Legislators send conservative medical marijuana bill to governor's desk over lone protest

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Dr. Ed Ehlinger, MN public health commissioner
A committee of Minnesota legislators chaired by Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) voted 5-1 Thursday on a single medical marijuana bill that more closely resembles the ultra-conservative House version.

In less than a week, Dibble went from lobbying for his cheaper and more inclusive bill to giving in almost entirely to Rep. Carly Melin's (DFL-Hibbing) bill, which pleases both law enforcement and Gov. Mark Dayton.

See also:
Mark Dayton will sign medical marijuana compromise into law


"It's a process of give and take," Dibble says, vowing to push things further in the future. For the time being, he's agreed to put his weight behind something that Dayton will sign.

So what's in this compromise of compromises? The final bill allows Minnesotans suffering from specific debilitating conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and Crohn's Disease to consume medical marijuana (although it's momentarily silent on the matters of intractable pain, PTSD, nausea, and wasting). There's a $200 fee to enroll -- $50 for folks on social security disability.

The Minnesota Department of Public Health has until May 1, 2015, to pick two marijuana manufacturers. Each will be responsible for four distribution sites, staffed by pharmacists.

"This is going to change our daughter's life," says Angie Weaver, the teary-eyed mother of an eight-year-girl suffering from Dravet syndrome. She adds: "I thank everyone involved who has made this happen because it has not been an easy process."

There were enough hugs to go around the Capitol, but not the elation that one might have imagined only a month ago. At a Thursday press conference, anyone with eyes could see the division within the ranks of the advocates caused by the recent removal of smoking and certain conditions from Melin's bill.

Some of those folks who've been fighting years for this type of reform were only made aware of the announcement 30 minutes ahead of time and rushed to get there. Others were forced to watch the fruits of their own labors from home. Still others, finding themselves somewhere in between the two camps, peeked over shoulders from the back of the room.

Jessica Hauser says she's withholding judgment until she's certain that her son, who suffers from seizures, will be able to get the medicine he needs. At the very least, she adds, "It's a step in the right direction and it gives us a foundation to ask for more."



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19 comments
digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

There's a $200 fee to enroll!!!


ya right


fuck off and die leeches!

Paul Bailey
Paul Bailey

It may be a step but it is a seriously misguided one.

Betty Hindbjorgen
Betty Hindbjorgen

Any step is better than none at all, but yes......I agree. Minnesota always has to drag things out.

Betty Hindbjorgen
Betty Hindbjorgen

Isn't that the same girl in the background? Same position, different outfit? She'll be a skeleton by the time marijuana is finally legalized in Minnesota! :o)

Michael OC
Michael OC

This is not a mm bill, vape and pill or oil, last I checked you do need the whole damn plant. Its such a small step its an insult to most.

Sabrina Edwards
Sabrina Edwards

This whole bill is a joke. In 2006 I became on hooked on legal Rx after a car accident. I lost 5-6 years of my life, relationships, friendships, jobs, etc. In the end, I weighed a whopping 130#s subsisting on a 1/2 cup a yogurt a day. Like a miracle from heaven, I found pot or maybe pot found me again. Either way, through its usage & meditation, I weaned myself off the poison that was LEGAL. I am now happy, healthy, SOBER, & I WILL BE GODDAMNED IF THIS GOV. OR ANY POLITICIAN OR SPECIAL LOBBYIST GRP is going to ever stop me from using POT as a way to manage my pain. So Gov. Dayton can wad up his lil bill & wipe his old butt with it...

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

Cops have about as much business in telling me my medical decisions as the doctor has to tell me what kind of tires to get on my car.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

I consult with law enforcement for all my medical decisions.

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

This state is all about controlling people and compromising to special interest groups. We can't sell beer on Sunday, supposedly to kowtow to the Teamsters "who don't want to renegotiate their labor contracts". Why would we expect a medical marijuana bill that didn't kowtow to the various police federations? I thought their job was to enforce the law, not dictate it?

April Streich
April Streich

Useless really is the right word for this bill. I'm glad it will help some people, but it will help only marginally, and leaves out so many legitimate conditions that marijuana helps with that it's just insulting.

Sarah Lawl
Sarah Lawl

Love Colorado! The Cup was great! Very clean. Nice people. It was nice to walk off a plane and head straight to the dispensary to spend stress free and fear free. Lookout mountain is awesome!

Steve Kershner
Steve Kershner

Its a lousy bill. As a cancer patient, i wont be participating in this and from my perspective, the legislature did nothing. Nothing was done. Even Utah has a usable bill. This is nothing.

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

Living in a state where it's now recreational and has had some of the longest(time wise) mm laws, and working in the industry, the mn proposed laws are a joke. If he worries about the kids, look at the amount of possessions reported in schools in colorado. They have declined also violence has declined. If they are hoping to generate the type of revenue that co is making, you aren't going to do it by still giving $121 possession tickets.

calistair
calistair

As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, I agree 110%! It is useless and I will not be participating either.

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