Minnesota senate voted on Tuesday in favor of a bill that legalizes medical marijuana for registered patients suffering certain conditions.
Senators approved the bill 48-18 in a bipartisan vote in a Democrat-packed legislature. The bill is vastly different from the one approved by the state House of Representatives who want to make the medical cannabis legal via a research study.
“In the name of compassion, the name of having access to something that can make a real difference for the better for some people,” said the Sen. Scott Dibble-Democrat, the sponsor of the bill when he urged his colleagues to approve the measure.
The medical marijuana will be eligible to patients suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe pain and several other conditions. The bill also seeks to license up to 55 medical marijuana dispensaries in Minnesota. Any other licensing and conditions will be set by the health commissioner, reported Reuters.
Patients will be allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of the drug at any particular time. The bill prohibits smoking the medical cannabis and states that the drug will be ingested in various ways such as oils, vaporization or pills.
The state House of Representatives wants Minnesota adults and children with various severe health conditions to participate in a medical marijuana study in liquid or pill form. 5,000 individuals are likely to participate in the research in the state, according to the state health department.
Nonetheless, the bill faced opposition in the Senate, with Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen-Republican expressing fears that “Minnesota was taking baby steps toward legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.” Ingebrigtsen, who is a former cop, backed his claim by saying Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana after earlier decriminalizing medical marijuana. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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