House medical marijuana bill involves state workers, doctors in federal offenses, activist says

PotRX.jpg
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Today, Minneapolis Sen. Scott Dibble's medical marijuana bill passed its final committee hurdle in the Senate, paving the way for a floor vote in that chamber.

Dibble's bill, which allows patients to vaporize marijuana but not smoke it, is still more liberal than the medical marijuana bill making its way through the House. In fact, Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, tells us the House version is fundamentally unworkable because it would implicate both state employees and doctors in federal offenses.

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

That's because the House bill calls upon the state to oversee the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, which patients could use "only under direct, in-person supervision and the control of a licensed health care provider."

But of course, growing and distributing marijuana violates federal law. And in states with workable medical marijuana systems, doctors don't directly observe patients, Azzi says.

"It requires state employees and doctors to commit felonies," Azzi tells us. "That bill won't help a single patient for that reason."

"It's unconstitutional. A doctor has a very limited right under the First Amendment to speak about marijuana's medical efficacy when it comes to prescribing or dosing, or they risk losing their license to the federal government," she continues. "It's most definitely illegal for a doctor to prescribe or talk about specific dosing with a patient."

 By contrast, the Senate bill would mostly remove the government from the equation.

"Under the Senate version, the Commissioner of Health would select people to run alternative treatment centers, which would implement strict security measures... to track every plant from seed to sale," Azzi says. "It would remove government from this process and give some ability for private citizens to have a role in this program."

Though she characterizes the Senate bill as "a very solid piece of legislation," Azzi says the proposal would make the Minnesota the first state to have a medical marijuana system that prohibits any and all smoking. But since vaporizers have improved so much in recent years, Azzi says she can live with that.

"It's a good compromise if the law enforcement community is really concerned about the smoking of cannabis," Azzi says.

Asked why she thinks law enforcement is concerned so much about smoking, Azzi says she has no idea.

"Very little of what law enforcement says makes any sense on this issue. That's the truth of the matter," she says. "They make claims consistently that contradict the facts we've seen. They say teen use is increasing in states where medical marijuana is involved, but the numbers before and after show teen use is going down in several cases."

But even though the Senate version steers clear of involving the state and doctors in federal offenses, it wouldn't result in Hennepin Avenue being dotted by flashy medical marijuana dispensaries or in City Pages being stuffed with dispensary ads.

(For more, click to page two.)



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20 comments
Jason Willey
Jason Willey

Kevin Cornell It's the liberal dip shits too.

shadeaux
shadeaux

Former Minnesotan here.


It was 102 here yesterday.


Medical cannabis was made legal here 4 yrs. ago and I use it to treat the symptoms of MS.


NONE of the "doom and gloom" scenarios predicted by some law enforcement and the usual conservative blue noses came to pass.

No increase in use by teenagers or children.

No increase in impaired driving.

No increase in drug related crime.

Very, very few cases of people doing anything illegal with legally obtained medical cannabis.

No psychotic potheads roaming the streets attacking pizza delivery persons.

What HAS happened is that many people, myself included, can get  adequate relief of our symptoms with a plant that is MUCH safer than anything Pharma can offer, and at a much lower price.

Kevin Cornell
Kevin Cornell

Just freakin legalize it already. Enough of this conservative-ass bull. Same with sunday sales. It's the damn 21st century for heaven's sake. Sheesh

Kelly McNutt
Kelly McNutt

Meanwhile, still no Sunday liquor sales. *sigh*

Eli Sexton
Eli Sexton

The over-cautionary reaction to the dispensing and cultivation of marijuana only speaks to the pejorative stance and stigma still placed on the plant. The description of how marijuana would be dispensed and consumed recalls the cautionary levels physicists handle uranium in secure locations. Until the perception of marijuana is changed, such intricate bills in the application of Marijuana will always seem preposterous. On another note, the go-ahead to provide synthetic heroin over the counter did not seem to cause as much attention and yet, we have some of the highest addiction rates for opiate abuse since opiates were legal in the U.S.

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

^To those who can't decipher sarcasm, my comment is completely sarcastic.

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

But it isn't Gov. Dayton's fault. It is law enforcement!!!!! ;)

greenthinks
greenthinks

Because  the decades long propaganda campaign the Nixon Created "War on Drugs" has so brainwashed these people that evidently they are incapable of coherent thought upon this matter .  A plant that grows like a weed in any soil under practically any conditions without cultivation even. This complete food with 50,000 known uses is somehow made illegal and a country  attempts for decades to wage war upon it ? Millions of people are arrested imprisoned their civil rights  taken away along with their freedom,. Families are broken apart children are terrorized with militarized death squads kicking down their doors in the middle of the night as  police with machine guns invade their homes.as the country  slides more and more into a police state surveillance society with  more people in prisons than  any other country upon the planet.?   THEN above all else this plant turns out to be the cure for so many diseases  including various forms of deadly cancers It is literally the miracle cure millions have prayed for silently to their God at the very lowest points of their lives facing their own deaths or those of their loved ones? 


YOU CANT MAKE THIS STUFF UP.

Kim Tee
Kim Tee

' patients could use "only under direct, in-person supervision and the control of a licensed health care provider.' Such foolishness.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

Possession up to 42.5 grams is only a Petty Misdemeanor so why bother working so hard to keep it illegal? Won't all the tax revenue offset the couple hundred bucks they make off a ticket?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

how bout these dumb pricks focus on industry and wealth creation for people other than their cronies.


anybody waiting for the govt to approve what they can or cannot ingest is a spineless pinhead

Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson

Sounds like a Rupar article just from the headline. Which also means it's not even worth reading

Nathan Conley
Nathan Conley

Both bills are absolutely idiotic, although as stated in the article, the Senate bill could help a small percentage of prospective patients. Thanks Gov. Dayton for this idiotic clusterf**k.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

must i say it again without any refrain



99 plants or nothing

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Lawmakers must include free online classes with this bill as to how to use marijuana.



and why, Rupar, are you still using the propagandized term marijuana... its cannabis for those in the know

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

Kind of stupid to comment on this then.

Gary
Gary

@digitalprotocol Agree -- it should be referred to as cannabis, regardless if most people call it marijuana.

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