Minnesota’s New Laws: Troubling Times Ahead for Public Safety and Equality Under the Law

On August 1st, a plethora of new laws passed by the Minnesota legislature earlier this year took effect. The bills will affect the daily lives of Minnesotans on several issues.

Here are some of the laws now in effect:

  • Marijuana Legalization: Recreational use and possession of marijuana is now legal. This new law limits personal possession to 2 pounds and 2 ounces in public. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is also required to automatically expunge all criminal records for prior marijuana-related misdemeanor convictions, without a court order. 
  • Marijuana “Silent Reparations”: As bill-author Sen. Lindsey Port, DFL-Burnsville described it to the Star Tribune, the new marijuana-legalization law includes the “CanRenew” grant program, which is “a form of reparation.” Sen. Port also stated that the law was designed to direct funding to “communities of color” affected by the “war on drugs.” The law provides grants only to organizations serving “a community where long-term residents are eligible to be social equity applicants.” “Social equity applicants” include those convicted of crimes for possessing or selling marijuana, their families, and those who have simply lived in an area where there has been significant enforcement of marijuana laws. 
  • Gun Regulations: New gun restriction laws have taken effect, including mandatory background checks to be performed by private parties transferring weapons. The new law also requires those making the transfer to maintain the documents related to the transfer for ten years after the date of the transfer. Failure to produce that record upon demand by law enforcement carries a misdemeanor criminal penalty.
  • Police Scrutiny: New regulations prohibit law enforcement from being members of so-called “hate or extremist groups,” which includes groups that “promote seditious activities,” with no explanation of how far “sedition” is defined. Simply having “a physical or cyber presence in the group’s events,” display of a “hand sign” of the group, or “engagement in cyber or social media posts” promoting the group’s activities makes a person part of the so-called “hate or extremist group.”


It’s important for Minnesotans to stay informed about these new laws, as they may impact various aspects of their lives. 

The Upper Midwest Law Center remains vigilant in its role as a dedicated watchdog, closely monitoring legislative activities and developments at the Minnesota Capitol. With an unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of balanced governance and protecting citizens’ rights, UMLC diligently ensures that no overreach of power goes unchecked. 

Through its meticulous analysis and proactive advocacy, UMLC acts as the only safeguard to the liberal agenda, promoting transparency, accountability, and the preservation of enduring constitutional values. 

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