Should medicinal marijuana be legal in Minnesota?

A bill outlining how Minnesota could regulate medicinal marijuana is sparking debate in St Paul. This bill, brought forward by Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, addresses some of the problems medical marijuana has encountered in 18 other states.

Melin said her bill “strikes the appropriate balance between compassion, health and safety.”

Key provisions:

  • Patients who are prescribed the drug would have to get a special identification card, which would carry a fee ranging from $25 to $100.
  • Card-carrying patients would be allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time.
  • Qualifying debilitating medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other serious illnesses.

Gov. Mark Dayton is opposed to relaxing marijuana laws.

Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Lindstrom, said this bill will encourage recreational drug use, “The legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota would only serve to make this gateway drug more accessible to our younger populations.”

Today’s Question: Should medicinal marijuana be legal in Minnesota?

  • No, medical marijuanna should not be legal in Minnesota. Marijuanna should be legal and taxed in Minnesota. Let it pay for our wonderful sports teams.

  • Steve the Cynic

    The legislature shouldn’t bother with medical marijuana. The tide of public opinion is turning, so that in a few short years politicians will be able to openly support outright legalization. At that point, all the trouble we’ll have taken to make a medical marijuana system work will be effectively wasted. Instead, we should be laying the groundwork for regulation and taxation of legal cannabis.

  • Susanna

    Yes it should be legalized, in fact marijuana should be legal period. People would not have to be prosecuted for such a minor, and basically harmless thing as marijuana.
    FYI: It helped tremendously when I had to do chemotherapy. I could eat!

  • While I agree with everyone else that marijuana should be legal for recreational purposes, I also realize these things are usually done in steps. Let’s take that first step to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes so we can all see that the world does not come to an end. The biggest obstacles are the local police forces, who look at keeping marijuana illegal as job security.

    • Steve the Cynic

      Opposition to legalization comes from police unions, the prison-industrial complex, organized crime interests, big pharma, the liquor industry, industries facing competition from industrial hemp, racists who support the “New Jim Crow,” and otherwise well-intentioned people who think prohibition of relatively harmless mind-altering substances is a good idea.

      • KTN

        The one industry not fighting legalization is big tobacco. They have the capacity to grow, they have incredible distribution systems, everything about marijuana fits in their business model. “give me a pack of smokes” might have a different meaning in a few years.

  • bob hicks

    Not a believer in making smoking of anything more widespread. Health care costs related to tobacco smoking are already high enough. But am totally o.k. with THC in pill form being generally legal and taxable.

    • Michelle

      There are no health care costs related to smoking cannabis. There are far more cleaner ways of consuming medical cannabis than smoking it, juicing it is among the best, still smoking it is far less harmful than any other problems that can arise from tobacco. Once cannabis is no longer illegal other forms will be more economical to utilize such as a form of juicing or edible.

      • Michelle

        Geez, if you disagree I’d really like to hear why.

        If you do the research, you’ll discover that I’m telling the truth. I’m open to compelling research and data however.

        • Steve the Cynic

          Smoke of any kind is bad for your lungs, duh. Even if it’s not, smoking in the presence of others who don’t like the smell is rude.

          • Michelle

            Duh?
            Even if it’s not?

            eating in front of someone else who’s not once was considered rude.

            food is medicine.

            “laughter is the best medicine” it’s been said.

            perhaps we should just take care to medicate mindfully.

            $teve, I should think of you as a $hill (for those braking full legalization) from now on. You sorely disappoint me.

          • Craig

            We don’t need to legalize it, we just need to end the prohibition of cannabis. We don’t have to legalize camomile, mint or strawberries do we?

          • Steve the Cynic

            What disappoints you is that I’m apparently not a rigid ideologue on your side of this issue. I favor legalization as a practical measure, because prohibition does more harm than good. I reject the hype of pro-cannabis zealots who keep trying to persuade me that the Herb will somehow be a panacea for all our social ills. It’s your ideology that makes you willing to believe that cannabis smoke is somehow (magically?) harmless to the lungs, when every other kind of smoke is demonstrably harmful. And second-hand smoke of any kind is harmful to people with asthma or COPD. When it’s legal and I can buy some without supporting organized crime, I plan to experiment with it, but not by smoking it.

          • John

            Steve, if a friend who grew it on his own land for personal use only [not for sale] were to share it with you would you experiment? Have you? Or are you talking from a virgin’s point of view?

          • Steve the Cynic

            Why, are you offering some? 😉 I’m not sure. If I accepted such a gift, my hypothetical friend would still be violating the law by “distributing,” I think, and I wouldn’t want to put a friend in that position. You are right that I haven’t tried it. In my younger days, I didn’t experiment with it because I had too much to lose if I got caught. Now I’m willing to wait until I can do so without having to hide it. And when I try it, it will be because I want to, not to prove a point to anyone.

          • John

            In the words of the larvals “you can be forgiven then”. In my opinion, you’re going to find it difficult to see how freakin brainwashed you are until after you’ve gotten high on your own free will as a human being and not as a cow towing citizen of a corporate-fascist culture.

            There was a time when greedy men did not declare a plant “forbidden”, there will be a time when the ignorant become wise.

            I will be that hypothetical friend in due time.

          • Steve the Cynic

            As bad as this corporate plutocracy is, it’s not fascism. Look it up. (And btw, the word is kowtow, Chinese, as I understand it, roughly translated as “grovel.”)

          • John

            kòu tóu means to knock your head on the floor.
            I’d say it’s a fascist plutocracy. but then again on second thought we both know that stupidity overrules intended conspiracy don’t we?

          • Steve the Cynic

            There being no dictator and no ideology of nationalist solidarity in corporate capitalism, it’s not fascist. If you insist that it is, your rhetoric is no more valid than Tea Partiers who call Obama a Marxist. Unless you’re going to claim the right to redefine words to suit your own purposes…..

          • John

            Ok, maybe those that would impose a NWO are not fascist. Just greedy, mean and stupid. Traits are similar tho.

  • Mike

    Marijuana should be fully legalized, not just for medical use. Alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana and yet it’s legal. We’ve proven that prohibition simply does not work. Criminalizing it only servers to bolster our prison population, which is by far the largest in the world, primarily for that very reason.

  • David P.

    It does not make sense that a Doctor can prescribe opiates and chemicals that are significantly more intoxicating and subject to abuse, yet marijuana is prohibited. The decision as to what is an appropriate therapy should be between the Doctor and the Patient. Politicians should not practice medicine, especially on a patient they have never examined.

  • Paul B.

    Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Lindstrom, said “The legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota would only serve to make this gateway drug more accessible to our younger populations.”

    I feel for everyone whose children, other relatives, and friends suffer from substance abuse, including marijuana.

    My own recent concern has been tending to my sick mother-in-law.

    She battled cancer with powerful medications that left her constantly nauseated. She could not eat and eventually became too weak to continue her treatments and developed wasting disease, cachexia. All along she continued trying to eat for but that always made her feel worse, grew weaker and weaker, and eventually died.

    I am certain she would have been able to eat better, remained stronger, and lived longer if she had access to marijuana.

    I wanted her to try marijuana which she wanted as well, but I failed to find it for her. Not knowing anyone who uses it, I tried to email and call local medical marijuana advocacy organizations but never heard back from them.

    Because medical marijuana is illegal I felt uncomfortable broaching its subject with others. Because it is illegal she herself did not discuss it with her family doctor. Her oncologist recommended it but could not help to procure it.

    I wonder what how things might have progressed had medical marijuana been available last fall as this unfolded.

    • Steve the Cynic

      What folks like Rep.Barrett don’t understand is that the “gateway” effect of cannabis is entirely due to its being illegal. The first time a young person does something illegal, there’s some trepidation. After one gets used to any prohibited behavior, it becomes psychologically easier to experiment with other illegal activities. If only truly dangerous drugs were prohibited (meth, heroin, etc.), then cannabis would no longer be a gateway drug.

      • Amy

        I think sugar is a gateway drug.

  • Craig

    While I agree with legalization in principle, it is not exactly the same as alcohol because of the potential for a “contact high.” I have never tried marijuana, but remember as a teen attending a rock concert, smelling it strongly, then naively driving home in what I now realize was probably an intoxicated state. If it will be legal, the second hand smoke problem should be addressed.

    • Timothy

      My guess is the effects of the rock concert could have been strong enough to have sent you home in that state. Exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness have shown me that one doesn’t have to take a chemical or an herb to shift ones consciousness… music, crowds, new settings and vistas, new thoughts and philosophy can all contribute and send one walking or driving home in quite an altered state (at any age).

      • Craig

        I can see from your subjunctive pleonasm you are trying to tread lightly, but I think your guess is a rationalization.

