(St Paul, MN) — For the first time ever, under DFL leadership, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a bill tonight to legalize cannabis for adult use and expunge records for people convicted of non-violent offenses involving cannabis. Legislators voted 72-61 to approve the bill.

“The Minnesota House made history today because we listened to and worked with people of all backgrounds over the course of years to bring forward the best cannabis legalization bill in the nation,” said Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), the bill’s author and House Majority Leader. “The war on drugs is a failed policy. The harms caused by current cannabis laws cannot be allowed to continue. Minnesota’s illegal cannabis market creates bad outcomes for everyone. Responsible regulations and safeguards to prevent youth access are a better solution to address the harms our current laws fail to address.”

If passed by the Minnesota Senate before the Legislature’s May 17th constitutional adjournment deadline, the bill could be signed into law. This year, the Republican-controlled Senate has blocked all public discussion on adult-use cannabis proposals, but there is still plenty of time to allow senators to vote.