Candidate Toolkit

Are you a candidate for office ready to announce your support for cannabis legalization? Then we have the resources for you! Watch this page for updated resources as Election Day approaches.

Pro-Legalization Majority Badge

Those candidates who are identified as a member of the Pro-Legalization Majority may use the below badge on their websites, social media, and other outlets to show their support for legalization. The MNisReady Coalition asks candidates who are using the badge on digital materials link back to our website voters’ guide so voters can garner the details of your position. You can download the badge by right clicking the image.

Data Driven Voter Outreach

From 2018-2020, approximately 16.67% of adults used cannabis in the past year. This equates to over 730,000 cannabis consumers in Minnesota who span all ages, races, professions, socioeconomic statuses, and political alignments. The MNisReady Coalition has data available to determine an approximate number of cannabis consumers in your district, based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health published in 2020. We will make this data available to your campaign upon request, as our staff and volunteers have time to provide the calculations. Please make your request using the linked form below.

Request Data

How to talk about cannabis

Many candidates are unsure how to talk about cannabis legalization – especially in more conservative districts. The reality is in every corner of the state, at least 14% of adults reported using cannabis in the past year – and statewide support is nearing 60% of voters. Understandably, some candidates may not make cannabis legalization a part of their platform, but we how our talking points will help you answer questions about your position should it arise. The MNisReady Coalition members have worked for the past decade to normalize cannabis use, build support for its legalization, and reform Minnesota’s cannabis laws to reflect the growing support for legalization.

Thank you to our friends at the Marijuana Policy Project for the talking points we’ve provided. Republished from Top 10 Reasons to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis with permission.

  • A country that values liberty should not be punishing adults for using cannabis. Cannabis is far safer than alcohol, tobacco, and many medications. In a nation dedicated to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the government should not be tearing families apart over a plant that is safer than alcohol.

  • Prohibition wastes public resources, while legalizing and taxing cannabis brings in much-needed revenue. An estimate by the Congressional Research Service projected that replacing cannabis prohibition with taxation and regulation could yield $6.8 billion in excise taxes alone. In Washington State, taxes on cannabis sales brought in $600 million in 2020.

  • Arresting cannabis offenders prevents police from focusing on real crime. In 2019, the FBI reported 663,367 cannabis arrests and citations — more arrests than for all violent crimes combined. Meanwhile, FBI data showed that police only cleared 33 percent of rapes, 31 percent of robberies, and 14 percent of burglaries by making an arrest. Data published in Police Quarterly showed a higher percentage of some crimes were solved after legalization in both Colorado and Washington.

  • Prohibition sends an incredible number of Americans through the criminal justice system, ruining countless lives. According to the FBI, there have been more than 15 million cannabis arrests in the U.S. since 1995. While cannabis consumers who were not convicted have gone on to be president or Supreme Court justice, a criminal conviction can stand in the way of securing a job, getting housing, or receiving a professional license, student loan, food assistance, driver’s license, or firearms permit.

  • Cannabis laws are disproportionately enforced. According to the ACLU, Black individuals are more than 3.5 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white individuals nationwide, despite similar rates of use.

  • Replacing prohibition with regulation creates barriers to teens accessing cannabis. A 2012 survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found 40% of high schoolers reported knowing a student who sells cannabis at school — while under 1% know a peer who sells alcohol. Regulated cannabis businesses check IDs and aren’t allowed to sell to or employ minors.

  • Cannabis prohibition breeds violence. As was the case during alcohol prohibition, driving this lucrative market underground results in violence. Both buyers and sellers are vulnerable to assault.

  • Only regulation allows for control. Prohibition guarantees that cannabis will not be tested for purity and potency, creating the risk of contamination by dangerous pesticides, molds, bacteria, or even lacing.

  • Prohibition is bad for the environment. Illicit cannabis growers sometimes use banned pesticides, divert waterways, and leave hazardous waste in state and national parks. Regulated cannabis businesses are monitored to ensure compliance with zoning and environmental laws. 

  • Cannabis is safer than alcohol. Researchers have consistently concluded that cannabis is less toxic than alcohol, it has less potential for addiction, and it is less likely to contribute to serious medical problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year more than 50,000 Americans die from the health impacts of chronic alcohol consumption, with 2,200 additional deaths from acute overdose. Cannabis has not been shown to increase mortality, and there has never been a verified cannabis overdose death in history. It makes no sense for the law to steer consumers to the more dangerous substance.