        • Timothy

          It’s just that I’ve been there myself Craig,years before I ever intentionally took a substance that altered my consciousness.
          Heck, kissing and making out it was quite intoxicating to my pleasant surprise.

    • Doubtful that you would have felt any sort of negative affects from second hand THC. I know I drove high once, I thought I was flying down the highway well over the speed limit…I looked down and I was going 5 mph under the limit. That was probably the most paranoid and cautious driving I’ve ever done…I would not call it unsafe by any means.

      • Craig

        It sounds like you think you drive more safely when you are high. I am a non-user in favor of legalization because of the potential reduction in crime, but your attitude toward mixing cars and marijuana is terrifying.

        • MADD

          Mixing cars with alcohol, that’s what’s terrifying … and maddening.

        • So you’ve never done THC but you judge someone else? How do you know what it even feels like? If I could compare it to anything it’s like when you have 2 or 3 beers and you feel a slight buzz…no loss of reflexes or decrease in functionality. It was not the smartest thing but it was about 10 years ago back in college and I still say it’s safer than riding in a car with a driver who has recently taken pain killers.

          • Craig

            There seems to be a perception by you and others that driving while high is either equivalent to sober driving or within the functional bounds of the legal blood alcohol limit. I doubt this to be the case, but am open to the results of valid research. However, your attempt at minimization via a false choice does your argument no favors, as it sounds like you are trying to convince yourself, not me.

    • david

      If smoking cigarettes are illegal in any public building then the same will be true for pot.

    • Max

      Unless you were locked in a steamer trunk with someone who is smoking pot, you are not going to get high from second hand smoke. Contact high is a myth.

      • Craig

        To elaborate on the event, the smoke was very thick, in fact I think those sitting behind us may have decided it would be funny to “bake the high-schoolers”, and proceeded to do so for the duration of the concert. I had no frame of reference for the smell and failed to recognize the risk. Then I drove home.

        • Jeremiah

          It may have been bewildering but it probably wasn’t all that dangerous, not as much as so many other things both electronic and childlike in distractibility terms.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzKjFiGFrcU

          • Craig

            I find it hard to believe driving skill is not impaired, but at this point I would rather hear MPR gather experts and do a show than debate the point ad hoc. Given the number of commenters gainsaying the risks or at least up-voting those comments, they might serve the public well by exploring the question?

          • Jeremiah

            I’d love it if MPR/NPR would gather experts and evidence on the matter. Being high on cannabis and driving is far safer than driving under many other distractions and influences.

          • Steve the Cynic

            But it’s still more dangerous than driving while completely sober, isn’t it?

          • Jeremiah

            Is it? That may depend on the dosage. One puff, one bowl …

            Remember this is not the same as alcohol or caffeine. There is an awareness factor that figures in and I’d love to see a study that shows comparitively with caffeine’s influence.

            At smaller doses driving seems to improve with cannabis.

  • Margaret

    Should any of the other innumerable non-toxic, medicinal herbs and spices from the bulk sections of co-ops and health food stores be sold for that matter??

    • Steve the Cynic

      Such as what?

      • Margaret

        camomile, mint, green tea … there are dozens of Jars of herbs and spices at the Seward co op that can enhance your life or make you sick if you use them in certain ways. all of them should remain legal, we just need to learn how to use them.

        consider what you can get at a hardware store, education of tools and assists are of great importance in this day and age.

        take a look for yourself Steve

        • Janice

          You can even get bulk herbs from Rainbow and Cub, I’ll report next time I shop there. At the tea shop and smoke shops I can get more than enough to make me sick as well as to make me feel like life is a joy to be lived to the fullest.

        • Steve the Cynic

          I’m having trouble understanding the point you’re trying to make. No one is arguing that any of those things should be restricted. If you’re saying cannabis is just as safe as camomile, mint, or green tea, you’ll have a hard time convincing most folks. Your case would be better made if you compared it with the safety of OTC drugs with demonstrable risks.

          • Margaret

            I was just at the Seward co op and counted over 250 jars of herbs and spices, over 50 were labeled medicinal herbs and another 30+ were drinking tea blends. A number of those herbs and spices are toxic if consumed improperly at the amount that one could purchase. Cannabis, even bought in bulk from a herb/spice jar cannot be consumed in a toxic amount.

          • Steve the Cynic

            Anything can be consumed in a toxic amount, even water. And if they were labeled “medicinal,” did they have FDA approval for that? If not, what does “medicinal” mean?

