Medical marijuana continues to advance; activist is confident Dayton will sign bill

marijuanaplant.jpg
Coleen Danger
Today, the Senate Committee on State and Local Government advanced Sen. Scott Dibble's medical marijuana bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If it's approved there, it could land on the Senate floor for a vote as soon as next week, Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, tells us.

See also:
New study undercuts law enforcement claims about medical marijuana

Rep. Carly Melin's companion bill is stuck in the House committee process, but Azzi thinks it's more likely that a relatively restrictive medical marijuana amendment to the health omnibus bill proposed by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) will reach the House floor.

Garofalo's amendment includes a penalty for those caught smoking marijuana along with many of the compromises Melin proposed to law enforcement before she gave up on that approach, Azzi says.

The version of the bill approved today by the Senate Committee on State and Local Government is almost identical to the one advanced by the Health and Human Services Committee last Friday. Patients couldn't smoke marijuana in public places or in front of children, and caregivers with felony drug convictions would be disqualified from the program.

It would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, and severe, debilitating pain to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The Minnesota Department of Health would issue medical marijuana ID cards and establish a tightly regulated system of alternative treatment centers and quality control labs, according to information provided by Minnesotans for Compassionate Care.

Dibble's bill doesn't allow for home cultivation of marijuana. Melin's does, but again, her proposal is probably a longshot at this point.

Azzi says that if the bill reaches conference committee, she expects the bill that lands on Governor Dayton's desk to look more like Dibble's version that either of the ones still alive in the House.

But will Dayton sign the bill? Azzi says at this point she's confident he will.

Asked if she thinks Dayton will sign a medical marijuana bill, Azzi says, "I do."

"Governor Dayton is a compassionate man, and he's learning more about the issue so he knows what he needs to do to make an informed decision," Azzi says. "I'm counting on it, and I'm doing everything I can do. I think the chances are good."

The legislative session is set to end on May 19.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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26 comments
Maxwell Falcon
Maxwell Falcon

Might be the first time I have heard the words Gov. Dayton and informed in the same sentence.

Greta von Otto
Greta von Otto

Don't believe it, Dayton is a weasel seeking re-election. And, he needs the support (money) of the police unions. He also has to see how the Rockefeller branch of the family feels about it, since she is a major donor.

Andrew Ochoa
Andrew Ochoa

I will move to Minnesota tomorrow........

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

You dont need govt approval to use drugs

greenthinks
greenthinks

You will have to wait until people start howling over the exorbitant costs as the powers that be sort out who will reap these astronomical profits off the backs of the sick poor suffering masses.These sick dying kids will need to come up with $3,000 per month to cure their cancers. 

greenthinks
greenthinks

Then it will slowly dawn upon them that it is the Doctors that need to be making these medical decisions as this comedy of errors plays out   Ad nauseam 

Terese Farr
Terese Farr

Ya...it's called Re-Election! WE have the POWER!

Lorraine Ahrens
Lorraine Ahrens

Or if his wife was dying of cancer and it help relieve the nausea of chemo!!

Cynthia Sjodin
Cynthia Sjodin

If Gov. Dayton had a child that was seizing every day & this could cure it, he would have signed it into law already. It helps Alzheimer's, too. That natural medicine is here for a reason.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

who stands to benefit from this? cash wise?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Terrible bill.  Really offensive it doesn't include PTSD and depression.   Politicians are such assholes.  

Lindsey Richardson
Lindsey Richardson

Cannabinoids are found in breast milk...so why aren't we supposed to have it?

Michael J. Kraemer
Michael J. Kraemer

He had said time and time again, he will not change his mind until law enforcement does. This will not pass until he is out of office.

TruDat
TruDat

@greenthinks  No, insurance will have to cover it, and in many cases in Minnesota that insurance is paid for by the taxpayers.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mn42095 @MicheleBachmann  Yeah, good point.  Still assholes.  I just hope the DFL keeps finding courage to finally legalize it.  It's an evil we do as a society to lock people up for smoking a plant.   You want to get high, that's your business.  

greenthinks
greenthinks

@mn42095 @MicheleBachmann  You will have to wait until people start howling over the exorbitant costs as the powers that be sort out who will reap these astronomical profits off the backs of the sick poor suffering masses.These sick dyeing kids will need to come up with $3,000 per month to cure their cancers. 


greenthinks
greenthinks

@trudat @greenthinks   But a good point insurance companies with their vast influence will realize that these exorbitant profits and costs on their side will be mitigated by growing this weed for pennies at home, As God intended.

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