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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Andy Smith (DFL)

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Creating a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Creating a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force

Dear Neighbors,

The Minnesota House has suspended business in preparation for what meteorologists predict to be a historic winter storm to last from today through Thursday evening, which could reach blizzard conditions. Predictions estimate 15-20" with localized amounts of close to two feet for south central MN/western Wisconsin. The National Weather Service suggests residents avoid travel late Wednesday into Thursday. If you must travel, make sure to have a full tank of gas, charged cell phone, water, and warm clothes. Make sure to tell someone where you are going and when you plan on arriving. Stay safe and check the City of Rochester, MN Government page for forecast updates.

Psychedelic Medicine Task Force

Some of you may have seen Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which focused on psychedelic-assisted therapy. If not, I would recommend watching it here! This episode couldn’t have come at a better time—just last week I introduced my bill to establish a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force in Minnesota!

This task force would advise the legislature on "the legal, medical, and policy issues associated with the legalization of psychedelic medicine in the state." You can find the full bill here. It is past time to begin the study of this therapy—which has shown incredible preliminary results—and end the harmful “War on Drugs” policies that criminalize these substances on the same level as heroin and cocaine.

Earned Sick and Safe Time Legislation

Last week, I spoke on the House Floor in favor of our bill to guarantee all Minnesotans have earned sick and safe time at work. We all agree workers should stay home when they are sick because it's the right thing to do, and this bill ensures they are not financially punished for doing so.

As a small business owner, I know this bill helps workers and ultimately helps businesses by ensuring employees don’t have to come to work while sick because they fear missing a paycheck. I was proud to vote in favor of the bill. You can watch my comments on my Facebook page here.

House Floor Update

This Monday, the House voted on several important pieces of legislation to make Minnesotans safer. We passed a bill banning the dangerous and discredited practice of “conversion therapy” for minors and vulnerable adults. Every major professional health organization opposes the practice and we heard firsthand from Minnesotans negatively impacted by the practice. I was proud to vote for this bill to make our state more welcoming for all Minnesotans regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

We also voted to create an Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls. Black Minnesotans have told us they experience a lack of urgency from our public institutions when Black women and girls are reported missing. This new office will set strong standards for promptly sending alerts and supporting the community members closest to the pain of not knowing what happened to a missing family member or loved one.

Finally, we passed legislation to crack down on catalytic converter theft, deterring bad actors by changing laws governing the possession of catalytic converters and the purchase of catalytic converters by scrap metal dealers.

Stay Connected!

Unfortunately, due to technological constraints, replies to this newsletter won’t reach my email account. To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out at or 651-296-9249, and I will be happy to help. If you were forwarded this email and you’d like to subscribe, click here. If you have a friend or neighbor who would be interested in receiving these, please forward this and encourage them to subscribe!


Andy Smith,
State Representative

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