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Bipartisan medical marijuana bill to be introduced today at Capitol

Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing (left) and Sen. Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis (right), are the lead authors of the bill.
Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing (left) and Sen. Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis (right), are the lead authors of the bill.
Image by Tatiana Craine

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle will introduce companion bills to legalize medical marijuana today at the Capitol.

SEE ALSO: MNGOP spent $10,500 on study that supports legalizing medical marijuana

According to a press release distributed by the pro-marijuana law reform group Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, the bills have the maximum numbers of sponsors in each chamber -- 35 in the House and five in the Senate.

Polling conduced by Public Policy Polling in March showed that 65 percent of Minnesotans support "allowing doctors to prescribe small amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses."

Back in 2009, the Legislature approved a medical marijuana bill only to see it vetoed by then-Gov. Tim "bong water is a controlled substance" Pawlenty. But Governor Dayton is no fan of medical ganj either. Asked about the issue last December, Dayton said, "I don't think we need another drug operating in our society."

In March, Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, said that while she expected a medical marijuana bill to be introduced this session, she doesn't foresee it progressing through legislative committees quite yet. Indeed, Politics in Minnesota reports that "policy deadlines have long since passed," but by introducing it this year, medical marijuana backers will position their bill to be ready for discussion next session.

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


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