MN lawmakers, experts debate legalizing medical marijuana

By KBJR News 1

November 11, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 11:47 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Some Minnesota lawmakers are hoping the state could soon join 18 other states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The UMD Center for Ethics and Public Policy sponsored a panel discussion Monday night on the proposed law that would allow people to purchase small amounts of marijuana from non-profit dispensaries across the state, with a doctor's recommendation.

The Minnesota bill, introduced in St. Paul this spring, is being carried by Representative Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) and Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis)

Lawmakers and experts on both sides of the controversial issue weighed in at a packed house.

"It is currently illegal federally and it seems to me that we should have the discussion from a Federal perspective. Should it be a Schedule one drug or should it not be a schedule one drug," said Rep. Bob Barrett (R) who is opposed to legalizing medical marijuana.

"People will only be able to possess up to 2.5 ounces and it has to be a recommendation from their physician and there will only be one dispensary in each county," said Rep. Carly Melin (DFL).

The bill would place more than one dispensary in the Twin Cities.

A bill legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota was passed in 2009, but was vetoed by then Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Both the new House and Senate versions of the bills are expected to be brought up during the next session.

Kevin Jacobsen
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