Legalization of marijuana is questioned


Creative commons photo from unsplash by Matthew Brodeur

Cannabis plants being grown naturally in greenhouses. Cannabis plants are ready to harvest after 10 weeks.

Ella Belland, Online Editor-Photographer

The legislative passed the legalization of recreational use of marijuana by a vote of 34-33 on April 28. The final bill has now made its way to Governor Tim Walz’s desk to be signed  before becoming legal to residents that are at least 21 years of age.

 With the legalization of marijuana, the conference committee agreed on state tax of 10% along with top sale tax. 80% will go to the state to fund the Office of Cannabis and and the rest funding local governments. The bill states that adults 21 and older could purchase up to two ounces of cannabis and own up to eight plants at home, four of them can be mature.

The bill also states that one can possess up to two pounds at home. Cannabis in Minnesota is legal for medical use since 2014. Food and beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol are legal in Minnesota if derived from hemp and is restricted to five mg per drink. 

“There should be laws emplaced regarding regulation, but recreational use is still ok,” Sam King (‘23) said.

Local governments and establishments would not be allowed to prohibit marijuana shops and businesses from a specific area, but may set regulations on times of business and locations while limiting the numbers of cannabis business license depending on population of the area. Onsite consumptions may be approved for events and parties. The delivery of cannabis is illegal and now is legal to transport with valid cannabis license from a local government.

Marijuana is safer to consume than alcohol. Consuming alcohol increases the risk to injury of the consumers. Marijuana does not increase any risks of injuries unless both are operating a motorized vehicle. Even with a result of accident, more accidents occur under the fluence of alcohol than marijuana.

Research published in the Journal of Alcoholism state that 36% of hospitalized assaults and accidents and 21% of all injuries attribute to alcohol use. 

“We’ve normalized the abuse of alcohol so much to a point where it’s normal,” Elaina Mogren said. 

It’s a wild plant that grows everywhere.

— Elaina Mogren

Marijuana has implanted itself within human culture for thousands of years. Ancient mummies have been opened and found buried with marijuana in beliefs to heal and protect ones soul. The plant was first known to heal wounds on injured horses. The first documented case of marijuana use on humans were from 2800 BC listed in the Emperor’s Shen Nungs pharmacopeia. As research went on, ancient people found the use for the plant on humans such as healing depression, expelling tapeworms and treating excessive bleeding. 

“It is very sad that we don’t talk about how marijuana is used medically,” Jackson Johnson (’25) said.

Marijuana is a natural medicine that supports a lot of medical cases in modern day. The natural plant stimulates the neurons in the system and releases the signaling chemical dopamine at higher levels. Medical research have proven that the use of marijuana supports pain, epilepsy, nausea, vomiting with those using chemotherapy, loss of appetite due to HIV/AIDS, etc.  

“It’s a wild plant that grows everywhere,” Mogren added. 

There are some cons to this, but all risks are decided by the consumer. A pregnant woman should not consume as it increases the risk to the baby, may increase the risk of heart disease in those who have history of heart disease and may even have the opposite affect on depression. With all of this, it is the consumers responsibility for themselves to choose what is best for them and be educated on the risks that may occur due to their medical history and current records. 

“They should be better taught in schools rather than on the streets so if they chose to use it they know what will and wont hurt them,” King said.

What should people expect when the bill passes; local government dispensaries, consumers around the area, at home plants being grown, tax on marijuana sales, strictly illegal for those 20 years of age and under, minors with possession of marijuana will be charged with violation of civil infraction and a potential fine of $100 and rules still apply for quantity and consumption even after the legalization.

“In reality, everyone gets to make their own choices,” Johnson added.

Marijuana should be legalized for those that are at least 21 years of age. Marijuana consumption is all a personal choice and should not be discriminated against.

Mogren stated that it will “take time,” for everyone to “see the positive results,” and accept the change in society.