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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Senators in Minnesota passed a bill Saturday that would allow recreational marijuana use by people over the age of 21 and make it the 23rd state to legalize the substance for adults.

The measure has already been approved by the House and now goes to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who has pledged to sign it into law.

Supporters of the bill said it would improve public health and safety and further social justice, while opponents said health and safety would actually worsen.

Under the measure, it would become legal by Aug. 1 to possess, use and grow marijuana at home. Retail sales at dispensaries would probably be at least a year away.

It includes a 10% tax on cannabis products on top of existing sales taxes and limits possession of cannabis flower to 2 pounds at home and 2 ounces in public. Other possession caps include 800 milligrams of THC in gummies and other edibles and 8 grams of cannabis concentrate.

Minnesotans who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor possession would get their records automatically expunged, though the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has estimated it will take until August of next year to process them all.

People convicted of selling marijuana or other more serious but nonviolent pot-related offenses that would no longer be crimes or would become lesser offenses could apply to have their records cleared or sentences reduced.

Local governments would get more negotiating authority on limiting the number of dispensaries and keeping them away from schools, but may not ban them altogether.

Republican Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, of Fergus Falls, spoke in opposition on the Senate floor Saturday.

“The fundamental flaw with this bill is that the starting point of it from proponents has been about creating an industry to fit their ideology,” Rasmusson said.

See the entire article at: APNews