On Friday, May 16, the Minnesota Senate and House announced their agreement on the new bill to legalize medical marijuana. Governor Dayton has already agreed to sign it.
The announcement provoked strong emotions from patients and their families. People affected by seizures are among the bill’s most vocal supporters. Some Minnesota children have between 30-50 seizures a week, and medical marijuana will help these children manage their conditions. CBS Minnesota reported one father’s quote upon hearing that the bill would pass:
“It’s taking every part of me not to cry right now,” said Jeremy Pauling, of Montevideo, whose daughter Catelyn suffers repeated seizures. “It’s been a long road, but now I can get my daughter the medicine she needs.”
Minnesota is the 22nd state to pass such a bill, which means that medical marijuana is legal in almost half the country. Each state has differing rules and restrictions around the use of marijuana (federalism at its finest). Here are a few that made it into the Minnesota bill:
· Medical marijuana may not be smoked. Patients can choose to consume marijuana in the form of a pill, oil, or vapor.
· There will be eight distribution centers around the state that will be authorized to sell medical marijuana.
· Patients suffering from one of ten conditions will qualify for a medical marijuana prescription; cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, ALS, seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and other terminal illnesses.
Medical marijuana will begin to be sold in Minnesota on July 1, 2015.
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