1406 (suite #201) West Lake Street Mpls., MN 55408
Issues Related to the Legalization of Marijuana
A lot of people who understand that the Legal Marijuana Now party is the major party that has endorsed Michael Moore, are still confused about the position of the party and of the candidate regarding the legalization of marijuana. For anyone seeking to understand this issue better, this is the position statement you need to read completely. (And if there is still any outstanding question or concern, just call me and we can talk about it further...anytime you want.) Please, don't remain confused or unsure. reach out and we can talk in person about the specific concerns you have so that you totally understand my position and attitude, and more importantly, I totally understand yours.
First, before we talk about our position on the legalization of marijuana, let’s first understand the position of the incumbent. Within just a few months of taking office, Ilhan Omar tweeted, "We must finally legalize cannabis nationwide…”
“Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on the federal government to take the lead in legalizing marijuana nationwide, warning that legal differences between states was exacerbating economic inequality. The progressive Minnesota representative told BET that the federal government — which has long considered marijuana a medically unnecessary, illegal drug on par with heroin and cocaine — should strive to ensure consistency between states on the issue, according to the Star Tribune. Omar said lawmakers in Washington should "not allow for the states to pick and choose" whether to legalize the substance. Eleven U.S. states—Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—have thus far legalized marijuana for recreational use, as well as Washington, D.C. About half of the states have allowed for the medicinal use of cannabis. Liberalization of recreational marijuana policy has rapidly spread since Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize and regulate the drug. Dozens more have legalized medicinal marijuana to some extent, though the specifics differ from state to state. But until every state in the U.S. fully legalizes the substance for recreational use, Omar said some Americans will continue to suffer under unfair and punitive drug laws. "What happens [without full legalization] is you will have a state where someone is publicly and professionally able to profit and the next state, someone could be sent to life [in prison] for it," Omar told BET. "We want to make sure that there is equality in our laws," she added. "I don't think it is just for that kind of economy to exist within this policy." Omar is among the House co-sponsors of legislation—the Marijuana Justice Act—to remove marijuana from a federal list of controlled substances. The bill would also erase past federal convictions for marijuana possession or use, convictions that undermine the efforts of many former prisoners to rehabilitate and secure jobs…” https://www.newsweek.com/ilhan-omar-wants-marijuana-legalized-nationwide-economic-inequality-1447865
So, something people need to recognize and realize is that the progressive, socialist, extremist incumbent, has the federal legalization of marijuana at the top of her personal agenda and priority list. One need only review Omar’s recent tweets to find strong personal support and consistent advocacy of the total legalization of marijuana at the federal level. In other words, her very clear and proactive stance is, complete and total federal legalization of marijuana. (This, despite the fact that this same strong position is NOT shared by the majority of the Demoicratic party leadership...) Based on my extended conversations with tens of thousands of district residents, I have found overwhelming concensus in a state first approach to the intelligent and deliberate increase in legalization, with a focus on building community-based representatioon within any burgening marketplace or economic uprising. I have found virtually NO interest in a nationwide, or federal legalization program, which the vast majority of people recognize would almost certainly continue to disenfranchise communities of color and low-income areas of our metropolitan area.
It is critical that the people recognize the fact that the federal legalization of marijuana is simply NOT the overwhelming position or priority of the vast majority of 5th district residents and constituents. Nor is it the fixed position of Michael Moore. Nor is it truly the position of the Legal Marijuana Now Party. (we will discuss exactly what they believe in the next paragraph…) So, before we continue, let’s take just a moment to allow that set of facts sink in. The Democratic incumbent is pushing the federal legalization of marijuana. That’s what she wants. Meanwhile clear and consistent majority of the people in the district do not want that. Remember, federal legalization is NOT THE SAME as statewide legalization, medical use legislation, recreational use legislation, decriminalization or statewide de-regulation. These are all different concepts.
The Legal Marijuana Now party has been an extremely effective organization in mobilizing their members for a specific goal. For many years, other states moved quickly to recognize the medical benefits and uses of marijuana, and instituted controlled regulations that allowed their populations to access the relief that has been scientifically and medically proven to be truly lifesaving in many cases. From chronic pain, to M.S., to cancer, to seizure controls and many more applications, the use of marijuana has been an exceptionally beneficial and effective treatment for millions of people nationwide. LMN (Legal Marijuana Now) and several other associated parties and non-profit organizations were absolutely integral in the increased awareness and ultimate legislation that Minnesota finally adopted. By gathering petition signatures, running candidates for office, and obtaining major party status, LMN has brought the issues of marijuana legalization and decriminalization to the forefront of Minnesota politics, culminating in the passing of legislation in 2014, and continuing with the introduction of additional bills today. By actually accomplishing its clear and stated goals, this makes LMN one of the most effective and successful political parties in the history of Minnesota politics. Let's repeat that important point. LMN was founded with a simple but clear goal in mind. Not only did they completely meet that goal, they surpassed those expectations and also achieved major political party status.
