MINNESOTA: Legalization of medical marijuana has resurfaced in Minnesota, but supporters are considering a new approach for the 2014 session and the potential changes are winning the backing of some law enforcement groups. Legislation to decriminalize medical marijuana passed the Senate and the House in 2009, but was vetoed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault) recently declared that she would vote legislation to legalize medical marijuana down if it came up, although she and other local legislators noted that a bill was unlikely in this short session.
“I think everyone’s concern is whether it will be used medically or as a gateway for recreational use,” said Dr. David McIntyre, M.D., a family physician at Allina Clinic in Faribault. “It helps with end of life issues and nausea and pain related to chemotherapy. The fear is that people will come in with a note from their doctor saying their back hurts to get a medical marijuana prescription. If we consider the sales and abuse of prescription narcotics now, I don’t think medical marijuana would be any worse than what is currently on the streets. You could make a pretty good argument on both sides.”