By Rep. Jeff Dotseth
The 2023 legislative session ended a few weeks ago, allowing me to spend more time back in District 11A, meeting with constituents and local officials to receive input from them.
From the 40-percent increase in state spending and nearly $10 billion in tax increases despite a $17.5 billion surplus, people have a lot to say about how the DFL trifecta handled fiscal matters this session. District 11A residents also are providing many thoughts on some new policies the DFL enacted into law this year, from radical abortion policies to anti-Second Amendment provisions and more. And broken promises are starting to hit home with people after the DFL failed to fully eliminate the state Social Security tax, did not fully fund education and did not crack down on violent crime.
On top of that, there is much disappointment because the DFLers abandoned the $2,000 rebate checks they once said they supported. Instead, they used that money for more state spending increases and left only select Minnesotans to receive a $260 check, just a fraction of the earlier amount.
Marijuana and guns
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms recently issued a news release to clarify some issues related to legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota. In particular, the ATF reiterates that, until recreational cannabis is federally legalized, marijuana users cannot own guns. The ATF release reads, in part:
"The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits any person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.
"Regardless of the recent changes in Minnesota law related to the legalization of marijuana, an individual who is a current user of marijuana is still federally defined as an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance and therefore is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition."
Just want to make sure you are aware of these risks that may be flying under the radar as our state legalizes the recreational use of marijuana.
Please stay in touch
Let me know if you would like to discuss any of these or other issues from the 2023 session, or discuss what's in store for 2024, in further detail. It's important to have a pro-active approach to planning for next year and now is the time to discuss issues we may want to advance for District 11A.
My summer schedule is filling up fast with meetings, parades and other community events, so please be in touch soon. My job serving as your voice at the Capitol starts with having an open ear here, so the more input, the better. Until next time, hope to see you around the district as we keep in touch.