North Dakota News

Minnesota’s legalization of controlled substances may increase drug trafficking to North Dakota

The Minnesota House has passed a bill legalizing the use of recreational cannabis, marking a significant milestone for advocates of the drug in the state. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where it will be reviewed before a final decision is made.

According to Attorney Mark Friese, the legalization of cannabis will lead to a rise in people bringing the drug across state lines, as individuals who lawfully purchase cannabis in Minnesota are likely to transport it to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Despite this, Friese clarified that it would still be unlawful to possess or transport cannabis in North Dakota, regardless of whether it is legal in Minnesota.

Law enforcement officers in Fargo, North Dakota, are exercising discretion when it comes to cannabis use, as they recognize that enforcing marijuana offenses is not a priority, given the high volume of violent offenses they are currently investigating. Friese noted that police officers have “enormous discretion,” and their “propensity” to enforce cannabis-related crimes is decreasing.

However, some individuals will still face legal ramifications if they choose to use cannabis in Minnesota and then return to North Dakota. Friese explained that North Dakota has an “ingestion statute” that can be used to prosecute individuals who have consumed controlled substances, regardless of where the ingestion occurred. As a result, even adults over the age of 21 who use cannabis legally in Minnesota could be charged with a crime if they return to North Dakota with the drug in their system.

Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski has not yet commented on the matter, and the city spokesperson noted that he wishes to conduct further research before providing a statement.

The Minnesota Senate will vote on its version of the bill on Friday, with Governor Tim Walz expected to sign it if it passes.

Mitch Havens

Mitch holds a distinguished position as a foremost authority at Fargo News Now. Drawing upon his prior expertise garnered from renowned publications such as CNN and Time, our ambitions extend beyond merely serving the local community, as we also aspire to make a national impact in the realm of journalism.

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