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Minnesota House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

The General

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After nearly five hours of emotional debate, the state House passed a bill Friday to make medical marijuana available to patients with a limited set of health problems. The 86-39 vote likely sets up a conference committee to negotiate a compromise agreement between the House bill and broader legislation passed earlier this week in the Senate on an overwhelming vote. On Friday evening, Gov. Mark Dayton made his preference clear. "If the Legislature passes the House's current language, I will sign it into law," Dayton wrote in a letter issued to the authors of the House and Senate bills. "I join the Minnesota Medical Association and law enforcement in support of the (House bill) over the Senate position."

Under the House bill, people with any of eight conditions certified by a doctor could obtain medical cannabis in the form of pills or liquid from one state-regulated manufacturer. The bill would not let patients smoke marijuana or vaporize marijuana leaves. Pointing to families seated in the House gallery on Friday, legislators invoked stories of children with serious seizure disorders who have seen a degree of symptom control with medical marijuana not provided by government-approved medicines. Opponents expressed sympathy for those children, but said they worried about both the addiction risk and lack of medical evidence with medical cannabis.

Earlier this week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to provide access to medical marijuana through a state-regulated network of up to 55 dispensaries across the state. During one critical point in Friday's debate, House members had the chance to amend the bill from Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, that would have essentially adopted the broader Senate bill. But it failed 97-28. "The proposal that's before us today isn't as broad as some of us would like," said Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, and chief author of the bill. "But I cannot take an all-or-nothing approach this session. Time is running out, and we need to provide relief for these families."


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Twincities.com
Author: Christopher Snowbeck
Contact: Contact Us - TwinCities.com
Website: Minnesota House passes medical marijuana bill - TwinCities.com
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