MORE

House medical marijuana bill doesn't allow anybody to smoke marijuana

You won't be seeing storefronts like this anytime soon in Minnesota...
You won't be seeing storefronts like this anytime soon in Minnesota...

:::: UPDATE :::: More liberal medical marijuana bill likely to win Senate approval, Scott Dibble says

Today, medical marijuana's House supporters announced a big compromise they hope will be amenable to law enforcement and signed into law by pot unfriendly Gov. Mark Dayton.

The compromise, announced at a Capitol news conference by House Speaker Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis), Majority Leader Erin Murphy (D-St. Paul), and Rep. Carly Melin (D-Minneapolis), "would create a medical cannabis clinical trial, allowing limited participation by children who are suffering and adults with severe illnesses," a House DFL news release says.

See also:
MNGOP senators pen fear-mongering anti-pot letter, write that ganja "rips families apart"

"The proposal also includes the option of a state-based manufacturer of medication if no federal source of medication is available," it continues.

Qualifying conditions for the medical trial would include seizures (including those characteristic with epilepsy), cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette's syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), and Crohn's disease.

The bill wouldn't allow anybody to actually smoke marijuana. Instead, patients would vaporize pot, "but only under direct, in-person supervision and the control of a licensed health care provider."

Melin isn't totally thrilled about the deal, but says it's better than nothing.

"Our goal since the beginning has been to provide needed medicine to Minnesotans and children who are suffering and deserve a better chance at a good life," she says in the statement. "I am pleased that we have developed a proposal that can provide real relief for Minnesotans who need it and that has a strong chance at getting signed into law."

Her sentiment was echoed by Thissen.

"All along, our goal has been a compromise that provides needed medicine to children and Minnesotans who need it while responding to concerns from law enforcement and the health community," he says in the statement. "We believe this legislation achieves a compromise that can move forward this session."

Though the prospects for any sort of medical marijuana legislation appeared dead just a few weeks ago, the House bill announced today stands a chance of becoming law:

But at least one legislator has already said he won't support the bill, which doesn't go as far as a Senate version that does allow patients to smoke marijuana under certain conditions .

It also remains to be seen how medical marijuana's biggest backers in the Senate will react to to the House bill:

Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, told us earlier this week she expects this session's final medical marijuana legislation to look more like the Senate version than the House's . She didn't immediately return a voicemail seeking comment this afternoon, but made clear following the news conference that her organization isn't a supporter of the House bill:

The bill gets its first hearing tomorrow, and supporters said today they expect it'll be on the House floor for a vote next week.

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


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >