Minnesota lawmakers are considering a new bill that would legalize recreational marijuana throughout Minnesota. State legislators introduced the bill back in January citing that similar proposals had already been passed in a growing number of states. Lawmakers supporting the bill feel that the time is right to push for legalization, as 15 states have already legalized the drug.
The bill is far from secure, however. Support for legalization in the Minnesota Congress is divided based on party lines. The two chambers of Congress, the House and the Senate, are controlled by opposing parties. There are serious hurdles to overcome and compromises to be made before the bill can become law, if it even does come to pass.
The bill’s effect on drug charges
If the legalization of recreational marijuana does come to pass in Minnesota, the bill as written should automatically erase any low-level cannabis convictions. The bill will also establish a board to review criminal records with cannabis related convictions. This committee will review these records to see if the convictions above misdemeanor level are justified under the new law. The bill would also bar minors under the age of 21 from recreational marijuana usage.
The legalization of recreational cannabis would be a welcome change for many who have convictions or are facing charges related to marijuana. For now though, the bill is only a hypothetical scenario, one that may or may not come to pass.
For those facing such charges right now, one option is to put forward a strong legal defense. Police and prosecutors still have the law on their side; they will remain vigilant and aggressive in seeking drug charges and sentences. Putting forth the strongest possible defense is probably a wiser decision than gambling on the outcome of a bill becoming law.