Statement from Keith Ellison on Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Reform Policy

MINNESOTA – Keith Ellison today released the following statement on his Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Reform policy as part of his campaign for Minnesota Attorney General.

“Since my time as a public defense attorney, I have seen too many lives ruined by the harsh enforcement of current marijuana policies. It is time we listen to the majority of Minnesotans who believe we should legalize marijuana and enact restorative justice for nonviolent offenders caught up in our justice system,” said Ellison. “We must focus our energy and resources on programs that will truly help keep our communities safe, including investment in rehabilitation for those suffering from addiction.”

In June 2018, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo ordered police to discontinue low-level marijuana enforcement after a report found that out of the 47 people arrested in low-level stings, 46 were black.

Minnesota has already legalized medical cannabis, and a statute to remove jail time for possessing small amounts (42.5 grams or less) of marijuana was implemented in 2014. In recent years, eight states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana.