Friday, May 30, 2014

Mellowing Out in Minnesota

Why are they so uptight about it then?

"Minn. OK’s strict medical marijuana law" Associated Press   May 30, 2014

ST. PAUL — Minnesota joined the ranks of 21 other states Thursday where marijuana is a legal medicine with a law that is one of the nation’s most restrictive.

Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation that sets up a medical marijuana program with tight controls over qualifying conditions and the way it is administered. People will not be able to smoke marijuana legally or access it in leaf form.

‘‘I pray it will bring to the victims of ravaging illnesses the relief they are hoping for,’’ Dayton said in a written statement.

The compromise bill upset some medical marijuana advocates, who say many people who need relief would not get it. But legislative backers say it is a positive first step that satisfied concerns of law enforcement and doctor groups. Dayton, a Democrat, had said he wouldn’t get behind a bill that those two entities opposed.

Medical conditions eligible for the treatment include cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS. A physician assistant or advanced-practice registered nurse would certify a patient suffered from a qualifying illness.

If all goes as planned, the drug will be available in pill, oil, and vapor form in mid-2015. Two manufacturing facilities and eight dispensaries will be permitted statewide.

The law sets up a task force to assess the impact of medical cannabis.

Dayton signaled this month that he would sign the bill but waited as his staff tried to assemble bill sponsors and affected families for a formal ceremony. Such an event could still occur at a later date.