Medical Marijuana Bill Passes in the MN Senate - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes in the MN Senate

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The Minnesota Senate has approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

The Senate version of the bill strips out smoking, leaving only the pill, oil, and vapor forms. The state would track doctors who recommend cannabis for medical purposes and the conditions being treated.

The House version of the bill is still in committee, and it is even more restrictive. It says anyone using a marijuana vaporizer must do it under the supervision of a medical professional. The House is expected to vote on its bill by the end of the week.

New estimates released Monday from the state health department show 35-thousand Minnesotans could qualify for medical marijuana.

A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota is head­ed for a vote by the full state Senate on Tuesday.

The Star-Tribune reports the proposal, which would allow marijuana to be used for a broad range of ailments and set up a statewide system of dispensaries, cleared its last Senate hurdle on Monday. The Senate Finance committee approved the bill 14-7.

The Senate bill would allow patients with qualifying conditions to get a doctor’s prescription for up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Eligible conditions would include can­cer, HIV/AIDS, glau­co­ma, ep­i­lep­sy, post-trau­ma­tic stress dis­or­der and sev­er­al con­di­tions that cause chron­ic pain. Pa­tients would not be able to smoke mar­i­jua­na, but could use a vaporizer to inhale fumes. The could also ingest the drug in pill or oil form.

State budget officials estimate the state would have to spend about $3 million in 2015 to implement the Senate’s version of legalization. Those costs would be covered by fees related to purchase of the drug. The state budg­et of­fice an­aly­sis pre­dict­ed about 35,000 Min­ne­so­tans would par­tici­pate in the new program, a figure that Dibble contended was too high.
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