Recreational Marijuana Is Legal in a 23rd State

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura joined Gov. Tim Walz for signing ceremony
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 6:57 PM CDT
Minnesota Becomes 23rd State to Legalize Recreational Pot
Amita Wolfe holds a sign supporting the legalization of marijuana, Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in St. Paul, Minnesota   (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz was joined by a high-profile predecessor Tuesday when he signed a bill to make the state the 23rd in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Former WWF wrestler Jesse Ventura, who governed the state from 1999 to 2003, was among the first governors in the country to openly support legalization, the AP reports. "It's very wonderful to see a dream of yours over 20 years ago finally happen today and I'm still alive to see it,” Ventura said, per Minnesota Public Radio. "Jimi Hendrix is looking down on Minnesota smiling today."

The legalization bill passed the Democratic-majority state House and Senate earlier this month. At Tuesday's signing ceremony, the Democratic governor said adults should be allowed to make their own decisions about the drug, CNN reports. "What we know right now is prohibition does not work," he said. "We’ve criminalized a lot of folks. We’re going to start the expungement process on those records."

Under the new law, which takes effect Aug. 1, Minnesotans over 21 will be able to legally possess, use, and grow marijuana. The bill also allows retail sales, with a 10% marijuana tax, but it will probably be at least a year before the first dispensaries open, the AP reports. (In April, Delaware became the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana.)

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