          • Margaret

            Show me anyone who could consume a toxic amount of cannabis, it probably would be easier to consume a toxic amount of water.
            I didn’t see an FDA approval for the label titled “Medicinal Herbs” on the section of shelves containing those 56+ jars of bulk “medicinal” herbs.

            It seems that people think cannabis is illegal because it was thought to be dangerous to the individual and to society. Why do you think it was made illegal (and underwent a radical name change that Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Lincoln wouldn’t recognize)?

          • Margaret

            “Medicinal” means having healing properties, the ability to aid in bringing about health, wholeness and wellbeing.

          • Steve the Cynic

            Is there clinical evidence for those “medicinal” properties? Or is “medicinal” like “natural,” an adspeak word with no definite meaning? Excuse my skepticism; I find it to be helpful in most cases.

          • KTN

            There is no toxic level for THC. If you attempted to smoke your self to death, you would go to sleep well before you got anywhere near a toxic dose (and your lungs would hurt too).

          • Steve the Cynic

            So, it is bad for your lungs. I suspect it would be possible to eat a lethal dose, since it’s slower acting that way and you could take it in faster.

          • KTN

            Since in the history of the world, no one has died from an overdose, there is no benchmark. Again, if you tried to eat yourself to death, you would be very full, and sleepy, but not dead.

  • Chris

    Marijuana should be completely legalized.

  • Chris

    Yes, it should be legalized.

  • Riley

    Absolutely, yes.

  • Jerry Baustian

    Why pretend that only those with a medical need should have ready access to marijuana? Make it legal for everyone, now.

  • david

    Of course it should, but not just for medical use. I have found there to be only two types of people against marijuana legalization, losers who did it and couldn’t handle it, and closed minded losers who never even tried it.

    • Craig

      Hear, hear!!

  • Bruce

    Minnesota Public Radio, could you keep some sense of racial cultural dignity? What if one were to ask if there should be Negro nurses or Mexican-Indian doctors? The use of the word “marijuana/marihuana” perpetuates a racist lie. Until it was illegally and unconstitutionally criminalized, and slandered through yellow journalism, it was referred to as “hemp”, “cannabis” or “ganja”.

    and yes,
    it should be as legal as any other plant or herb that we can grow in our gardens and fields … for medicine food recreation and every other good purpose!

    • Steve the Cynic

      That’s one theory about the etymology of the word, but even if it’s correct, it’s irrelevant to current usage. Most folks who refer to cannabis as marijuana are unaware of that supposed background of the word and have nothing racist in mind when they use it. I don’t hear “marijuana” as in any sense pejorative compared with “cannabis.” But I do know that when you cast aspersions on those who disagree with you (e.g., accusing them of perpetuating a racist lie) you make it psychologically hard for them to change their minds and come around to your position. The cause of cannabis legalization is ill served by repeating that factoid.

      • Bruce

        It seems that certain phrases and words especially under a hundred years old maybe worth investigating or would you say we’ve always just ended up “calling a spade a spade”?

        At the Hennepin County courthouse in November of 2011 at the OccupyMn event I had the honor to have spoken with a Vet well into his years who remembered when the term was changed from “hemp” to “marihuana”. To him it wasn’t a trivial thing and it had a great and negative impact on our country regarding personal freedoms and race perception. He also remembered the hypocritical “Hemp for Victory” propaganda for World War II. There were many things he had to say about America but that was one things that confused him the most.

  • James

    Yes. Absolutely.
    My company supplies equipment to greenhouses. In every state and province that has made marijuana use less restricted there has been a greenhouse building boom that has benefited us significantly.

    Let’s get it done. We need the jobs!

  • Ann M

    The abuse of alcohol, legal drugs, and illegal drugs is the problem.From what I understand, the abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in high schools.So abuse of drugs is the issue that legislators should address. Also, there should be a way to give people with cancer whatever is best for their pain and discomfort.The legislators shouldn’t even have to be involved in deciding on pain and nausea medication.

  • Of course

  • KTN

    Of course it should be legalized,

  • Sue de Nim

    One problem with “medical marijuana” is that it’s hard to control the dosage when you’re dealing with an herb instead of a chemical compound. There’s a reason physicians prescribe a certain amount of morphine instead of a vague amount of poppy juice. If you’re going to call it “medicinal,” it should be THC in pill form. I think we should legalize cannabis for all the reasons stated by others here, but if it’s going to be used as medicine, it should be the drug itself, not the herb.

