Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has given the proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state after he accused the state Senate of sidestepping the issue.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee went over the bill today, but did not conduct a vote. Its Chairlady revealed that the committee will review the issue once again after returning from a two-week Easter break that begins this Friday. The senators will reconvene on April 22, reported the Kansas City Star.
The law will allow patients who have been certified as needing the drug to manage certain medical conditions to access it.
Dayton had earlier hesitated to give his support to the proposal, blaming clashing opinions from medical community besides opposition by law enforcement lobbyists. Two Minnesota cabinet officials-Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger- opposed the proposal in statements made at the Senate panel on Thursday.
However, Gov. Dayton has held sessions with parents of epileptic children who want to have their kids treated using cannabis oil extract (cannabidiol) as well as patients who rely on marijuana for treatment. He was moved and agreed to support state-financed study into the cannabis oil. So far, medical marijuana activists have been hesitant to back research until a legal framework is in place.
Gov. Dayton recently berated lawmakers for “hiding behind their desks” on the matter; In fact, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate Minneapolis Democrat Scott Dibble quipped that the remarks made him resolve to push the bill through the Senate. Rep. Carlyl Melin is sponsoring the bill in the House.
The Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill in 2009 that sought to legalize medical marijuana, which was vetoed by the former Governor Tim Pawlenty.
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