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Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Final House Committee

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — Minnesota's bill to protect seriously ill patients from arrest for using medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation is ready for a full House vote, having cleared the Ways and Means Committee today, 14-9.

H.F. 655, co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 16 representatives, is the companion legislation to the Senate's medical marijuana bill, S.F. 345, which the Senate approved last week.

"I hope the House follows the Senate's lead and, for the sake of Minnesota's seriously ill patients, passes this compassionate bill quickly," said Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth).

This final committee vote brings Minnesota another step closer to becoming the 13th state with an effective medical marijuana law. Earlier last month, New Mexico became the latest state to protect medical marijuana patients when Gov. Bill Richardson – a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination – signed his state's medical marijuana bill into law. The other states with medical marijuana laws are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The overwhelming bulk of scientific evidence supports medical marijuana's safety and efficacy in treating the pain, nausea, and appetite loss associated with serious diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. A University of California study published February in the journal Neurology found marijuana to be effective at relieving a type of disabling nerve pain common among patients with HIV/AIDS. There are no FDA-approved treatments for this type of pain, which is caused by damage to the nerves and is similar to the pain experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis and several other conditions, affecting at least 9 million Americans.

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Source: Marijuana Policy Project
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