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Minnesota's Lame Medical Marijuana Bill
2 years ago

I'm ashamed that my home state has the WORST medical marijuana bill in the country..

Minnesota became the 22nd state in addition to the District of Columbia with a medical marijuana bill Thursday, with the signature of Gov. Mark Dayton (D). The new law will allow the distribution and consumption of marijuana for medical purposes, with one major caveat: You can’t smoke it, and you can’t possess the plant in its natural form.

The compromise measure lost the support of many medical marijuana advocates, who say consumption of the plant is the most natural and effective method for managing particular conditions. The law will allow the plant to be distributed only in oil, vapor, or pill forms, after the oil is extracted from the plant through state-licensed manufacturers. While the oil has been particularly value for children suffering from seizures, marijuana is most frequently consumed in its leaf form, particularly because patients can control dosing by taking one puff at a time until they feel relief. Those who utilize this marijuana oil cannot control its potency, and many have reported feeling “zombie-like” after consuming it.

Many who already use marijuana to treat their symptoms say they don’t want to risk signing up for the new medical marijuana program, because it makes them even more susceptible to prosecution for being found with marijuana in plant form. Typically, possession of small amounts of marijuana in Minnesota is a misdemeanor carrying no jail time and a $200 fine. But participants in the medical program are reportedly subject to their own particular penalties for making “false statements” about having the drug in plant form: they can be jailed for 90 days, fined $1,000 and expelled from the program. They face a much higher felony charge for submitting false records as part of the program.

“If I were to get into this program, and I get the oil and it’s way too powerful and then I decide to go back to leaf, I could be prosecuted,” Patrick McClellan told the Star Tribune. McClellan currently buys the plant illegally and vaporizes it to treat his muscular dystrophy.

He said he was worried he would get “stoned out of my mind,” adding, “Patients don’t want to be high. We just want to treat our symptoms.”

Minnesota appears to be the only state that has specifically ruled out smoking and possession of the plant. But state medical marijuana laws vary in a number of ways. Some allow for medical marijuana consumption, but make no explicit provision for dispensaries, which then operate on fuzzy legal footing. Some allow patients to grow their own marijuana, with a limit on the number of plants. Others like Minnesota limit the number of dispensaries, and the sorts of conditions.

The Star-Tribune notes that Minnesota’s law is particularly restrictive in these other areas too. While Minnesota will allow 8 dispensaries across the state, Illinois authorized 60 and Nevada 66.

Advocates say that this bill will help an estimated 5,000 patients in Minnesota, while an earlier more expansive version would have helped some 38,000. And some plan to protest the bill at Gov. Dayton’s office Friday. But Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana organization, hesitantly embraced the bill, dubbing it a first step on the path to a more comprehensive medical marijuana program as lawmakers increasingly embrace medical marijuana as a moderate political position.

“We’re looking forward to the day when policymakers boast that their state medical marijuana program will help patients the most rather than trying to adopt the most restrictive law in the country,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer.

The signing comes as the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to vote on an amendment that would exempt states with medical marijuana laws from federal prosecution.

2 years ago

Thanks for the update. 

2 years ago
NY is the "most progressive state" in the USA according to Governor Cuomo.  NY has no medical marijuana bill at all.  
2 years ago

Hey,did anyone else hear that monsato wants cannabis legalized?Know why?Because THEY want to control that too! I thin with medicine AND with our food,we need to grow our own or get it from people we know personally and trust.

2 years ago

But, here is the thing:  How did it come to pass that there has to be legislation to "allow" the use of marijuana or anything else anyway?  


Almost all legislation revolves around LIMITING our freedoms, or giving privledge to some at the expense of others.  A State is used by those that control it for their own purposes.  So, some will use legislation in the attempt to impose THEIR beliefs and "morality" on others.  Others claim to use the power of the State to address issues of "social justice".  In fact, both restrict the natural rights of others.  When a State is allowed to do such, powerful special interests will end up being empowered.


When Social Power is replaced by State Power it results in a reductiion in liberty and a decline of the subject society.  

2 years ago

Holly.  I have been trying to get out from under the control of the corporate state.  It is much harder than you might think.  It isn't just the taxes, much of which goes to things I do not condone.  There are restrictions and controls on nearly everything.  Especially water.  Even in areas that have a lot of rainfall, the government restricts the use.  Like anything else, it one is "important", ie a crony, you get what you want.  If one is not connected, then there is a long process.  Someone I know has been waiting for 8 years for an approval to use the well on his property for irrigation.  He was told 8 years ago that the well he was using for 30 years for light irrigation was only registered for "domestic" use.  


The government has multiple layers and even the people working for a county government cannot answer simple questions because they cannot figure what the multiple agencies at the state and federal level require.  


If one can hire a high priced connected legal firm to run through all the restrictions, regulations and such, then it becomes a faster and surer process.  But for the average person?  Nope.  

2 years ago

Congress just authorized  $18 Billions to build another 11 nuclear attack submarines.  Those were suppossed to be to conter the old Soviet missle subs most of which have been de commissioned.  The rest sre sitting in ports and semi mothballed.  The Chinese have all of three.  The USA has 70 nuclear attack submarines and another half a dozen being produced.  So why are another 11 being produced?  



2 years ago

hemp/pot became illegal as it was competing with paper and cotton. Couldn't have that

2 years ago

I heard, and maybe it's been posted already somewhere and I just haven't seen it, that the house of representatives finally passed some useful legislation. Supposedly, they have passed legislation that says the federal government can't go after medical marijuana in states that have it. Not sure on recreational use as I got this info second hand from husband. I've got to get more into email this morning to confirm what actually passed. I remember signing a Norml petition a couple of days that I believe had to do with this. Looks like it passed the house anyway. I can't imagine it wouldn't pass in the Senate. 

