Medical marijuana bill passes Minnesota Senate

The Minnesota Senate today has passed the bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana, but not without a brief rehash of arguments that haven’t changed on either side over the last 10 years.

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, says the bill is the first step in legalizing drugs, and says it’ll be “a law enforcement nightmare.”

The bill passed 35-to-29, picking up two more votes in the Senate than in 2007, the first time a medical marijuana bill survived a full vote in either the Senate or House, and one vote fewer than a preliminary vote last week.

  • Jim Belich

    Shouldn’t the first question in this debate be whether or not marijuana has any medicinal benefits beyond existing treatments? I’ve yet to see any real evidence to this effect, which makes me skeptical. But if there are, then it does not seem to me to be much different from the many other drugs which are illegal to simply buy over the counter, but can be prescribed.

  • Bob

    All I can say is, about freaking time. Here’s hoping the bill gets all the way through.

  • MarkMartin

    There are many seriously ill patients who had given up hope of finding a medication that would help with their nausea, severe pain, MS, Glaucoma, etc. Only to find out as a last resort that cannabis gave them back some quaility of life. Anyone who wants to keep truly sick people from trying anything that might help them better pray that they never have a condition that mmj could treat. You might just come to regret being such a hard a*s if this bill doen’t come to pass.

  • 2pin

    This is a step of progress towards helping the seriously ill that can benefit for this wonder drug, and also towards our personal freedoms. Pawlenty will veto this unfortunately. But an override would be nice.

  • AJR

    Pawlenty must be overidden on this bill, its about time this State moves on with this stupid fear of Marijuana. People need to educate themselves, read the history of this plant and learn the truth for yourself.

  • troy mf tabor

    I agree with AJR on this. IT IS JUST A PLANT…. The only reason marijuana is even illegal is because of william randolph hearst and his logging/paper companies. hemp was a major source of paper producs rope clothing and etc. there was even huge farms of it all across the midwest. so he made up all those propaganda films such as reefer madness and the devils weed. he even had his papers falsify information to scare the public into thinking its some killer weed a devils smoke. but in all actuality ITS JUST A PLANT….. i am proud that minnesota is growing up…

  • crohnsguy

    Law enforcement has been doing anything BUT addressing the proposed law and has instead taken up the “war on drugs” at the expense of sick and dying people in MN. Tim Pawlenty needs to stop lending an ear to law enforcement on this issue. They have not provided any factual evidence that shows a rise in crime, accidents, or anything else relating to public safety in states where medical marijuana has been put into law. When Norm Stamper, former chief of police of Seattle testified in favor of this compassionate legislation and provided factual accounts about how teen use had dropped in Seattle, and that no problems had arisen as a result of their medical marijuana law, the law enforcement in attendance immediately went to task to try to discredit him. It was disgusting.

    Tim Pawlenty and law enforcement need to realize that Minnesotans are educated on this issue and support the medical use of marijuana. Fear and lies will not convince us otherwise. 13 states already have medical marijuana laws in place, and 10 states currently have legislation pending to add them to this growing list.

    Jim Belich- to address your comment above: the DEA controls research pertaining to cannabis. Their own law judge recently voted in favor of expanding research in America, but the Bush administration blocked this decision in one of their last actions in office. It is not that there is not an effort being made to further research. As a result, most studies which ARE proving the medical benefits of cannabis are taking place overseas in places like Israel. We are behind the rest of the world yet again because of the political policies and agendas in this country. The DEA certainly has a conflict of interest, and their blockage of research is not surprising in the least.

  • arthritisinmn

    I completely agree with Mark Martin. It is cruel to deny medical marijuana to chronically ill patients for whom it would provide relief from suffering.

    I was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis 3 years ago. Before that I had no health issues, and I was a successful lawyer. Now, I am always in pain. It hurts to make my kids a PB&J sandwich. I am on very strong drugs that cause serious side effects including nausea, migraines, inability to eat, and mental fogginess. I had to quit my job a year ago.

    Prior to becoming sick, I had no idea what it was like to be chronically ill. I didn’t know that chronic illness can rob you of any quality of life you once had.

    I hope and pray that Governor Pawlenty searches his heart to find sympathy for Minnesota’s chronically ill and suffering patients who could be helped by cannabis.

  • tim

    about time, and who gives a rats about the dea!!!

  • sj

    I being a cronically ill patient Know I can benefit from just from a quaility of life stand point needless to say the benefit from the nausea and hunger I can litterly go for day with out being able to even 7 up I admit I have been pro choice on this issue for years but It is even more critical now

    Tanks for listening and God Bless

  • question authority

    The only real solution to this issue is to decriminalize and regulate all Cannabis: Recreational, medicinal, and industrial. The benefits of doing this are far greater than any of the supposed “dangers” of the plant. As AJR and others have mentioned already, the only reason it is illegal is because of greed, government budget increases (look up Anslinger), and racisim. Let us not forget the horrors of this country’s history and the fact that we are still in many ways stuck in the past with our laws and regulations. I say legalize all Cannabis now! (by the way – it is one of the safest known substances on the planet – physically impossible to overdose from it! yet anyone 21 or older can buy enough alcohol at the liquor store to kill themsleves for under $20…)