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More States Advance Legalization Initiatives, As U.S. Senators Prepare New Push

February 2, 2021

Momentum continues to build across the U.S. as politicians in more states call for cannabis legalization this year. This week Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf included the policy change in a list of priorities he plans to address in a budget speech later today. He noted that legalization would be an economic boon as the state tries to recover from the pandemic.

In Minnesota, state House majority leader Ryan Winkler yesterday introduced a bill to legalize recreational cannabis. While polling found a majority of Minnesotans support the idea, any proposal faces long odds in the state Senate, where it faces strong opposition. Speaking about the issue, Winkler noted that Minnesota now shares a border with a state that has voted to legalize: South Dakota. “As South Dakota legalizes, the ability for Minnesotans to drive across the border to get cannabis increases significantly,” he said.

And at the federal level, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, and fellow Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, said in a joint statement that the Senate will make cannabis reform a priority. Schumer has twice sponsored the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would deschedule the substance and expunge drug records, among other changes.—Danny Sullivan

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