Medical Marijuana Took A Strange Trip While Heading Towards Minnesota Legislative Approval

“Some children would have been helped by his plan”, Dayton said, “but it went nowhere.” Ironically, even though Dayton said he opposed bills introduced early in the session written to help patients who say nothing else can help them, he was the eventual inspiration for a final deal on medical marijuana that was reached Thursday and passed by the House and Senate Friday. Much like the route taken by a successful Vikings stadium bill, getting medical marijuana to the verge of passing featured many fits and starts, with the concept looking dead at points.

Legislative leaders needed to get involved for the measure to make progress. It all started a year ago, when the 2013 session was nearing an end and Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing, began floating the idea about pushing a medical marijuana bill. Melins inspiration was another Hibbing resident, Amelia Weaver. The girls parents, Angie and Josh Weaver, told the lawmaker about her seizures, up to 50 a day.

To read more, visit http://www.parkrapidsenterprise.com/content/medical-marijuana-took-strange-trip-its-way-minnesota-legislative-approval

Legislature Closing Deal On Medical Marijuana; Voting On Friday

The bill creates a patient registry that will track the health impact of medical marijuana among patients who use it. The bill also establishes a medical cannabis task force that will conduct an assessment for a research program. Patients who want to use medical cannabis would receive certification of their condition from a doctor, physician assistant or advanced practice nurse.

After receiving a patient’s application, the Minnesota Department of Health would enroll the patient in the registry program and issue registry verification. Patients then could obtain medical cannabis at one of eight distribution centers, which would be established by the manufacturers. Patients would pay a fee to help cover program costs. As part of participating in the program, patients would agree to continue treatment for their condition with their health care provider, and agree to provide ongoing reports on their health status.

Manufacturers would be licensed and inspected by the state. They would be the source of marijuana for the program unless Minnesota can obtain an adequate supply of medical cannabis from the federal government by Aug.

To read more, visit http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_25768621/minnesota-medical-marijuana-deal-reached-legislature

NY Senate Prepared To Pass Medical Marijuana For The First Time

But now that the Senate is poised to approve the treatment, there’s a new glitch. Savino’s newest bill has changes that her medical marijuana counterpart in the Assembly isn’t keen on. That means the latest version of the “Compassionate Care Act” could more easily pass the more conservative Senate than the Democratically-controlled Assembly.

Three key changes in Savino’s newest bill: The latest version limits which diseases and conditions could be treated with medical marijuana. “Physicians have too much latitude,” in some other states, like California, Savino told Arbetter. Instead of leaving it up to doctors, the bill lists 20 specific diseases or conditions that a patient must suffer from before a doctor could recommend marijuana as a treatment.

The proposal, though, would create an advisory committee to recommend additions and subtractions to that list of 20 as medical advancements occur. That board could also hear appeals from individual patients denied access to medical marijuana by the state’s health commissioner. People under 21 would not be able to smoke marijuana as a treatment, though a doctor could prescribe the drug in other forms.

To read more, visit http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/medical_marijuana_the_latest_from_albany.html

Minnesota Lawmakers Agree In Limiting Legalization Of Medical Cannabis

Health-care providers would provide treatment data to the Minnesota Department of Health to enable researchers and policymakers to determine the medical effects of cannabis treatment. Background checks would be required for those working at the manufacturing sites and dispensaries. Anyone participating in the medical marijuana program caught using cannabis for non-medical purposes would be ousted and subject to criminal penalties.

Jennessa Lea, 27, of North St. Paul, was among people who wanted a more liberal law. She and her 6-year-old daughter, Raegan, suffer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that affect connective tissues. Lea said smoking cannabis diminishes the pain enough that she may play with her daughter. “That’s why we need the whole plant,” Lea said, choking up during an interview after the Thursday news conference. “I can’t function when I’m taking only oxycodone to cope.” Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana.

To read more, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/minnesota-marijuana_n_5333993.html

Minnesota Solons Strike Medical Marijuana Deal

Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, who sponsored the Senate version, lauded the compromise. “People in Minnesota who are suffering today who have no good options or options at all can have the hope of gaining some relief,” Dibble said during a news conference. Opponents said legalizing medical marijuana in any form would be a step toward legalizing recreational use, and risked addicting more children to pot and other drugs.

“The voices that weren’t represented during this debate were the parents who have lost children to drug abuse, in which marijuana played a part,” said Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria. Ingebrigtsen, a former sheriff, predicted drug treatment costs will soar. He said it was a fantasy if anyone thought that more children wouldn’t use marijuana by legalizing its medical uses. “It’s just like alcohol and tobacco.

