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Updated: 4 weeks 7 hours ago

N.H. voters send prohibitionists packing

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 06:28

Election results put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Last week, New Hampshire voters sent a strong message to Gov. Chris Sununu and the political establishment: it’s time to end marijuana prohibition! Although Sununu (a prohibitionist) won re-election, his margin of victory over legalization supporter Molly Kelly was smaller than anticipated. Most importantly, the Democratic party — which added support for legalization to its platform earlier this year — gained control of both chambers of the legislature.

The Senate, in particular, promises to be much less hostile to reform advocates in 2019. To illustrate, here are a few senators who were voted out last week:

• Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) voted no on all cannabis reform bills throughout his time in the House and Senate. Voters replaced him with Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), who has been much more reasonable on cannabis policy as a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

• Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua) voted against a 2018 bill that would have allowed registered patients to cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis. Voters replaced him with a legalization supporter, former Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).

• Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) strongly opposed all sensible marijuana policy reforms throughout his time in the House and Senate. This was supposed to be a safe Republican district, but voters chose to replace Gannon with legalization supporter Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood).

The odds of passing a legalization bill improved significantly as a result of the election. However, in order to achieve victory in the House and Senate, we will need a robust effort to educate and persuade undecided legislators.

After the election, I published a commentary in the Union Leader, making the case that “cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state are ready to see it treated that way.”

Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to the Marijuana Policy Project today!

Then, please share this message with your family and friends!

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Wisc.: Election brings new hope, but challenges remain

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:25

Local voters approve 13 medical marijuana and seven legalization measures; ask legislators to listen.

Great news! On Election Day, around a million Wisconsin voters approved advisory questions on their ballots calling for more humane marijuana laws.

More than half of the state’s population saw cannabis-related measures on their ballots, and every single one of the measures passed. Medical cannabis questions received between 67% and 89% in the 11 counties and two cities where they appeared. Adult-use questions garnered between 60% and 76% of the vote.

As the Wisconsin State-Journal’s analysis shows, the measures easily passed in jurisdictions that voted for the Republican and the Democrat for the gubernatorial race.

Congratulations to all the advocates and voters who were involved!

In other encouraging news, voters elected a new governor — Tony Evers — who supports medical marijuana and would like to put the question of legalization to voters. (In Wisconsin, voters can’t place questions on the statewide ballot themselves; only state lawmakers can refer questions to them.)

Meanwhile, in neighboring Michigan, voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Despite all this encouraging news, however, challenges remain. Popular support for medical marijuana has been strong for many years, but thus far Wisconsin’s lawmakers have refused to act.

Let your state legislators know you want the legislature to finally listen to voters on medical cannabis when they convene for the 2019 legislative session. It’s past time Wisconsin roll back its cruel and wasteful war on marijuana.

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Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 07:31

Governor-elect Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition; lawmakers will begin considering new bills in January

Last week, Connecticut voters made it possible that marijuana prohibition will be brought to an end during the next legislative session. For the first time in history, Connecticut has voted elect a governor, Ned Lamont, who supports the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis for use by adults.

“It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” Lamont said while campaigning.

Of course, a governor doesn’t have the power to end marijuana prohibition by himself. In order to put a legalization bill on Gov. Lamont’s desk in 2019, our coalition members will all need to step up and help convince representatives and senators to vote in favor.

The Marijuana Policy Project and the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana are committed to making the Nutmeg State one of the next states to legalize and regulate cannabis. Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to our efforts today!

Please share this message with your family and friends, and encourage them to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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Iowa: Medical marijuana regulators vote to keep the THC cap, add autism

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 08:35

Urge your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 2, the board that oversees Iowa’s medical marijuana program voted unanimously against recommending legislators to remove the current 3% THC limit on products.

Additionally, the board voted to recommend that the state add autism to the list of qualifying conditions, but rejected expanding the program to add ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and ganglioglioma.

Unfortunately, Iowa’s low-THC approach leaves behind thousands of patients who could benefit from medical marijuana.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

Check out our full summary of Iowa’ low-THC program here. Five dispensaries across the state will be open to registered patients on December 1. You can also find a wealth of information on medical marijuana here.

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Illinois: Cannabis reform candidates J.B. Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, Bob Morgan cruise to victory

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 19:27

Yesterday’s blue wave in Illinois poised to become a green wave next session

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has been a vocal supporter of legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults’ use, appears to have handily won yesterday’s gubernatorial election. While official election results are still pending, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times reported a margin of victory of around 55% of the vote.

