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Phillips Endorses Historic Action to Legalize Adult Recreational Cannabis Use in Letter to Minnesota Legislature

Minnesota would become the 17th state to make cannabis legal

Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) endorsed the legalization of adult recreational cannabis in Minnesota for the first time. In a letter delivered to legislative leaders in Minnesota this morning, Phillips touted his support for House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s bill, H.F. 600, and called on the Minnesota House and Senate to pass the legislation this session.

Despite bipartisan, majority citizen support for legalization, Minnesota has some of the strictest cannabis policies in the nation. H.F. 600 would allow adults to grow and consume cannabis in a responsible fashion while ensuring that law enforcement has the tools necessary to meet new challenges. Further, the legislation would expunge non-violent cannabis offenses from Minnesotans’ criminal records and invest revenues from cannabis taxation into the communities that were disproportionately impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

“Laws prohibiting recreational marijuana use defy both common sense and the will of the people,” said Rep. Phillips. “As elected officials, it is our collective responsibility to listen to our constituents, especially when there is such broad agreement on the need to act.  It is absurd that a country built on the principles of freedom and liberty would ever criminalize the consumption of a plant. I respectfully urge the Minnesota House and Senate to meet the moment and pass H.F. 600, joining those states – both Red and Blue – who have already recognized the sensibility of legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis.”

H.F. 600 has been reported favorably from twelve committees in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and it has been endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota. Majority Leader Winkler, the bill’s sponsor, represents many of Rep. Phillips’s constituents within Minnesota’s Third Congressional District.

In the 116th Congress, Rep. Phillips voted to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a landmark bill that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and expunge marijuana-related convictions. In addition to his outreach in the Minnesota legislature, Phillips is working to strengthen bipartisan support for the MORE Act when it is reintroduced this year.

Read Rep. Phillips’s letter here.