Minn Health Commissioner argues against legalizing medical marijuana

By KBJR News 1

Credit: MGN Online

Minn Health Commissioner argues against legalizing medical marijuana

April 10, 2014 Updated Apr 10, 2014 at 6:57 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A vote on a bill legalizing medical marijuana in the Senate will have to wait until lawmakers get back from spring recess.

The Senate Health and Human Services committee heard testimony from parents of sick children and patients Thursday morning on the measure.

The bill, authored by Senator Scott Dibble's (DFL-Minneapolis), removes home cultivation of marijuana for medical use and calls for tracking growth from seed to sale.

The state's health commissioner says the proposal, even with its changes, creates a risky shortcut for a substance of variable quality and strength.

"Knowing the significant variations and potency and quality how would they advise patients how to use cannabis. What's the recommend dosage? What are the side effects? Or potentially worrisome interactions with other medications they may be taking. What's even more troubling to me is this legislation bypasses significant part of doctor patient relationship," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, a pediatrician and state health commissioner."

Advocates say medical marijuana will help their sick children suffering from uncontrollable seizures.

The Senate panel will vote on the measure after their spring break.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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