    • I agree. However, that is already common place. Your misconception is that medical marijuana is only smoked. (that is the majority of recreational users, and a few valid medicinal reasons). Most dispensaries offer hash oil in both oil and pill form, with more exact concentrations of the chemicals listed in percentages on the side of the container. However, curiously enough – people with certain disorders like epilepsy – need to inhale it. It crosses the blood brain barrier faster and is the best way to stop a seizure with cannabis.

      Also – “medicine” has become out of the reach of insulated urban people because they have been conditioned by a “service” society where nobody can provide their own anything, but only provide expertise to others. Basic medicine – from minor pain relief to dermatological care – does not need to be more than herbal – we just complicate it. In 10000 years, we have not improved the Aloe Vera plant, and most lotions that use it – use it in more or less unmodified form mixed with perfumes. There is still no substitute for breaking a piece off and rubbing on a sunburn. Cannabis is in a similar category. The active ingredient THC – is good for some things, CBD and CBL good for others, along with other cannabinoid compounds that when separated from THC, loose their cumulative effects.

      • Sue de Nim

        I was not unaware of those alternate ways of dispensing the drug. All I’m saying is that if it’s going to be “medicine,” it should be in a form where the dosage could be more controlled than with smoke, or tea, or brownies.

        • Vernon

          Besides the fact that the pharmaceutical excludes most of the other benificial compounds, what a pill can deliver is too macro of an increment to be compared to the immediate effects of micro doses from vapor puffs.

        • Les

          “There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I’ve never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of he parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
          — Carl Sagan
          http://marijuana-uses.com/mr-x/

    • Riley

      The issue with the pill is it is NOT natural THC it is synthetic. Not only that yes THC is one of the more active cannabinoids in Cannabis but there are over sixty other cannabinoids in Cannabis that is not in Marinol. And tolerances for Cannabis dosages vary from person to person as well as the fact that overdosing on Cannabis does not have the same serve effects as pills.

      • Sue de Nim

        That highlights another problem with the “medical marijuana” movement. Opponents of recreational cannabis rightly see it as a ruse to take a step toward legalization. In order to argue that it’s “medicinal” in its natural form, you have to say something about the combination of chemical compounds being more effective than the pure form. It’s more intellectually honest to simply make the case that there’s no good reason for it to be illegal, and that the prohibition is causing too many social problems.

        • Sunden

          A bottle of resveratrol vs a glass of red wine? Or a dried pill of synthetic caffeine instead of a cup of fresh coffee? Fresh salmon vs a bunch of rancid fishoil softgels? There are arguments for both, but please don’t say holistic thought is dishonest.

        • William

          That’s true, there is no good reason for Cannabis/hemp to be illegal, and that the prohibition is causing too many social (& other) problems.

    • Sunden

      Doctors don’t have magical control over complex biological systems like an engineer writing simple code for a computer. Yes, Big Pharma tends to control well from batch to batch for the amount of active ingredients, but even generics vary considerably from the original. Also, our bodies tend to be moving targets: one year a cup of coffee gives us 24 hour insomnia, in a different year we might sleep well with two. Just like with coffee, I suspect people who use cannabis rapidly become experts in dosage, medicinal or otherwise (unless they’re judgement impaired). Patients probably can fine tune their use for appetite control better than a doctor with a pill.

      • Sue de Nim

        I didn’t say they do have “magical control.” But for medicine, it’s better if you can know exactly how much of the active ingredient you’re getting, so that at the next dose you can control whether you’re getting more or less or the same amount. That’s true even for OTC meds with no doc involved.

        • Amy

          One of the best things about cannabis is that it is impossible to overdose. No deaths have ever been attributed to an overdose of THC. You use enough to get you where you need to be and that’s that. Unlike pills, which can easily be overdosed on, and i imagine a THC pill could contain an insane amount of “the drug.” Mama Nature knows what she’s doing. How people even consider banning marijuana is beyond me- you’re banning a blessing from the gods as far as i’m concerned. What a bunch of dummies.

    • Jim

      Cannabis is a food.
      Food is medicine.

    • Amy

      Wow. Do you have any idea where medicine comes from? Plants, herbs! I am astounded at the magnificent ignorance displayed here! Marijuana is the one herb with more medicinal qualities than any other, and this is precisely why it’s illegal! Read The Emperor Wears No Clothes at http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/ and get get informed. Or keep popping your pills and see what happens. Either way- the CHOICE is (or should be) YOURS.