In the race for state attorney general, cannabis reform supporter Sen. Kwame Raoul also notched a win with around 54% of the vote. Both J.B. Pritzker and Kwame Raoul were rated A+ candidates by MPP leading up to the election for their strong positions in support of sensible marijuana policy.

And a hearty congratulations go out to friend-of-the-movement Bob Morgan, who won the 58th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives! Morgan headed up the successful launch of the state’s medical cannabis program, and as a private attorney, Bob has continued to be engaged in cannabis reform. He is a welcome addition to the General Assembly.

Yesterday’s results come as Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy prepare to introduce a revised bill for the session starting in January that would legalize cannabis for adults in Illinois. This moment is a huge step toward the bill’s passage and an exciting moment for those who seek an end to cannabis prohibition in Illinois.

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Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 19:19

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.

Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.

Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.

In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.

Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.

As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).

We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last night possible.

In other great news, voters elected at least seven governors who support ending marijuana prohibition — Ned Lamont in Connecticut, JB Pritzker in Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polis in Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. For more details, check out our elections page.

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Missouri: Election day is here — vote YES on Amendment 2!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:38

Have you voted yet? If not, look up your polling location and make a plan to get there before 7 p.m. when the polls close!

Voting is one of the most important tools we have to change marijuana laws. Sitting out an election is a great way to ensure that failed prohibitionist policies remain in place.

Today Missourians have an opportunity to vote on not one, but three different medical marijuana initiatives. MPP encourages voters to say “YES” on Amendment 2, because it will enshrine a sensible and compassionate medical marijuana program in the state constitution, making it harder for state politicians to undermine it later.

Today, be one of the millions of Americans voicing their support for humane and rational marijuana policies through the ballot box. Grab a few friends and get out there and VOTE!

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Utah: If you haven’t already — go vote YES on Prop 2!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:32

Election Day is here. Have you voted yet?

If you haven’t, look up your polling location and go vote YES on Prop 2 right now!

Your vote matters! It’s important that Utah sends a message to the political establishment that there is strong support for a medical marijuana policy.

After you vote, if you’re near Salt Lake City, join the Utah Patients Coalition for their election night celebration! The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Infinity Event Center (26 East 600 South). You can register here with Facebook or here without it.

Patients and their families in Utah deserve a compassionate medical cannabis program. Please, don’t sit this one out. Go vote YES on Prop 2 and send the message that it’s time to move forward!

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Today’s the day, North Dakota: Go vote YES on Measure 3!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:21

Election Day is finally here. For many months, the YES on 3 team has worked tirelessly to educate North Dakotans about the benefits of ending the wasteful and destructive policy of marijuana prohibition.

Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Look up polling locations here and set a time to go.

By passing Measure 3, North Dakota could send a powerful message about the strength of the legalization movement in this country. It all comes down to today. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Measure 3!

We’re eagerly waiting for the results to start coming in. Tonight could represent incredible progress for our movement. Go be part of it and vote!

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Michigan: It’s all up to you now — get out there and vote for Prop 1!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:16

Election Day is finally here. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters across the state, the YES on 1 campaign has done all it can to educate the voters of Michigan about the benefits that Proposal 1 will bring to the state.

Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Find your polling location and set a time to go there today. Polls close at 8:00 pm ET tonight.

Having trouble finding your polling location? Please email us and we would be happy to help.

Michigan is poised to become the 10th state in the country to officially end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Prop 1!

This has been a long campaign, stretching back for two years. Now is when we bring it over the finish line. VOTE TODAY!

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It’s Election Day – vote like our marijuana policies depend on it!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:11

If you haven’t voted yet, look up your polling place and check out our Election 2018 page and voter guides.

Over the years, our movement has made significant progress through the ballot box. This year will be no different. Be part of the wave of change today and go vote!

Voters are weighing in on adult-use legalization initiatives in Michigan and North Dakota and medical marijuana measures in Utah and Missouri. Some residents of Ohio and Wisconsin, too, have a chance to voice their support for local measures ending punitive marijuana policies. Go here for information about this year’s ballot questions.

Voters in states without marijuana-related ballot initiatives can play a huge role in changing marijuana laws, too. Visit MPP’s website to find out where candidates stand on marijuana policy in every gubernatorial race, along with in-depth state legislative voter guides for nine states. Roughly half the country lacks a ballot initiative process. The only way we can change marijuana laws in those states is to support thoughtful elected officials and oppose those who aren’t.

