Today MN House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s editorial titled “It’s Minnesota’s turn to legalize marijuana use” was published in the Star Tribune. Citing the shortcomings of Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, the fiscal burden of prohibition on the criminal justice system, and the racial disparities in the enforcement of cannabis laws. He acknowledges the challenges ahead in approaching legalization the right way, but knows that the many benefits of legalization are so obvious that they can no longer be ignored.
One item of note in Leader Winkler’s editorial is that most veterans suffering from PTSD are seeing relief from medical cannabis, but they can’t afford the products in Minnesota’s “highly restricted and expensive medical cannabis program.” We must note, that it is not just veterans with PTSD struggling to afford medical cannabis. Between 20,000 and 150,000 of Minnesotans who could, and should, qualify for access to affordable medical cannabis don’t. Whether it is high costs, lack of approved qualifying conditions, or geographical location, Minnesotans are failed by the current medical cannabis program.
Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has put together a survey about Minnesotans attitudes around and priorities regarding cannabis legalization, located here. We encourage our supporters to share their feedback, especially on issues of the affordability of medical cannabis and patient access. Your feedback will help shape our legislators priorities moving forward into the 2020 session and beyond.