MN Senate panel OKs medical marijuana bill, study

By KBJR News 1

April 25, 2014 Updated Apr 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - In a 7 to 3 vote Friday, the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee approved a bill legalizing medical marijuana along with a study delving further into the issue.

The author of the bill, Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), offered several changes to the bill Friday following the first part of the hearing, held prior to the Easter break.

The amendment includes a clearer definition of "usable cannabis." It also restricts use of medical marijuana on public transportation or in public places. It also says caregivers working with medical marijuana can't have disqualifying felony offenses.

Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) offered an amendment calling for a study of medical marijuana, similar to what was proposed by Governor Mark Dayton earlier this legislative session.

Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) said without a scientific study of medical marijuana, Minnesota could become the "Wild West of medicine."

The study would precede the authorization of the bill.

The measure now heads to the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

The House version of the bill stalled earlier this legislative session.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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