The legislation, authored by Sen. Scott Dibble, now crosses over to the House for consideration.
[quote_right]“For God’s sake, if people are suffering and we have the ability to provide a way to alleviate the pain, let’s hear their concern, let’s hear their prayer”[/quote_right]
“For God’s sake, if people are suffering and we have the ability to provide a way to alleviate the pain, let’s hear their concern, let’s hear their prayer,” said Sen. Charles Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, before the measure passed 48-18.
During the hourslong debate, medical marijuana supporters looked on from the Senate gallery, many holding aloft pictures of children they’d like to receive the drug to reduce seizures brought on by epilepsy.
The Senate proposal would allow up to 55 medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, dubbing them “alternative treatment centers.” Patients would need a doctor’s permission and have to pay a $140 yearly fee to get a medical marijuana card. That would give them access to up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at a time. Each center would pay a $15,000 yearly operating fee to the state.
Qualifying conditions in the Senate proposal are cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Tourettes syndrome, ALS, seizures brought on by epilepsy, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a handful of conditions that cause chronic pain. Patients would not be allowed to smoke the drug, but could use a vaporizer or ingest it in pill or oil form.
An overwhelming and diverse majority of Minnesotans support polices that allow the terribly ill to use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.