FACT CHECK: Was Recreational Marijuana Use Recently Legalized In Minnesota?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims recreational marijuana use was recently legalized in Minnesota.

Verdict: False

While the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, the Republican-controlled state Senate has said they won’t take up the bill. The Minnesota governor has not signed a bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana at this time.

Fact Check:

17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized varying amounts of marijuana for recreational use by adults, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims Daunte Wright Had An Arrest Warrant For A Marijuana-Related Fine)

While medical marijuana use has, according to Forbes, been legal in Minnesota since 2014, it is inaccurate to say the state recently legalized it overall. Nonetheless, multiple Facebook posts have in recent days been claiming the state legalized marijuana for recreational use.

The Minnesota House of Representatives on May 13 considered a bill that would allow adults to possess 10 pounds of marijuana at their homes or 2 ounces in public, according to the Star Tribune. The Minnesota House, which is Democratic controlled, ended up passing the bill on a 72-61 vote, the outlet reported. While the House passed the bill, it would need to be approved by the Minnesota Senate and signed by the governor before it became law, per the Minnesota Senate website.

A search of Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s website showed no instance of him signing a bill legalizing recreational marijuana on May 13. Waltz most recently signed three bills on May 6, a week before the bill was heard in the House. None of the three bills he signed legalized recreational use of marijuana.

The Republican-controlled Senate has said it would not take up the bill, effectively ending its chances of becoming a law during this session of Minnesota’s Congress, the Associated Press reported. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said the bill was “up in smoke,” according to CBS Minnesota, and Republican House Minority Leader said the bill has “no chance of becoming law.”

Minnesota has decriminalized possession of marijuana of 42.5 grams or less, according to NORML, an organization that supports marijuana legalization. When asked if recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in Minnesota, John Stiles, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Attorney General’s office told Check Your Fact via email, “Yes, that’s correct.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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