A Time For Change

Recently the Minnesota Senate, under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka voted down HF 420, the bipartisan Cannabis Adult Use bill, which would make adult use legal in Minnesota, regulate cannabis like alcohol, and would expunge all cannabis crimes.  The justification given by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka was that it simply wasn't a priority stating, β€œThe Governor has a right to his opinion to legalize marijuana, but it is not a priority of the Minnesota Senate. Our priorities are lowering healthcare costs, fixing our roads and bridges, and balancing the budget without raising taxes.”  For Mr. Gazelka, cannabis simply isn't a priority.

Mr. Gazelka claims that fixing our roads and bridges and balancing the budget are priorities, yet he has failed to consider what adult use cannabis can contribute to our taxes for schools and infrastructure and what it can do to help balance the budget.  He says those are priorities but completely ignores the fact that cannabis can help us achieve those priorities.  In addition, Mr. Gazelka completely ignores the social cost of continuing to imprison thousands of Minnesota citizens over cannabis possession, destroying those peoples' lives and liveihoods for the rest of their lives in a pointless continuation of the failed Drug War.

Mr. Gazelka's killing of this important bill is an act of cowardice, laden with prejudice that completely ignores the fact that adult use cannabis will lead to increased taxation and Minnesota state revenue which can be spent on those exact priorities he mentioned.  We have tried Mr. Gazelka's way for over 40 years of a failed Drug War that has seen the destruction of millions of lives in the US. It is time to change. 

It is time to end the Drug War and to bring adult use and the resulting tax benefits to our infrastructure and education to Minnesota. If Mr. Gazelka will not make expunging the criminal history of minor cannabis crimes and legalization of adult use cannabis to Minnesota, then it is time for him and his like to be voted out. 

Ethan Carruthers