ROCHESTER, Minn. - Minnesota house majority leader Ryan Winkler and other DFL lawmakers are reintroducing a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use in Minnesota.
Winkler said the priority is to end what he calls "the black market for cannabis."
Winkler is on the record saying his bill is based on conversations he's had with Minnesotans.
Fully, 15 states have now voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
That now includes our neighbors to the west in South Dakota.
Minnesota only allows cannabis use for medicinal purposes.
KIMT News 3 reached out to U.S. Senator Tina Smith to get a sense of how our representatives at the federal level view the issue.
Senator Smith gave us this statement:
"It's time to end the failed and racist policy of marijuana prohibition. I support policies to legalize marijuana for adults - and have introduced my own bill in the Senate to do just that - so that we can address the legacy of unjust enforcement, as well as protect the health and safety of our communities."
KIMT News 3 reached out to Representative Jim Hagedorn and did not hear back.
Governor Tim Walz mentioned this in his news conference this past week as well saying, " I would still like the legislators to take a look at recreational cannabis because of the, not just the revenue sources that are there that dwarf sports betting, but because of the equity issue and to be quite honest, the racial impact of our cannabis laws".
Legislative observers consider the bill a long shot, but if it were to pass, it would expunge most marijuana-related convictions while also funding public health awareness and substance abuse treatment.