Medical marijuana bill has hazy future in Legislature

  • Updated: March 9, 2014 - 12:03 AM
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House Speaker Paul Thissen

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Medical marijuana faces a tough fight in the Minnesota Legislature, House Speaker Paul Thissen warned Friday.

Legislation that would make Minnesota the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana cleared one committee this week and heads to Government Operations next Tuesday. The bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana and allow patients to either pick up their prescriptions at a licensed marijuana dispensary or grow their own under lock and key.

But in its current form, the bill is unlikely to make it to the House floor, Thissen said. State law enforcement associations strongly oppose the bill, and Gov. Mark Dayton does not want to sign off on a law without law enforcement support. “What I want to get to is a bill that both law enforcement and the advocates of medical marijuana can support,” Thissen told reporters Friday.

Law enforcement groups worry that medical marijuana will make it into the wrong hands.

The medical marijuana debate pits law enforcement against patients and families seeking the drug to treat a host of debilitating conditions.

It might be possible, Thissen said, to reach a compromise that both sides can live with.

“We’ve been sitting down with law enforcement folks and the advocates a number of times and there has been some progress and movement together.” Thissen said.

JENNIFER BROOKS

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