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For 1st Time, Minnesota House To Vote Thursday On Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota House is slated to take up a bill Thursday that would legalize recreational marijuana, marking the first time that the issue has advanced to the chamber floor for a vote.

The bill, which has bipartisan support in the House, would legalize cannabis use for adults and expunge the records of those convicted of nonviolent offences involving marijuana.

If the bill is approved in the House, a vote is unlikely in the Republican-controlled Senate. In February, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka released a statement, saying he does not consider legalizing recreational marijuana as "a Minnesota priority."

Still, some Republicans have noted that recreational marijuana is an increasingly popular issue.

Rep. Nolan West, a Republican who represents Blaine, told WCCO-TV that his constituents are overall supportive of the effort. "The majority of most people realize alcohol and tobacco are already legal and far more dangerous," he said.

This year's push to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota comes after voters in conservative South Dakota opted to legalize recreational and medical marihuana in the November election.

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