A bill in the state House of Representatives would legalize the possession and use of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for people suffering from a range of medical conditions including: cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and any other medical condition approved by the state Commissioner of Health.
Patients would need to obtain an ID card by getting written certification from a doctor, says measure HF 1818, which was introduced by Rep. Carly Melin (D-Hibbing) last spring.
A similar measure had passed through the Minnesota House and Senate in 2009 prior to being vetoed by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty (R).
Current Democratic Governor Mark Dayton says he’d sign a bill if it were passed, but only with the support of Minnesota law enforcement agencies, and that’s where the hang up is. Thus far, no agency has lent support to the bill.
Their opposition, according to a news report, is based on fears that marijuana’s medical benefits are still unproven, that any legalization effort will increase the drug’s availability to kids and that the bill is too broad in listing qualifying conditions.
But, as reported in Politics In Minnesota earlier this month, the head of one police agency said he was worried legalizing marijuana for medical purposes might make it more difficult for police to get federal funding to combat the illicit drug trade. Minnesota receives millions in anti-drug money from the White House every year, plus, asset seizures from drug raids have become an integral part of state police budgets.
As a result, Melin has said she may draft a compromise bill to legalize marijuana extracts in pill or liquid form. Some law enforcement agencies have said they might be open to such a measure.