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(Organization) believes recreational marijuana should not be legalized in Minnesota without considering the negative impacts that such a policy will have on our roads, workplaces, communities, and homes, and without providing the statutory, technical and financial resources needed to address the negative impacts.

Today’s recreational marijuana is a commercialized product that is much more potent and capable of producing impairment than in the past. According to the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, and the World Health Organization, marijuana is a potentially addictive, mind-altering drug that can produce withdrawal and dependence. The consequences and negative outcomes being experienced by other states that have rushed to legalize this drug are compelling:


  • Studies have shown mental illness is on the rise in states that have legalized marijuana. 

  • Marijuana positivity rates are up in legalized states, which is a risk for employers and the public. As of 2018, positivity rates are up 48% in Nevada, 14% in Massachusetts, and 11% in California. 

  • In Colorado and Washington State, marijuana-impaired driving fatalities have more than doubled.

  • Since 2017, use among 12–17-year-olds has risen in legal states.  One study found cases of Cannabis Use Disorder in young people in “legal” states grew 25% following legalization. 

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Transportation professionals are prohibited from drug use and there is no valid test for law enforcement to use to determine impairment roadside. 

It should also be noted that we do not need to legalize in order to reform the criminal justice system. We can remove criminal penalties, expunge records, and offer justice without commercializing today’s highly purified THC products. 

For these reasons (organization) opposes the current efforts to legalize the production, marketing, and distribution of recreational cannabis/marijuana in Minnesota without sufficiently addressing potential negative consequences. We call upon our elected officials, and the public 

at large, to give further consideration to both research-based evidence and the negative outcomes experienced by other states before engaging in further efforts to legalize the drug in Minnesota. 

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