In this episode of Is There Anything the Left Won’t Use as an Excuse to Play the Race Card?…
Apparently, in the eyes of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), the answer is no — or at least, close to it. Party lawmakers have promised to pass a bill to legalize marijuana use for adults over 21, as part of their goals for 2023 — while declaring passage a “racial justice issue.”
Is it too soon to suggest that playing the race card in this case is stereotypically racist?
As reported by Blaze Media, the legislation, if passed, would allow adults to possess up to five pounds of marijuana for home usage, or eight grams of “concentrate.” In addition, transportation of the drug would be limited to 800 milligrams of THC cannabinoid products. The bill would also seek to expunge certain marijuana-related convictions from criminal records, similar to the policy enacted in Connecticut.
OK, now we’re closer — with the “past convictions” caveat tossed in.
Look, I’m not opposed to the legalization of marijuana for “recreational” purposes, nor am I necessarily opposed to expunging past convictions based on new laws — it’s where this article is headed that makes my eyes roll back.
Here’s Minnesota Democrat state Senator-Elect Clare Oumou Verbeten, at the party’s press conference, with further explanation:
We cannot legalize cannabis without expungement. This is a racial justice issue. As we have heard, the harm that has [been] done to communities of color needs to end. We are committed to getting this done, and we just got through a historic election where we now have black women serving in the state Senate for the first time. I’m really proud to be one of those women.
According to a September 2022 report from Forbes, black Minnesotans were nearly five times more likely to face marijuana charges than white Minnesotans. Not to nitpick, but why is it a racial issue? Legit question.
What if black Minnesotans disproportionately use or sell illegal marijuana, vs. white Minnesotans? Moreover, is Ms. Verbeten suggesting a greater percentage of people of color have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes than white people? If so, why? Simple question — for which the DFL didn’t produce data to answer.
The party’s press conference also included a hemp farm operator who claimed there have been “egregious public health outcomes between non-white and white Minnesotans,” which she said caused the state to be nicknamed “the Mississippi of the north.”
Again, simple question: “Egregious public health outcomes” due to marijuana usage and related convictions? How so?
Rep. Zach Stephenson, a co-author of the bill, pledged to create a safe and well-regulated market:
Over the last three years, DFLers in the legislature have listened and worked to build a Minnesota-specific model for cannabis legalization. Our bill will create a safe, well-regulated, legal marketplace where Minnesotans can grow, sell, and buy cannabis if they choose to do so.
As noted by the Blaze, DFL has been pushing for marijuana legalization for several years, with prior efforts in 2019 and 2020. The party also sells a T-shirt emblazoned with “legalize it” and a marijuana leaf, on its website store, which also sells pro-vaccine and pride-related apparel.
Got it. Any questions?
The far-left party also controls four of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats, along with both Senate seats — including Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
I don’t know anything about the “Mississippi of the north” thing, but “California of the north” seems far more appropriate.
Incidentally, as I reported in April of 2022, Washington state Democrats declared the term “marijuana” racist, and struck it from state law. Democrat Rep. Melanie Morgan, who sponsored the bill, argued that “the term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” and used “to lock up black and brown people.” She added:
This is just another layer, of peeling off the systemic racism that’s built in [sic] our system.