Medical Marijuana bill clears hurdle in Minnesota House

By KBJR News 1

March 4, 2014 Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 1:23 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Seven-year-old Amelia was born a healthy girl.

"The first two and half years of her life were a dream come true. She was walking, talking, speaking in sentences counting to twenty, singing her ABCs," said Amelia's mom, Angie Weaver.

But that dream quickly turned into a nightmare for the family from Hibbing.

"Since then Amelia has had over a thousand seizures.," Weaver said. "At the age four she lost the ability to speak."

The family traveled to St. Paul Tuesday to plea with lawmakers to help their girl diagnosed with Dravet syndrome.

They say legalizing medicinal marijuana is the only cure.

"This form of medicinal marijuana is high in CBD and low in THC," Weaver said.

As Weaver addressed lawmakers her daughter suffered a seizure.

"She has 30 or more everyday," she stated.

Their story is one of dozens being shared as the Minnesota legislature considers the controversial measure already made legal in several other states.

Sue Sisley is an M.D. from Arizona where the law has been in the books for four years.

"We are a very conservative state. We were very nervous about this project, and we managed to embrace it," told lawmakers.

Embracing it, however, comes too late for Joni Whiting.

"There is nothing being done in this room today that will benefit my family or me," Whiting said.

Whiting's daughter died from skin cancer.

She says medicinal marijuana would have been key in lessening her daughter's pain before she passed.

"In retrospect I can tell you with conviction that I would have no problem going to jail for acquiring marijuana for my suffering child. The Law is unjust," she said.

Following several hours of testimony, the Health and Human Services Policy committee gave the green light to the bill (HF 1818) sending it to the Government Operations Committee.

The measure has been met with opposition from law enforcement agencies across the state.

A similar bill was vetoed in 2009 by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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