The stage was set on Friday for Minnesota to become the 22nd state in the U.S. to decriminalized medical marijuana, after the Minnesota House voted 86-39 in its favor.
“This is the kind of legislation that we pass out of compassion,” said Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, who was chief House sponsor.
The newly-approved measure will govern the establishment of a medical marijuana distribution system that strictly controls who can qualify for the treatment, where the patient can obtain it, and how the drug can be used. Any attempts to expand the breadth of the measure were greeted with disapproval by pro-medical marijuana activists who wanted to draw support from medical fraternity and law enforcers.
The Senate and the House will now discuss together to draft a uniform measure. The House voted 28-97 against a more detailed version similar to the one that was approved by the Senate early this week. The Senate’s measure had authorized establishment of several distribution and grow sites, a lengthy list of conditions that qualify for treatment using medical marijuana, and permits vaporization of the leaf, reported the Star Tribune.
“I know some of you wish this bill would include more qualifying conditions or would be more expansive, and frankly so do I,” said Melin. “But it’s important we do not shut down an opportunity for thousands of Minnesotans, for something that will not become law this session.”
Governor Mark Dayton hinted that he will sign into law the final measure if it resembles the version that the House had voted in favor of.
The House’s debate, which was emotionally-charged and free of bile that characterises contentious issues, saw so lawmakers recount personal tales of struggle, pain and illnesses, causing some listeners and speakers to tear.
The proposals approved by the Senate and the House both forbid smoking the medical marijuana, though the House’s measure permits vaporizing the drug, though only in oil or pill form. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org