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File #: RES 18-2095    Version: Name: Supporting Legalization and Decriminalization of Recreational Cannabis in Minnesota
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 12/19/2018
Title: Supporting legalization and decriminalization of recreational cannabis in Minnesota and expungement of Minnesotan records of convicted cannabis crimes.
Sponsors: Dai Thao, Rebecca Noecker, Mitra Jalali
Attachments: 1. Online comment re RES 18-2095, 2. Comment recd by Council

Title

Supporting legalization and decriminalization of recreational cannabis in Minnesota and expungement of Minnesotan records of convicted cannabis crimes.

 

Body

WHEREAS, medical cannabis is legal in 33 states and recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states; and

 

WHEREAS, in 2014 Minnesota Legislation passed medical cannabis to treat seriously ill Minnesotans; and

 

WHEREAS, conditions treated by medical cannabis are cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, PTSD, autism, opioid addiction, and more; and


WHEREAS, a review of more than 10,000 cannabis studies in 2017 found that patients treated with cannabis and cannabinoids were more likely to feel a reduction in pain symptoms significantly, and evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not increase risk of cancers often associated with tobacco products, such as lung, heart, and neck cancers; and


WHEREAS, there are 2,895 medical cannabis active patients in Saint Paul and thousands more across the State of Minnesota; and


WHEREAS, the medical cannabis program is extremely restrictive, due to an annual fee of $200, and limited access to medical facilities and doctors; and


WHEREAS, recreational cannabis is still illegal in Minnesota; and


WHEREAS, a review of more than 10,000 cannabis study in 2017 found that patients treated with cannabis and cannabinoids were more likely to feel a reduction in pain symptoms significantly, and evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not increase risk of cancers often associated with tobacco products, such as lung, heart, and neck cancers; and


WHEREAS, possession or sale of less than 42.5 grams of cannabis is a petty misdemeanor with a fine of $200, and possession or sale of 42.5 grams and more is a felony with 5-30 years in jail and fine of $10,000-$1,000,000; and


WHEREAS, a Marist College Institute poll suggests that 52% of Americans, ages 18 and older, have tried recreational cannabis and 44% currently still uses it; and


WHEREAS, a 2010 survey from the Minnesota Department of Human Services showed that Blacks were approximately 1.8 times as likely to use cannabis as Whites; and


WHEREAS, people of color are continuously disproportionately criminalized; and, sentenced, and punished more harshly than White counterparts for the same offenses involving cannabis; and


WHEREAS, data from 2011 shows that the highest disparity in the State of Minnesota is in Ramsey County, where Blacks were 8.8 times more likely than Whites to be arrested for possession of cannabis; and


WHEREAS, possession or sale of less than 42.5 grams of cannabis is a petty misdemeanor with a fine of $200, and possession or sale of 42.5 grams and more is a felony with 5-30 years in jail and fine of $10,000-$1,000,000; and

 

WHEREAS, cannabis stings in 2018 in Hennepin County shows officers intentionally approaching black men to facilitate drug sales, 46 out of 47 arrested were Black, in contrast, the White person who was arrested initiated the drug deal; and. 46 out of 47 arrested were black and in contrast, the white person who was arrested when approached by the police to facilitate a drug deal; and

 

WHEREAS, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU of MN) reported that in 2010 the State of Minnesota spent as much as $69 million dollars enforcing cannabis laws; and


WHEREAS, legalizing recreational cannabis would provide increased safe and convenient access for patients and users; and


WHEREAS, legalizing recreational cannabis would reduce inequitable criminalization of people of color; and


WHEREAS, decriminalizing recreational cannabis for Minnesotans, especially affected people of color, would open more opportunity for employment, housing, and other opportunities that become restricted with criminal records; and


WHEREAS, legalizing cannabis would increase entrepreneur opportunities and tax base in Minnesota; and
 


WHEREAS, Saint Paul City Council recognizes the benefits and supports legalization of recreational cannabis for persons ages 21 and over; and

 

WHEREAS, Saint Paul recognizes the benefits of legalization of recreational cannabis, denounce criminalization of cannabis and targeting of people of color, and support the economic growth and health of Minnesotans; and


WHEREAS, Saint Paul City Council denounce criminalization of cannabis and targeting of people of color and support decriminalization by licensing and regulating cannabis production, distribution, possession, taxing cannabis sales, and removing state law criminal and civil penalties for such activities; and

 

WHEREAS, Saint Paul City Council support legalization of recreational cannabis for Minnesotans ages 21 and over; and

 

WHEREAS, legalizing recreational cannabis would provide increased safe and convenient access for patients and users; and

 

WHEREAS, legalizing recreational cannabis would reduce inequitable criminalization of people of color; and

 

WHEREAS, decriminalizing recreational cannabis for Minnesotans, especially affected people of color, would open more opportunity for employment, housing, and other opportunities that become restricted with criminal records; and

 

WHEREAS, legalizing cannabis would increase entrepreneur opportunities and tax base in Minnesota; and 


WHEREAS, Saint Paul City Council supports the economic growth and health of Minnesotans by supporting an equitable amount of locally and people of color owned and operated cannabis businesses; and

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Saint Paul City Council supports legalization and decriminalization of recreational cannabis and expungement of Minnesotan records of convicted cannabis crimes; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the Saint Paul City Council supports and urges Minnesota House of Representatives, Minnesota Senate, and Governor Elect Tim Walz to legalize and decriminalize recreational cannabis and expunge Minnesotan records of convicted cannabis crimes as soon as possible; and be it finally

 

RESOLVED, that the City of Saint Paul include the spirit of this resolution in its 2019 State Legislative Agenda.

 

 

Date NameDistrictOpinionCommentAction
12/12/2018 6:54 PMA Thao For Legalize. Tax. Reinvest into the city. Fewer opioid overdoses. Less non lethal offenders in prison. Increased tourism. Encourages agriculture. More jobs. +1
12/12/2018 1:04 AMBen Greilanger  For Fewer people in prison and more money in the general fund of MN seems to make a lot of sense. Regulate it like other states and it shouldn't be a problem. I am so hopeful! +1
12/11/2018 12:27 AMChizzo Yang For i am a lifetime resident of saint paul, minnesota. i fully support the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in the city of saint paul. it will most definitely generate taxes which we could reinvest into our infrustructure, public education, police force and other aspects of the city which requires a sum amount of tax funds. the bill could be used to expunge the records of people who were charged with a marijuana related misdemeanor offense. there would be less alcohol related accidents and deaths. +3
12/10/2018 5:52 PMTong Thao For I am writing to fully support RES 18-2095. We need fully legalized cannabis in Minnesota. Not only will this lessen the burden on our law officers, it can potentially lessen violent drug related crimes. The potential tax revenue gain for MN can be used to educate people about Marijuanna as well as research into further medicinal and industrial use. There are more reasons to legalize it than to keep it schedule 1. +3