    • Yep, you need to make sure that you’re only allowed to be taking proprietary, patented drugs that come with a 35,000% markup over cost and multiple $200 doctor visits and insurance claims. “Ask your doctor about Damm-ittall.” When you bought into the lies about dosage control and medicines should only pharmaceutical pills, you bought the advertising big Pharma was selling.

  • Les

    “There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I’ve never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of he parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
    — Carl Sagan

  • Ådne Aschehoug Aadnesen

    Gov.Mark Dayton should learn to relax,and be a gov.FOR the people,not against them.
    Maybe a vacation would do him good.

  • Of course medical marijuana should be legalized in the state of Minnesota… heck, I’d go as far as saying recreational use should be accepted anywhere as we all know that the risks of marijuana use are far less severe than the actual risks of tobacco use and alcohol use.

    Taxing a new crop that has many uses, itself, may actually end up saving the state in the long run! Not to mention, creating a legal use for marijuana will more than likely lessen the load of users that are jailed for such a thing!

  • Consideration of

    Recent news the younger Boston Bomber used cannabis “more than most his age” while he fell into a kind of social isolation that made him susceptible to his brother’s extremism is troubling. What should society do with those who cannot self-regulate their use of this drug? What are the true dimensions of this problem? Because medical use of this drug will no doubt lead to a certain amount of abuse, of the kind associated with recreational use. That is inevitable.

    Finally, where can we get a fair appraisal of the drug’s ill effects that isn’t fraught with politics and a history of racial bias?

    • Amy

      Marijuana is not the “reason” the Boston Bomber did what he did. People can be addicted to anything if they choose to obsess over it and over-indulge constantly for long periods of time. People over-eat, over-sleep. Should we outlaw food? Make sleeping a crime? These reasons are just so ridiculous. People with mental illness are not going to be cured with marijuana or with any drug. Just because someone made poor life choices and happen to smoke marijuana does not mean it is the marijuana’s fault. I am just sick and tired of ignorance and of the lack of compassion for those who need relief for their chronic pain. If you got cancer and marijuana is the only thing that helps you with nausea so that you can eat food and gave you relief for your extreme pain, and a bunch of jerks who had no reason but that in their opinion it’s “wrong” or “bad” because they have been brainwashed into believing that (Reefer Madness anyone?), you would be pissed. It would be a wise and compassionate move to legalize it. Anything else is just criminal. Just because the laws are unjust is not a good reason to be thrown in jail when you are harming none. Do what though will and may it harm none. Victimless crimes are not crimes and we need to start loving each other as human beings and stop judging people for having a plant that grows from our precious Earth.

      • Consideration of

        Amy, I’m not anti-cannabis, at all. Just taking pause after these facts came out about the younger Boston Bomber. One should be careful and circumspect when changing important policy. But certainly cannabis is far less dangerous than religion in the case of Boston!

        I do hope you can find a source for cannabis to treat your ailments.

    • It’s hard to get a fair appraisal of the ill effects because cannabis because so few seem to actually exist, even though many, many have been fabricated and then then later debunked. This causes so much confusion about how it actually works that sometimes it hard to know where lies end and truth begins.
      The usual plug that cannabis somehow causes mental illnesses like schizophrenia has been shown to be untrue, as the rates of mental illness in the general population has never been shown to increase or decrease as the rate of cannabis use fluctuates. This is usually attributed to mentally ill people trying marijuana, realizing they get a benefit, and may decide to continue using it, thus causing the marijuana using population to have a generally larger ratio of mentally ill individuals.
      One recent study has come out showing that heavy, prolonged marijuana use among young people (think 12 or so) leads to long term lowering of IQ. So there is one negative effect. It’s barely worth mentioning, in this medical conversation, though. The last statistics I saw placed 12 years polling at some number less than 1% saying they had even used cannabis in the last month or so. It didn’t ask about heavy use.
      * I don’t have the citations for that study or poll, but a quick google search should yield results.
      One thing to keep in mind. No has overdosed on marijuana in all of human history and it generally agreed by the medical profession that cannabis is far, far safer and less addictive than either alcohol or tobacco – the two most socially costly and deadly drugs available. I mean we parade booze around at superbowls and celebrate it like a hero – so you kind of have to look at this with an Orwellian perspective to have it make any sense.

