MN Senate passes medical marijuana bill

Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), the chief sponsor of a medical marijuana, speaking with reporters
The Minnesota Senate approved a bill Tuesday that legalizes marijuana for medical use but limits ingestion to pills, oil, and vaporizing. It made it across the finish line with enough votes to overcome a veto by Gov. Mark Dayton -- 48 to 18 -- following a five-hour debate that produced some of the most bizarre statements uttered this session.

The biggest pushback came from Sen. Bill "I'm so against this bill" Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), who opened up his remarks by saying the state should be more concerned with pot holes than pot. What followed was a series of statements, similar to those he laid out in a recent letter, about how medical marijuana was a grave step toward all-out blazing in the streets.

See also:
When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota?

Fear-mongering eventually gave way to non sequitur. Alcohol and cigarettes are already legal, he reminded no one. "Why in the world would anybody vote to bring in a third killer? Think about that."

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria)
Ingebrigtsen went so far as to force several fellow senators to say whether they had spoken with their local sheriffs, who are opposed to the legislation. He also insinuated that the bill's author, Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), was a know-it-all who skirted his questions.

To which Dibble responded: "I've been answering the questions. Maybe I haven't been giving the answers that Senator Ingebrigtsen likes."

A flabbergasted Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover) described Ingebrigtsen's mental process as a "logical fallacy bingo board," then cautioned against insulting the intelligence of his colleagues.

As for the bill, Petersen, who's a sponsor, boiled down the debate to a simple question: "Do you believe that health care decisions are best made between doctors and patients?"

Some might see reductionism in that statement -- Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) argued it would allow people to go back to the "good old days" of making medicine in steaming black pots -- but it actually represents the underlying philosophy of medical marijuana programs elsewhere in the country.

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