Another survey says Minnesotans want medical marijuana

Dank Depot
A bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use has been debated and tweaked since it was first introduced late last spring. But the one thing that's held steady is popular support.

Further proof came last week when KSTP-TV released the results of polling conducted through SurveyUSA. The research firm asked 543 registered voters whether medical marijuana should be legal and found overwhelming support: 68 percent of Minnesotans said yes and 24 percent said no.

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Public health commissioner testifies against medical marijuana bill

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Public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger testifies against senate medical marijuana bill

In front are Sen. Scott Dibble, left, and Minnesota public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger
The senate version of a bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Minnesota got its first hearing Thursday, undergoing two hours of testimony and proving that the issue is not dead. Time ran out before members of the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee could vote, but they plan to resume discussion when they return from Easter/Passover break.

The hearing came less than 48 hours after Gov. Mark Dayton lamented that legislators have "hidden behind their desks" while he's been portrayed as the sole voice of opposition. His corner has grown to include more than one member of his own cabinet, including the state's public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger, who would play a large role in Minnesota's medical marijuana program if ever established.

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Gov. Dayton proposes replacing medical marijuana bill with health studies

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Gov. Mark Dayton slammed in medical marijuana commercial [UPDATE]

YouTube screen grab of a St. Paul mother advocating for medical marijuana
The advocates of medical marijuana wiped their eyes and came out swinging hard Tuesday in this anti-Gov. Mark Dayton ad campaign.

It features Angela Garin of St. Paul and her five-year son Paxton, who suffers daily from seizures. Garin is one of several mothers in recent months who've rallied for legislation that would allow their children to medicate with liquids containing CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that's been effective in preventing child seizures.

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When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota?

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Contradicting published reports, Mark Dayton now denies telling moms to buy pot off street

Mothers of children with afflictions they believe could be treated by medical marijuana claim Governor Dayton "suggested" to them during a private March 13 meeting that they should just buy pot off the street in lieu of having legal access. (Watch video of one mother detailing what was said at the meeting at the bottom of this post.)

According to a WCCO report, Dayton wasn't contradicting that version of events as recently as Wednesday. "The governor does not deny he told at least one of the parents to buy illegal pot off the street," Pat Kessler reported.

His tune changed during a news conference today, however.

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When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota? [FEATURE]

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Kurt Zellers blasts Dayton for suggesting people should just buy pot on street

Asked last summer if he supports medical marijuana, Zellers said he doesn't: "Other states that have tried it are seeing spikes in crime."
During a private chat at the Governor's Residence with medical marijuana supporters earlier this month where the governor sounded a pessimistic note about medical marijuana's prospects this session, Mark Dayton did indicate there's still a way those who want it can get it.

Why, just buy it on the street! It's not like pot is super hard to find on the black market these days anyway, right? And even if you're arrested with some, the punishment is only a petty misdemeanor.

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Dayton administration blasts Kurt Zellers over sex offender controversy

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Governor Dayton: Another day, another medical marijuana position

dayton pot.jpg
Might the governor reconsider his stance that any bill legalizing smokeable marijuana is a non-starter? Stay tuned!
During a WCCO radio appearance yesterday, Gov. Mark Dayton characterized the likelihood of any medical marijuana legislation being signed into law this year as between "slim and none." He lamented that "the advocates who want to be able to smoke leaf marijuana... are not interested in carrying [a medical pot bill] forward on a more limited basis."

"We'll work on it next session," Dayton said.

Well, what a difference 24 hours makes.

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Gov. Dayton proposes replacing medical marijuana bill with health studies

Coleen Danger
Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton asked members of his staff to work on a medical marijuana bill that he could possibly sign into law. Here it is -- a seven-page proposal that seems destined to make everyone happy except the actual supporters of medical marijuana.

Rather than green light a distribution system for a range of qualifying patients, Dayton's people are advocating that $2.2 million be pumped into research of CBD -- the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that has been so effective in controlling infantile seizures.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Mark Dayton, though pessimistic, breathes a little life into medical marijuana bill

That means Minnesota children suffering from Dravet syndrome would be the only patients allowed access to marijuana through clinical trials. Nowhere in the proposal are chemo or AIDS patients even mentioned. Plus there's nothing about using marijuana outside of the Mayo Clinic.

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Dayton blasts Senate Dems: "These are DFL legislators, I'm sorry to say" [VIDEO]

Dayton on his hip surgery: "I can't kick any field goals for a while... but I'm back."
During his first news conference of the legislative session, a hobbled Gov. Mark Dayton put Senate DFLers on blast, saying their delay in passing tax cuts already approved by the House has him feeling "very, very, very disappointed."

RELATED: DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler isn't fan of huge tax cut sailing through House

"I hope Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators -- and these are DFL legislators, I'm sorry to say -- that this is inexcusable, and it's unacceptable," Dayton said yesterday. "It's got to stop. We had a meeting this afternoon for that purpose, it was not productive, so we're going to continue."

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Gov. Mark Dayton, though pessimistic, breathes a little life into medical marijuana bill

Patrick McClellan, holding a "get-well" card he handed Gov. Mark Dayton
Cops are out.

Gov. Mark Dayton has directed two members of his staff as well as the state public health commissioner to work with medical marijuana supporters in crafting a bill he could possibly sign into law within the next two months.

The news came on Thursday after patients and advocates descended on his mansion in St. Paul with strollers and signs that read, "Love Over Law Enforcement." They called on the governor to stop letting the spokesmen of public safety dictate the conversation and to offer new negotiating partners, now that the bill has been effectively stalled.

SEE ALSO: Rep. Carly Melin pauses medical pot push as law enforcement buzzkills bill

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Rep. Carly Melin says it's up to voters to get medical marijuana bill back on track

trawin / flickr
In the wake of yesterday's developments, Minnesota's medical marijuana push has gone off the rails.

And with law enforcement officials showing no sign of softening their anti-pot stance -- and Governor Dayton giving no indication he'll reconsider his I'll-only-support-it-if-cops-do position -- the bill's chief House backer, Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing, is urging medical marijuana supporters to exert direct pressure on elected officials.

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