Minn Senate approves bill legalizing medical marijuana

By KBJR News 1

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 6:37 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A bill legalizing medical marijuana was approved by the Senate in a 48 - 18 vote Tuesday.

The bill, authored by Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), allows sick children and adults to obtain medical marijuana in pill, liquid and vapor forms.

It also calls for a study, similar to what has been proposed by Governor Mark Dayton.

Lawmakers introduced and shot down several amendments, one of which would have required marijuana used for medical use to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

Another would have created the Therapeutic Research Act, an observational research study for children and adults with severe illnesses.

"What we want to do here is do an appropriate type of clinical trial so we can actually rely on this that our patients, our vulnerable patients have the greatest opportunity to have something that really does help and protect them from any unintentional ill meaning consequences," said Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake).

"There are risks and benefits with everything we do. Any procedure and prescription we get and our doctors talk to us about that. That's going to happen. So this repeated suggestion that that's not going to happen is simply not true," said Sen. Dibble.

That amendment failed in a 41 to 21 vote.

The therapeutic research amendment is similar to Representative Carly Melin's (DFL-Hibbing) bill which advanced in the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday morning.

The scaled-back proposal solely creates a program that would produce findings on the therapeutic use of medical marijuana on both children adults who sick. It would be offered in liquid and pill form.

According to the House, the Research Study will have a fiscal impact of $2.9 million in FY 14-15 and a total of $4.9 million over the next three years.

The Senate version, approved Tuesday, will now head to the House of Representatives.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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