      • Consideration of

        Very thoughtful reply. Thank you. One should keep in mind policy alternatives when judging a change, as well as relative costs rather than absolute costs.

  • I find it hilarious that Cigarettes are legal in all state and countries and cause monumental damage to your health while marijuana is illegal in 48 states and causes little to no harm to your health but in fact is beneficial to your mental and physical health

  • Amy

    It should definitely be legalized. Only an ignorant, un/ill-informed person would disagree with this. I agree with everyone who has posted in re: to medicinal value as well as benefits for the mind and body. People have lost their parental rights simply because they used marijuana for mental and physical pain, and that is just wrong. If they are concerned about people abusing their kids, they should consider that parents are way more likely to be abusive when under huge amounts of stress, and marijuana provides relief for stress and anxiety, so the laws are counter-productive when people are penalized (or worse) for using a natural and safe herb (yes, that’s what marijuana is!) for there own personal use while harming none- not even themselves. I suffer from chronic migraines and have experience some sever trauma in my life, and medical marijuana would benefit me and others with similar health issues safely and effectively without the terrible side effects (including death) of other prescription “medicines.” Medicine shouldn’t kill you, and no deaths have ever been attributed to a marijuana overdose. So what are they (anti-medical marijuana “activists” so gosh darn worried about? All this crap about crime is bs. Talk to the guys at LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and you will find that many- in fact the majority- of the police in the U.S. are in favor of medical marijuana being legal. It just shouldn’t even be an issue, and not to mention that legalizing it (let’s push for recreational use too- it is safer than tobacco and alcohol!) would greatly improve MN’s economy. When will politicians wake up and start voting for the people instead of Big Pharma?! It is infuriating. I’m sick of excuses. People need to educate themselves about the real dangers of drugs and stop trying to outlaw nature! Mother Earth does not approve. Even Jesus said to “use all the seed-bearing herbs for their intended purpose. Aargh. Dayton should seriously reconsider his stance, or he might lose his job next time around.

    • Sue de Nim

      I can’t find that saying of Jesus in my Bible. Or did you have some other Jesus in mind than the Nazarene?

    • I have written Dayton twice on this issue, requested a reply from his office both times and both times I have heard nothing in return. If Republicans got together and pushed this legalization thing, they could finally win on a social issue that younger voters wouldn’t hate them for supporting. They could use that ‘Personal Liberty’ thing the libertarians love as cover and take some seats and maybe the governorship from the Democrats. Dayton is selling the Democrats up the river if he refuses to get behind these measures.

  • dalton

    yes

  • Jens

    Its time to evolve. Yes

  • OldRN

    Decades working in Detox showed me that cannabis by every measure is safer recreational choice than alcohol. Decades as RN showed me medical uses for chronic pain, MS Spasm, PTSD, Nausea are all as good or better and safer than RX options. Gateway drug…ha old 1930s era lies still float to the top of the pond of mis-information. Prohibition is a trillion dollar failure.

  • Yea, it should. Compared to many pharmaceuticals, cannabis has virtually no negative side effects, that you have to buy another drug to treat. There is also no amount of THC that a person could physically consume that could kill them – you can’t overdose! Can we say that about oxycontin, xanax, ambien, darvocet,… need I continue?
    The concerns about increased addiction are usually overblown or fail to mention that is among the least addictive of drugs, with alcohol, a large range of pharmaceuticals and tobacco being far, far more addictive.
    The range of illnesses that can be treated with cannabis range from caners to nerve diseases to eye disorders to chronic pain to PTSD and depression and more. You’ll see why they only want it to keep it only for pretty uncommon, debilitating illnesses next.
    Golly, I can’t imagine why there would be such firm push back from Dayton on this, being the corporatist democrat he is. (that was sarcasm) Legalized medical cannabis can take a large chunk of the market share for illness treatment away from pharmaceutical, medical technology companies, and other related market places – scariest of all for them, they can’t patent the source material because it’s a weed. How many of Dayton’s donors might come from that line of work and how many lobbyists from that sector visit? I’m sure there’s a few, with more money than you or I have.
    This would also render the smell of marijuana no longer acceptable as probable cause to search where the police are concerned. This worries police unions, as potential busts and seizures decreasing may cause those budget-boosting, Federal Anti-Drug grants to decrease. Dayton has publicly made it known that he is totally beholden to the police agencies and unions on this issue. And somehow that’s interpreted as being courageous. If you gave NORML a lobbying budget the size of all of it’s opponents’ (think many $billions), cannabis would be legal and subsidized and paraded around on television as a national symbol. Politicians, go figure…

  • seabourne

    Raphael Mechoulem, discovered THC in 1964, the endocannabinoid system in 1987, states, “There is barely a biological or physiological system in our bodies in which the endocannabinoids do not participate”.

