Watch CBS News

Jesse Ventura says Gov. Walz told him marijuana legalization will be among 1st laws passed

What Biden’s marijuana pardon mean for Minnesotans
What Biden’s marijuana pardon mean for Minnesotans 02:23

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former governor Jesse Ventura says that Gov. Tim Walz, fresh off Tuesday's vote that will send the DFL incumbent to a second term, told him that legalizing marijuana will be "one of the first" things that gets passed by the incoming state legislature.

The comments were made on a podcast with his son, Tyrel Ventura. The former governor said that Walz also invited him to the ceremony where he signs the bill into law.

A spokesperson with Walz confirmed Jesse Ventura's comments, adding that they "may work together to get something done."

This comes after voters flipped the Minnesota Senate, which had been in the Republican Party's control going into this week's midterms.

The Minnesota House passed a bill last May to allow adult-use recreational cannabis in the state. It also had provisions that expunged low-level cannabis convictions, including for possessing small amounts. But the policy failed in the Senate, where Republicans rejected it -- though some expressed openness to further decriminalization.

In July, a new law went into effect that allows people 21 and older to buy edibles and beverages that contain a limited amount of  hemp-derived THC. Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), chair of the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee, claimed he didn't realize the new law would legalize edibles with delta-9 THC, but would merely regulate delta-8 THC products. Its legalization was, in appearance, the result of a mistake.

A 2020 report from the ACLU of Minnesota shows the state ranks eighth for largest racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests. The analysis also found Black people in the state are 5.4 times more likely to be arrested than white Minnesotans.

Last month, President Joe Biden said he would pardon federal offenses for simple marijuana possession and order his administration to review how cannabis is treated under federal law.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.