“This is a conversation starter. We are all well aware that our colleagues who are chairs … are not interested in having this conversation right now. But you have to have a starting point. My constituents have urged me to be bold and take on social issues," said State Rep. Jason Metsa.
What is Iron Range State Representative Jason Metsa referring to? A new innovative idea in education reform? An economic development incentive program for the Iron Range? Nope. He was referring to pot and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the state of Minnesota. It was just three years ago that Representative Carly Melin lead the initiative to legalize the use of cannabis derivatives for certain medical conditions. Law enforcement groups, parent organizations, and drug counselors are against it. Supporters of legalizing marijuana are concerned about the consequences imposed and the incarcerations rates on many because Minnesota prohibits marijuana use. In the first 10 months of 2016, Colorado marijuana shops reached a significant milestone: $1 billion in legal, regulated cannabis sales. So far in the United States, eight states have legalized recreational use of the drug through a ballot measure. Because the state of Minnesota does not use statewide ballot questions, this would require a constitutional amendment.
This issue brings up a number of questions to consider:
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