In a new interview with PBS aired on August 11th, Minnesota Democrat Governor Tim Walz told Iowa residents that they were free to come to take a cannabis-fueled vacation in the land of 10,000 lakes. Opening up by reminding the host that prohibition has officially failed the country, he pointed out how the flourishing black market is packed with “illicit cannabis trade is also now dangerous with fentanyl and xylazine and some of the other things we see on the streets.”
With Minnesota now allowing adults 21 and over to abide and enjoy cannabis, Iowa residents are free to travel across the border and twist one up. For now, though, only two tribally ran dispensaries are up and running, with experts pegging 2024 as the target for new licenses being issued. This means longer trips just to buy cannabis and a big problem in pricing with no legal competition.
However, despite this bump in the road, Walz was more than happy to give Iowa residents some suggestions on making the trip.
“Iowans are certainly welcome to come up and enjoy a baseball game or Vikings game or whatever they want to do. They can partake legally in [cannabis] just like anything else. You can’t drive. If you’re in a position where your employer [drug] tests, you need to make sure you’re clear on that.”
For years now, elected officials in California, Colorado, Maine, and other states & municipalities have advocated for cannabis tourism to come to their neck of the woods. Yet they only talk about enjoying the freedom of being able to do what you cannot do at home. They never talk about being responsible, like not driving after consuming or the possible work complications when they go home.
Gov. Walz also talked about personal responsibility, even as a youngster.
“But the biggest thing on this is, once again, trusting Minnesotans—or trusting, in this case, we hope Iowa goes along, too—trusting Americans to make some of these own decisions, whether it’s your health care or, whether it’s the case of this, as an adult to be able to use recreational cannabis…Quite honestly, it goes about this freedom issue. I trust adults to make their own decisions. I have a 16-year-old and a 22-year-old. I’m not encouraging them to use cannabis, but once they reach the age of 21, they have the right to do that.”
Taking effect just on August 1st, Walz is already tired of the criticisms the program is already receiving for loopholes and how it rolled out. Given how places like New York and Massachusetts have done with the rollout of their programs, MN’s method of legalizing it with strong but minimal regulations is a stark contrast. This kind of contrast is difficult for many to stomach, even though it looks solid so far.
For most states, legalizing cannabis has been an intelligent decision. Even though Democrats who don’t understand the culture are predominantly supporting its legalization, they aren’t nurturing it in a way that supports its growth. These people need to learn how to make a solid profit from the substance while encouraging companies and entrepreneurs to thrive.
Instead, they are forcing people to go to or stay operating in the black market. Walz pointing this out is incredibly bold and understanding of the situation. Many remain skeptical, though. As big tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceutical are trying to force their way into the industry, they are helping to force a race for the bottom in terms of quality.
MN has a slow rollout, with low-level development, and seems poised to keep the big and irresponsible chains away from the state.
Ultimately, many believe this could be the model for other states or even the nation going forward. This would help to allow the cream to rise to the top while eliminating the dangerous lower-quality product from the market through competition. Given the status of cannabis in their neighboring states, they are heading right for a free and open market. Just the way it was intended.