If you haven’t voted yet, make a plan right now. Look up your polling location and set a time to go. Spread the word on social media and urge your friends to vote, too!

There’s too much at stake to sit it out.

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N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:08

After you vote tomorrow, you are welcome to attend a marijuana legalization debate at New England College in Henniker!

Last week, New Hampshire’s study commission on marijuana legalization published its final report. The commission did not take a position on legalization, but it did make 54 recommendations to the legislature, including the following:

  • Marijuana should be referred to as cannabis in any future legislation.
  • If cannabis is legalized for adults’ use, limited home cultivation should be allowed.
  • If cannabis is legalized, a Cannabis Commission should be created to license and regulate cannabis cultivators, testing labs, product manufacturers, and retail stores.

You can read the full report here. Overall, this is a much more useful report than we originally expected from the study commission, which was stacked with prohibitionists. Although it does contain some problematic language, the report will help to inform the legislature about the issue when it convenes in January.

We expect that your calendars are already marked for Election Day tomorrow. If you are available tomorrow evening after you vote, you’re welcome to join me and other panelists for a cannabis legalization debate at New England College.

WHAT: Debate: Should New Hampshire Legalize Cannabis?

WHERE: New England College, Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street, Henniker

WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHO: Six panelists including Richard Van Wickler, Superintendent of Cheshire County Department of Corrections, Kate Frey, vice-president of advocacy at New Futures, and MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon

Finally, please click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy! Then, please share this information with your family and friends and remind them to vote on November 6!

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Michigan’s legalization vote is a defining moment for the legalization movement

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 08:11

Bringing legalization to the Midwest would be a game changer — support the YES on 1 campaign today

It’s incredible to see the progress we have made in recent years. Marijuana has been legalized for adults in nine states and Washington, D.C., and polls show two out of three Americans want to end the failed policy of prohibition.

But our opponents think they can stop our momentum — and they’re spending a lot of money to defeat Prop 1 in Michigan.

A win in Michigan would demonstrate the strength of our movement. But imagine the headlines if Prop 1 fails. Project SAM and their prohibitionist allies will claim that the tide is turning. Politicians in Congress would take note, and if they think voters are changing their mind, our reform efforts at the federal level could be jeopardized.

We have to prove the anti-legalization voices wrong. Make a donation to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their opposition’s fear tactics.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol produced a series of powerful ads. These TV and digital ads tell the truth about legalization, and they are the perfect antidote to the opposition’s demonstrably false attack ads. Your contribution will go directly towards helping the campaign share these messages with more Michigan voters.

There’s not much time left. Election Day is just a few days away. We can’t emphasize enough how important Prop 1 is for the future of our legalization movement. Please, get in the fight and support the campaign today.

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Connecticut’s race for governor may determine state’s future on marijuana policy

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:38

Democrat Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition, while Republican Bob Stefanowski says the issue shouldn’t be a priority.

The Connecticut general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. If you’re not sure how or where to vote, please visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Voters who care about marijuana policy reform should know that there is a very clear contrast between the candidates for governor:

  • Democratic candidate Ned Lamont strongly supports legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” he said.
  • Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski does not currently support legalization. “Maybe at some point we should look at legalizing marijuana … but we’ve got so many fundamental problems in this state… Let’s fix the economy first,” he said.

Please share this information with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 6!

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Georgia: Early voting ends Friday, November 2; Election Day is Tuesday

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:33

For supporters of sensible marijuana policies, the choice for governor couldn’t be more clear.

Georgia’s general election is coming up on Tuesday, November 6, and there is national attention on Georgia’s choices for governor. Before you vote, we want to let you know about the stark differences between the candidates’ stances on marijuana policy reform.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) opposes in-state cultivation of medical marijuana, even though thousands of medical cannabis patients in Georgia lack reasonable access to the low-THC oils they are allowed to possess. Kemp would perpetuate the harmful contradiction in the state program, treating seriously ill patients like second class citizens. Turning to adult-use, his website says he “is not in the camp of being pro-recreational marijuana.” MPP gives Brian Kemp an F for failing the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Stacey Abrams, former House minority leader, has been clear in her support improving state cannabis laws. Not only does she support in-state cultivation and oversight in a well-regulated program, she also supports removing criminal penalties for possession as Atlanta did last year, and will even consider ending marijuana prohibition once the other reforms are made. In stark contrast to her opponent, MPP rates Stacey Abrams with an A for the support she offers for sensible cannabis policy.