    Our bodies run on cannabinoids, some people don’t produce enough, like a diabetic with insulin. The ECS is a regulator of physiological functions in the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine network, the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive system, in microcirculation, and the cytokine network, the source of inflammation and the cause of nearly if not all disease. Science is learning that the cytokine network is also the cause of most if not all, mental health issues and disorders such as Autism. We also know cannabinoids kill cancer.

    The FDA regulates patented medicine. The DEA’s criteria for any any controlled substance schedule change is based upon having available studies displaying identical for a control group, knowing well they stand on the fact they have never allowed the studies to be done. However, the fact that science shows the body’s need and use of cannabinoids for nearly every biological function clearly demonstrates they are maintaining the status quo — creating patients.

    While we are a capitalist society, to create diseases for an industry to feed on by maintaining an illegal status of a plant that science has proven repeatedly to be a necessity for homeostasis is unacceptable by any government.

  • Yes, Legalize it and take it out of Black Market Dealers Hands!

    Educate share with your friends & family!
    New studies show that smoked Marijuana does not cause any forms of lung cancer, and that the THC in Marijuana is anti-cancerous and has the potential to cure cancer…
    1,500 Americans die every day from cancer.
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=THC+cures+cancer
    “The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” – Harvard University
    “The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.” – National Cancer Institute
    Marijuana cures cancer — US government has known since 1974:
    The Federal Government of the United States has funded several studies on Cannabis and the active components in Marijuana, which have repeatedly discovered Cannabis’ Anti-Tumor properties. A couple of these studies include one conducted in the early 1970’s showing a reduction in the spread of various cancers injected into lab rats. In 2006 a study aiming to find the link between Marijuana smoking and cancer concluded that there is no evidence of any kind of causal link between the two, with even some suggestion of preventive qualities.
    New research shows that marijuana components fight an aggressive form of brain cancer. And the media says — nothing, again. Combining the two most common cannabinoid compounds in Cannabis may boost the effectiveness of treatments to inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells and increase the number of brain cancer cells that die off. That’s the finding of a new study published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Marijuana components have been found to inhibit the growth of the most common, and aggressive form of brain tumor, a glioblastoma, according to a study published in the January 6 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. The study was done at the California Pacific Medical Center by researchers who combined a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijauna, cannabidiol (CBD), with ?9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (?9-THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis. The findings demonstrated the inhibitory effect of these two ingredients on brain cancer cells when used together.

  • GEE… I seem to remember Dayton on the campaign trail saying that he WOULD sign a medicinal cannabis bill. But then, Target and Best Buy wouldn’t be able to drug test for it, and his campaign cash would dry up. What an opportunist pig.

  • Jeri Hough

    Legalization is the compassionate route for medical issues. I suffer from arthritis and would use it to help me sleep through the pain at night if it were legal.
    Also, legalizing marijuana allows the state to tax it which would generate much needed revenue for things that don’t seem to be covered by our state and federal taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc., hard as that is to believe. Oh yeah, and then there’s the money states get from the lottery that still doesn’t seem to cover expenses for maintaining schools, roads, etc With all the taxes we pay I really don’t understand where all the money goes.
    In this day and age not legalizing marijuana not only for medicinal issues, but also for recreation seems ignorant. With the Mayo Clinic in Rochester we should be a leader in forward thinking for the mid-west. Also, I’m sure they’d love to have some of that tax money to help expand!.

  • Steve H.

    You realize that its all about the benjamins. Our governing authorities are figuring out a way to tax the hell out of it and exploit it monitarily before giving the go ahead. Just once, I’d like to see them think about the everyday joe first. What’s there to think about? Alcohol is way more dangerous then marijuana and its legal. The insidious weed actually has many redeeming qualities that our governing bodies choose to deny. What are we waiting for? When I was young, I was proud of Minnesota’s progressiveness. It hurts my heart to have experienced the dumbing down of Minnesota. As long as the old boys club and big business have control of the government, the innovators may as well move to South Dakota.