MN NORML to push for legalization of marijuana next year

For the first time in its history, Minnesota NORML plans to draft a marijuana legalization bill for consideration during the next legislative session.

Marcus Harcus, the new associate director of the organization, tells us "the precedent that was set in Colorado and Washington gives me hope that it's a reasonable fight."

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Discussions about the bill are preliminary at this point, but some of the details will be hammered out during an upcoming MN NORML strategic planning retreat, Harcus, who came to NORML from Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, says. Legal experts will be brought in to help write the bill, he adds.

One potential legislative sponsor of the bill MN NORML has already identified is Rep. Rena Moran (D-St. Paul), who spoke in favor of legalization during an MN NORML rally at the Capitol in April.

"Let's create a system where we can tax and regulate the sale," Moran said, "so we can invest more wisely in all of us."

Though this November's elections could change both the governor and the balance of power in the Legislature, Harcus says MN NORML plans to move forward with a legalization bill in any event.

"I think regardless of whether Democrats are in control or not, we're gonna push it," he says.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]