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The History of Marijuana in Minnesota

Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", so it isn’t particularly known for its marijuana, but the plant has a history with the state dating back when hemp production was common. Hemp became a cash crop in the state but by 1957, the federal government banned hemp production completely. By the 1970s, the perception of marijuana changed in the United States, as there was a shift in marijuana laws. Minnesota also experienced a shift at this time when the state decriminalized marijuana in 1976. Though this was certainly a success and step toward legalization for the state, the number of marijuana-related arrests was still at a high by 2012.

Over half of these arrests, exactly 62%, were marijuana possession arrests, facing up to five years in jail if found with two ounces or more. Fortunately, marijuana advocates and lawmakers are continuing to fight these dated numbers and laws, so the state continues to improve its marijuana legislation. By 2014, Minnesota legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions to treat themselves with the medication they need. This program comes with limitations of course, prohibiting patients from  consuming cannabis products other than liquid, oils, or pills, which are actually more costly and less effective than marijuana flower. For this reason, many marijuana supporters are fighting to make the law more inclusive and hopefully, to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota.

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