2 years ago

Hummingbird, you beat me to it, this sucks!!! And I fear will lead to Monsanto, big pharma, and cigarette companies to get the most out of the future of MM...was worried that they were going to try this grab, as soon as they saw the dollar signs, starting to flash...I hope we fight this trend, and nip it in the bud, pun intended! !

Thanks David, so sad.

2 years ago

Chile, I actually agree with you William Randolph Hearst was a big reason, paper competition for a tycoon? 

No way, demonize hemp, and it worked! 

2 years ago

Of course, we all know what Monsanto does to anything and everything they get their hands on right? They genetically modify it. I would never smoke reefer again if Monsanto got their hands on it. Cannabis growing needs to stay in the hands of the small mom and pop growers, so to speak and BigAg must be kept out. I fear that some of what is happening today, though, is leading toward corporate control. Why else would the "do nothing" congress pass anything that appears beneficial toward the cause.

2 years ago

Marlboro green was rolled out in Colorado, I don't think it was a big hit....they needed to patent the names og, kush, purples, not Acapulco gold and Panama red, they miscalculated! !

2 years ago

The state demonized pot using racism and fear.  If one looks closely, the state and those that control it, seek to create fear and division in the population to justify gathering more power.  The state exploits hatred and increases it all the while claiming it for the beneft of the people.  To "protect".   


In fact the state is a monopoly of "legal" force.  

2 years ago

From what I hear Cuomo's bill (NY STATE)is going to be as bad,,,involving hospitals and prescriptions from non-alternative ,green///meaning main stream doctors...........probably make you take pills or the spray they now make...sativex

compassion clubs have become a global thing for people with these type of prescriptions ,when they cannot get it the right way,like MM should be done like in Los Angelos.

Pot activists light up Minnesota ballot
2 years ago

In November, in a number of high-profile political races, voters will be able to choose between a Democrat, a Republican and a bunch of candidates who want to legalize marijuana for everyone.

Take the contest for governor. Don’t expect Gov. Mark Dayton, or any of his potential Republican opponents, to back a law that would make Minnesota like Colorado or Washington, the two states where citizens in 2012 voted to decriminalize pot. It’s still the rare prominent Democrat or Republican politician who will get behind a move like that, despite the growing number of states including Minnesota that now have medical marijuana laws.

But glance elsewhere around the gubernatorial ballot, and every other option is legal marijuana-friendly. Hannah Nicollet of the Independence Party supports legal pot, a stance recently incorporated into the official platform of Minnesota’s third major party. Libertarian candidate Chris Holbrook is also on board, and it’s probably not surprising that Chris Wright of the “Grassroots — Legalize Cannabis” (as it will appear on the ballot) party is a believer.

“I’m making a run this time because I really feel like marijuana seems to be the big topic this year,” said Wright, a computer repair shop owner from Edina who was also the Grassroots Party candidate for governor in 1998 and 2010.

The state attorney general race has even more marijuana flavor, if you look beyond the DFL and GOP choices. The IP’s Brandan Borgos is a Minneapolis attorney who once served as board chairman of Minnesota NORML, a pro-marijuana activist group. The Grassroots and the Libertarians are fielding pot-friendly candidates, and the Green Party candidate Andy Dawkins — a former Democrat — backs it too.

Except for those from the Independence Party, the other cannabis candidates all represent minor parties under the state’s definition. Wright got less than 1 percent of the vote both times he ran for governor. Libertarian and Green candidates rarely surpass a few percentage points, either. To qualify for major-party status, Minnesota requires that at least one statewide candidate from the party get more than 5 percent of the total vote in the most recent election.

But many legalization activists say that even if a pro-pot candidate finds it hard to win, having more candidates talking about the issue helps make mainstream voters more comfortable with it. Polls nationwide have shown support for legal pot inching up, particularly after the votes in Colorado and Washington.

“Marijuana policy is changing very rapidly, and attention to it is very much at the forefront right now,” Borgos said. “As far as the minor party candidates, I think they see the same thing I do: the opportunity to change peoples’ minds.”

Unlike Colorado and Washington, Minnesota has no initiative and referendum process that would allow citizens to force the issue with a statewide vote. Marijuana legalization would have to start in the Legislature, still a remote prospect in the face of opposition from law enforcement and other politically powerful interests.

Minnesota’s Grassroots Party was formed in the early ’80s, at a time when former President Ronald Reagan was starting up what came to be known as the “War on Drugs.” Activists then and ever since argued that effort, which led to many stricter state drug laws as well, resulted in overcrowded jails and inconsistent enforcement of drug laws that left minorities targeted at a higher rate than whites.

Legalization advocates also contend that regulated and taxed marijuana would be a boon to government treasuries, would help put drug cartels out of business and could even give Minnesota farmers a new cash crop.

“If you have a lot of candidates talking about these different aspects of legalization, you could potentially reach diverse parts of our state and community,” said Oliver Steinberg, a St. Paul retiree and a co-founder of the Grassroots Party who pronounced himself thrilled by the marijuana activism from other political parties.

Steinberg said pro-marijuana activists say they must constantly battle stereotypes about the kind of people who lobby for legal marijuana.

“We’re not a bunch of self-indulgent hedonists who just want to get stoned,” Steinberg said. “We’re talking about serious issues and planetary perspective.”

Full disclosure: I am the Lt.Governor candidate on the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis ticket

This post was modified from its original form on 21 Jun, 19:33
2 years ago

As I have evolved in the understanding of natural human rights, I went from being angry that the government would make things like pot a criminal offense to understanding that the government has no right to do so in the first place.
People that take rights from others including property rights and the right to do what one wishes with their own lives are the real criminals. But we are trapped when others support the governments use of force against people who have committed no crime. One needs to understand such things before the human race will live at peace with one another.

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