Party is with a stroke of a pen, the need for any cannabis-based third-party’s goes up in smoke.