Minnesota Legislature passes medical marijuana bill

Minnesota Legislature passes medical marijuana bill

The Minnesota House and Senate passed bills that would allow the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill now heads to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk. Pawlenty has said he opposes the legalizing of medical marijuana.

The House passed a version of the bill Monday night with a 70-64 vote. The Senate approved their own version last month, but approved the House version 38-28.

Some of the changes in the latest bill sent to Pawlenty: Patients can't grow their own plants and they must be terminally ill with a debilitating illness. Cancer patients who would use it to treat nausea from chemotherapy were also disqualified.

Like the original Senate legislation, the bill would create a system where doctors prescribe marijuana to a patient who would use a special photo ID to purchase the drug from state-licensed dispensaries.

Medical marijuana supporters say they will push for a constitutional amendment if Pawlenty holds the bill back. If it was proposed as a constitutional amendment, residents would get to vote on the issue. Nine of the 13 states with medical marijuana laws had it legalized by voters.

To see the roll call for the votes, check out the Pioneer Press report.

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