Now, let’s talk about what people actually want and what makes sense. What makes sense is a steady and intelligent movement towards further decriminalization and effective and expansive medical use, including mental health and recreational use. Let’s examine where Minnesota is at regarding the laws and legislation surrounding marijuana. Right now in Minnesota, medical use is 100% legal and widely available with a prescription. However, there are only about 20,000 people, including children, who have a prescription to use marijuana for medical purposes. Most people would consider that number pretty low, especially since it's been several years already. I mean, think about it. Medical-use Marijuana has been legal in Minnesota for 7 years. Frankly, the number of users is too low for the industry to even be profitable. Since its inception, the requirements and eligibility for obtaining a prescription have consistently (albeit slowly) been expanding. When the law was first written, it was very strict, but those restrictions have eased with each subsequent revision. As we experiment with the new industry and policies, we should continue to re-assess and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t. All the while, staying safely on the side of a cautionary approach. Looking at other states and indeed, even other countries, such as Uruguay and Canada, that have gone before us, and raising the awareness of both the positives and the negatives associated with the issue.
But make no mistake about it. It is very clear that Minnesota as a state, and the 5th district as a smaller subset, are NOT clamoring for the immediate federal legalization of marijuana. That is a separate, radical and progressive issue, that very few people in the 5th district support completely.
Now that the biggest issues regarding the use of marijuana has already been addressed, namely, medical use for critically ill patients, and the decriminalization of marijuana as a drug, a slow and steady approach towards the extension of rights and accessibility, is exactly what Minnesotans definitely do support. A lot of people have made it abundantly clear that this is the approach they prefer and want advocated. This is a great example of how important it is that our congressional representation needs to reflect an accurate understanding of our constituents. After all, it’s exactly what a representative is supposed to do. While Ilhan Omar is busy pushing her own personal agenda regarding the federal legalization of marijuana, the vast majority of her own constituents don't even agree with that position. While having personal principles is an important aspect of representation, obviously this particular issue doesn't rise to that level where the greater good is somehow outweighed by acting against the preferences of your own people.
Yes, there are people who want to have marijuana legalized for recreational use, and it’s highly likely that will happen in the near future. The point is, there’s no reason to rush the entire country into a position with which it doesn’t agree. People in the minority, who want to legalize marijuana for recreational use, have that opportunity right now, depending on where they live and where they travel. And, even in Minnesota, they will absolutely have that opportunity soon, whether through the expansion of the medical use eligibility, or through some other carve out for their particular situation. There’s no question that is the direction in which we are moving. But the reason why so many people are against the immediate federal legalization is obvious and we should all recognize that. There are risks involved for people, including potential underage use or abuse, and market-related violence that are both unnecessary and extreme. Legal marijuana at the federal level would expose everyone to a new and potentially explosive dynamic which has never before been anyone's reality. It’s not cigarettes or alcohol, both of which have serious health and use consequences. We don’t yet know what would happen to the “underground” distribution network. We don’t yet know what would happen to underage use. Would it go up? Would it go up drastically? Would middle school age children suddenly be encouraged to use marijuana obtained by their parents or older siblings? Would using marijuana become an issue for employers? Would businesses have any rights to restricting access to their establishments based on perceived customer use? If a person absolutely reeks of marijuana, do you have to admit them to your establishment? Would driving while under the influence of marijuana become some new issue? These are just a few of the most obvious questions, with the most unobvious ones being even more critical. Question which have come, not from me personally, but directly from the concerned residents of our district. There are a lot of unanswered questions involved with the concepts of federal legalization, which is what most people understand and why they are naturally hesitant to take such an extreme leap into the unknown.
What people need to remember is that Michael Moore isn’t going to Washington D.C. to promote his own personal agenda. (like so many other politicians, including the incumbent 5th district rep.) He isn’t going to Washington D.C. to promote the platform of any party, including the Legal Marijuana Now party. He isn’t going to Washington D.C. to promote the agenda of big cannabis industry companies who financed his campaign and helped him win the office. (becasue they didn't and...they didn't) He isn’t even going to Washington D.C. to represent all Minnesotans. He is going to Washington D.C. to represent the very clear and articulate positions of the Minnesotans who live in the 5th district. Not the 8th District, not the 3rd District, and not the entire state. The Democrats, the Republicans, the independents, the unaffiliated. Yes, even the people who don’t vote. Everyone deserves a fair voice, and with Michael Moore as the elected representative, they will have one.
How do we know what the 5th district thinks about this issue? We ask them, and they talk to us about it. If you'd like to share your personal view on the legalization issue, please feel free to e-mail or call us anytime. We want to know what you're thinking about this subject, and any others, and will always respond to any inquiry or comment. Thanks in advance for your participation.