It has been nearly a year since the beginning of the pandemic, making it past time to discuss a proposed bill that could benefit both the government and its citizens. That bill is HF600, and it would legalize recreational cannabis use for adults. Beyond the fact that we have been stuck inside for longer than we probably initially imagined, our homes full of sourdough starter and unfinished DIY projects and may be looking to try something new for ourselves, legalizing cannabis could also add an entirely new industry full of jobs and economic stimulus.
Cannabis sales spiked in 2020, and by not passing this bill last year, Minnesota lost out on a potential source of revenue that could have really helped the state while it was struggling. Democrats recently cleared the bill in its second house committee, and though I am hopeful we can keep this momentum, the reality is that the republican majority in the senate is likely going to block it again. I think this is a huge mistake for Republicans, who often focus on the economy as one of their main running platforms. The potential revenue to be made from this bill would have huge impacts all around our state.
This bill has also built the framework to create and entirely new field of jobs, and made sure that those jobs would be focused in the local communities who need them, not overrun by large corporations. The creation of jobs, stimulation of the economy, and decriminalization of cannabis in such a large bill would have affects that go even farther than one might think. This bill has implications for schools and housing if you just think far enough ahead.
Legalizing cannabis feels inevitable at this point, with seventeen other states already passing similar legislation. I think its high time we follow suit and use it as an opportunity to stimulate an economy that’s been hit repeatedly this year, create much-needed new jobs, and allow adults to legally engage in the practice if they choose. If you’re interested in seeing this bill passed, contacting your representatives and letting them know why you support the bill as well can do wonders for pushing it through the process.