To read more, visit http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/minnesota-lawmakers-strike-medical-marijuana-deal-23740275

Minnesota Makes Way To Offer Medical Marijuana

“We’re going to get some data that no one else has,” Ehlinger said. “Other states are reeling because they don’t have data. Some people might criticize our program as the most restrictive in the country. But the approach is reasoned to get us where we want to go more safely, and perhaps, more quickly.” Minnesota’s legislation makes it the only state to explicitly ban smoking the drug. It also prohibits patient access to plant material. Instead, the drug would be available in oil, pill and vapor form. Eight medical conditions would qualify for treatment, including cancer, glaucoma and AIDS, with a possible ninth if the health commissioner acts on a House amendment requesting that “intractable pain” be considered.

The terminally ill also could qualify. Patients would receive an identification number if a doctor, a physician assistant or advanced-practice registered nurse certified a qualifying illness existed. Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use. The toughest task for Minnesota will be creating the structure that governs the doctor-patient-Health Department relationship.

To read more, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/17/marijuana-medical-minnesota-drug/9209555/

Medical Marijuana Bill To Be Voted At High Noon On Tuesday By NY State Committee

“The first step in the process is to make sure it gets through the committee process,” said Senate Independent Democratic Conference spokesman Jason Elan. The legislation that would authorize the use of medical pot to treat specific “serious, debilitating, life-threatening” chronic llnesses. Savino recently amendmed the bill to allow its use for rheumatoid arthritis. But at the uring of the state’s ophthalmologists, it would not cover glaucoma. Savino has said she has at least 39 votes for the measure in the chamber.

In a video earlier this week , Savino said: “This shouldn’t be about politics. This should be about science. We shouldn’t handcuff our doctors from making the best decision on how to treat their patients. We may have the facts on our side — but we still need your support.”

She noted that 21 states have already adopted medical pot laws. Passage of the measure would be a big help for Savino and four other breakaway Democrats who control the Senate with the Republicans.

To read more, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/medical-marijuana-bill-nys-senate-committee-vote-high-noon-tuesday-blog-entry-1.1793877

Medical Marijuana Is Okay

Mark Dayton has said he will sign the legislation. The state is poised to become the 22nd to legalize the drug for medical purposes. Minnesota Public Radio says, “Under the agreement, the state will authorize two medical cannabis manufacturers to set up operations in Minnesota and distribute the product in pill or liquid form to qualified patients at up to eight distribution centers by July 1, 2015.” However, smoking marijuana would still not be legal. Instead, patients would be allowed to vaporize “whole plant extracts,” but not dried leaves, MPR says.

The Associated Press says the deal is “a major victory to severely ill children and adults whose emotional appeals for help propelled a major policy change that once appeared dead for the session.” The AP says: “Some patients lamented that the agreement doesn’t allow them to use actual plant material – they instead can use the drug in oil, pill and vapor form – but others were overjoyed.”

MPR reports: “The bill calls for a state patient registry and an observational study of the effect cannabis in treating a limited list of qualified conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, ALS and seizures. “Law enforcement groups that opposed earlier proposals, are taking a neutral position on the new compromise. The Minnesota Medical Association also took a neutral stand.”

To read more, visit http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/15/312474443/minnesotas-legislature-oks-medical-marijuana

Minnesota Lawmakers Strike Deal With Medical Marijuana

But it covers fewer conditions than the Senate favored. Its prohibition against using plant material disappointed some advocates, who said vaporizing the leaf or smoking the drug were the only ways some patients could get relief from their maladies. Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, who sponsored the Senate version, lauded the compromise. “People in Minnesota who are suffering today who have no good options or options at all can have the hope of gaining some relief,” Dibble said during a news conference.

Opponents said legalizing medical marijuana in any form would be a step toward legalizing recreational use, and risked addicting more children to pot and other drugs. “The voices that weren’t represented during this debate were the parents who have lost children to drug abuse, in which marijuana played a part,” said Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria. Ingebrigtsen, a former sheriff, predicted drug treatment costs will soar.

To read more, visit http://news.yahoo.com/minnesota-lawmakers-strike-medical-marijuana-103537878.html

State Senate Expected Voting On Medical Marijuana Bill Tuesday

The state Senate Health Committee is set to take up a medical marijuana bill at high noon on Tuesday. The vote is the first of its kind in the Senate. If it passes, the bill would move on to the Senate Finance Committee. From there, it could go before the full Senate for a vote before the end of the legislative session next month.

Senate bill sponsor Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) has said 39 members support the bill, far more than the 32 needed to pass legislation. Sipkin, Corey/New York Daily News Senate bill sponsor Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) has said 39 members support the bill, far more than the 32 needed to pass legislation.

“The first step in the process is to make sure it gets through the committee process,” said Senate Independent Democratic Conference spokesman Jason Elan. The legislation would authorize the use of medical marijuana to treat specific “serious, debilitating, life-threatening” chronic illnesses. Savino recently amended the bill to allow its use for rheumatoid arthritis. It would not cover glaucoma. In a video earlier this week, Savino said: “This shouldn’t be about politics.”

To read more, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/state-senate-vote-medical-marijuana-bill-tuesday-article-1.1794050