You can find a summary of Georgia’s current low-THC law, Haleigh’s Hope Act, here.

For more information on early voting and Election Day voting, including where you can cast your ballot and when voting locations will be open, check out the state’s elections website here.

Please forward this to your network, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Penn.: Election Day is almost here!

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:27

Do you know where your candidates stand on marijuana policy?

Pennsylvania’s General Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6. If you are registered to vote, find your polling location here, and please be sure to go cast your ballot!

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who signed the state’s medical marijuana legislation, is supportive of statewide decriminalization. He has said Pennsylvania is not yet ready to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use. Scott Wagner (R) is opposed to legalization and regulation and believes marijuana is a gateway to other drugs.

You can find more information on Pennsylvania’s current marijuana policies here.

Please forward this message to your network in Pennsylvania, and don’t forget to get out and vote!

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New poll shows Rhode Islanders support legalization by 20-point margin

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:00

A new survey confirms that an overwhelming majority of Rhode Island voters support legalizing marijuana for adults. The poll, commissioned by WPRI 12 and Roger Williams University and conducted by Fleming & Associates, found that 56% of respondents favor ending marijuana prohibition, while only 37% were against the idea. Another 7% were undecided.

Leaders in the General Assembly have consistently refused to allow legislators to vote on marijuana legalization in recent years. This new poll provides further evidence that these politicians are out of touch with the Rhode Island people.

Legal marijuana sales will start in Massachusetts any day now, and the new Rhode Island legislative session begins in January 2019. With the public solidly on the side of reform, there is no excuse for delay, and there is no excuse for the General Assembly to not vote on legalization in this upcoming year.

The Marijuana Policy Project and Regulate Rhode Island are planning to mobilize constituents and organize an effective campaign to call on the General Assembly to vote on a legalization bill during the upcoming session.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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West Virginia general election is less than one week away!

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 09:47

Learn where candidates stand on marijuana policy before you vote on Tuesday, November 6!

West Virginia’s general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. The outcome of state legislative races will be critical in determining the future of marijuana policy in West Virginia. There are also strong contrasts between the candidates in races for U.S Congress:

• State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who championed West Virginia’s medical cannabis bill and strongly supports federal reforms, is running for an open Congressional seat in District 3. His opponent, Del. Carol Miller (R), voted for the medical cannabis bill, but she also voted to dramatically restrict it, and she won’t commit to supporting federal medical cannabis legislation.

• District 1 candidate Kendra Fershee (D) has expressed strong support for medical cannabis. Her opponent, incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R), has not supported marijuana policy reforms.

• In District 2, incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney (R) has voted to protect state medical cannabis programs from federal interference. His opponent, Talley Sergent (D), has expressed strong support for medical cannabis.

Before you go to the polls, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide, which includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbent legislators, and candidates’ public statements.

After you read our West Virginia voter guide, please share it with your friends and remind them that next Tuesday is Election Day!

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New Mexico: Election Day is less than one week away

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 08:18

Do you know where your candidates stand on  marijuana policy?

New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.

Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Minn.: Election Day is less than one week away!

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 08:18

Check out the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization’s cannabis voter guide!

Minnesota’s General Election Day is less than one week away! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

The Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization (MCFL) has put together a state legislative voter guide with results of their candidate survey and incumbents voting records. (Note that an F grade may not mean the candidate is opposed; they may simply not have responded to the survey.)

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on marijuana prohibition:

• House District 3A (International Falls): Incumbent Rob Ecklund (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis and also cosponsored marijuana legalization/regulation bills, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Randy Goutermont (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 11A (Moose Lake, Barnum, Scanlon): Mike Sundin (DFL) cosponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Jeff Dotseth (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 19A (North Mankato): Jeff Brand (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Kim Spears (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey. There is no incumbent in the district.

• House District 37A (Spring Lake Park): Incumbent Erin Koegel (DFL) expressed support for legalizing and regulating marijuana and also cosponsored a marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HF 2714. Challenger Anthony Wilder (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 56A (Savage): Challenger Hunter Cantrell (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Drew Christensen (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 57B (Rosemount): Challenger John Huot (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Anna Wills (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (D) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Please check out MCFL’s voter guide, forward this to your network in Minnesota, and be sure to get out and vote!

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