Celebration over cannabis law prompts warnings, reminders for responsible use

Celebration over cannabis law prompts warnings, reminders for responsible use

Celebration over cannabis law prompts warnings, reminders for responsible use

A day of celebration from cannabis advocates was met with warnings and reminders for future users to do so responsibly.

Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation during a ceremony at the State Capitol to make Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana.

“Adults need to make their own decisions around these types [of] choices,” Gov. Walz said before making it official.

He was joined by former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who proposed legalizing recreational marijuana 25 years ago when running for governor and during his four years as governor. On top of applauding the legalization, Ventura also advocated for responsible cannabis use.

“You should not drive under the influence of anything. It’s that simple. You don’t drive under the influence of anything,” Ventura said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives also noted that marijuana is still not legalized federally, which means Minnesotans still won’t be able to legally ship, transport, receive or have any guns or ammunition if they use marijuana.

“Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition,” said Jeff Reed, the ATF’s acting special agent in charge of the St. Paul Field Division. “As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.”

Thomas Gallagher, criminal defense attorney and founding board member of cannabis advocacy nonprofit Minnesota NORML, says that’s a good reminder as it affects “a lot of people, and a lot of people are concerned about it.”

He adds as the state, and other entities, navigate this new chapter, people should educate themselves and use responsibly.  

“I personally think that marijuana users — just like users of other products, or just like all the things we do as people in our society — I think we have to be respectful of other people,” Gallagher said.

As already outlined on the state’s new Office of Cannabis Management website, people will not be able to use cannabis at:

  • Public and charter schools.
  • Multifamily housing buildings.
  • Any place a minor could inhale the smoke.
  • Where smoking cigarettes and vaping aren’t allowed.