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Marijuana bill within sight of up-or-down votes at Minnesota Capitol

On Tuesdays, Sen. Lindsey Port clears hours on her schedule to take feedback on cannabis legalization, allowing anybody with a concern or suggestion to get face time with the lead Senate sponsor.

A few thick folders sit within Port’s reach in her office. They’re filled with emails, reports, proposed amendments and other advice she’s accumulated during the more than 100 appointments she’s had since January in what she describes as the biggest undertaking of her time in the Legislature.

“I’ve met with everybody from students who want to make sure that there is peer-to-peer education on the dangers of marijuana to hemp farmers to criminal justice lawyers to concerned parents, people who don’t want cannabis legalized,” said Port, DFL-Burnsville. “Really, I have not said no to those meetings.”

As lawmakers return to the Capitol for the session’s remaining six weeks, the marijuana bill is nearing the end of a committee gauntlet. Votes on the House and Senate floor could happen yet this month, although differences in the bills before each body seem certain to push the plan into another round of negotiations.

“The Capitol has given this bill a full vetting,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, whose now 291-page bill has been through 14 committees and has at least one to go. “And that’s I think one of the reasons why we’re poised to get the job done this year.”

[Read more at Minnesota Public Radio]
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