Opponents of legalizing marijuana in Minnesota are seizing on the recent outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and teen nicotine addiction to urge caution on the cannabis front — even as advocates of legalization ramp up their campaign ahead of next year’s legislative session.
„I hope this slows down the rush by [Gov. Tim Walz] and House Democrats on recreational marijuana,” said state Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, the majority leader. „If they see the correlation, that might at least slow down the process.”
State Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said the outbreak of illness is more reason to push for a legal but rigorously regulated cannabis market. Winkler, who is the majority leader of the House, said Minnesota should prohibit the sale of both nicotine and cannabis to anyone under 21 and focus on product safety for adult users. „The vaping problem is one of under-regulation and people not knowing what they’re consuming,” said Winkler.