Is Minnesota taking the right approach to medical marijuana?

Minnesota Medical Solutions employee Guy Lindblom walked through a greenhouse filled with plants at one of the state’s two manufacturers of medical marijuana Tuesday, May 5, 2015 in Otsego. Jennifer Simonson | MPR News

About 40 minutes northwest of downtown Minneapolis, there’s a well-guarded greenhouse brimming with marijuana plants. Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of two manufacturers picked by the state to produce medical cannabis, will turn the plants into pills, oils and sprays for patients who qualify for a prescription — only smoke-free derivatives of marijuana are allowed by law.  The company’s first dispensary is set to open July 1.

Today’s Question: Is Minnesota taking the right approach to medical marijuana?

  • Sue de Nim

    No. We should do like Washington and Colorado: legalize and tax it. The prohibition of a relatively harmless substance causes more problems than it solves. Save prohibition for truly dangerous drugs like meth and heroin.

  • Ulysses Tennyson

    Well, I was sceptical at first, but I got ahold of some of this “Minnesota Nice” and tried some this morning. At 6AM I took the pill and then at 6:45 I rubbed some of the oil on, and finally at 7:15 I started spraying into various likely spots and nothing much happened except….hey…did you ever notice Jon Gordon looks kinda like a little shroom in that picture…and that he moves….like reeeaal slooow…and like he talks to you…like subliminally…..and it’s like he’s saying doooonate …dooonaate ..dooonate to mprrrr…over and over in this voice that’s like…..sorry, what was the question again?

    • a_tribe_called_chris

      Apparently the MN Nice you had must have been a prescription narcotic with those effects…

      • Ulysses Tennyson

        Actually I got it from a guy on the corner. Said he was an MD and a scrip would just be extra paperwork but assured me it was the stuff in the picture. Think I’ll go and see if he’s still out there…

        • a_tribe_called_chris

          Sounds pretty potent…lol

          • Ulysses Tennyson

            If people only knew…

        • Ulysses Tennyson

          Uh-oh. As soon as I stopped staring at Jon Gordon’s picture everything was back to abnormal. Damn! Placebo effect again. Another $50 down the drain. And three weeks til the end of the month. Damn it all anyway. Looks like it’s back to nutmeg and banana peels for a while.

    • Gary

      You got drunk?

  • Gary F

    Probably. This might be a project that we should proceed with caution and let other states suffer the learning curve.

    Legalize for normal use? With legalizing, I would predict an increase in use. Our country already has the lowest labor participation rate in years and a climbing rate of obesity

    And because people like to avoid taxes(imagine that), Colorado is bringing in 25% less in taxes than what they expected because the black market hasn’t gone away.

    • a_tribe_called_chris

      Hey,

      I don’t mean to sound disrespectful but increased use wouldn’t
      necessarily mean a lower rate of participation in the labor pool. You may be
      surprised but there are many productive employees who relax with cannabis on
      the weekends. True, some will abuse it but we currently have people that abuse
      alcohol and that can literally kill you.

      Colorado has data showing that most users are occasional but
      the majority of sales are coming from the population of heavy users.
      Legalization most likely did not contribute to someone’s usage increasing to
      that of a daily event. It would be difficult to find measures that would track
      the increase of usage amongst the state’s residents since they have seen an
      increase in tourism associated with legalization.

      Another great impact has been there has yet to be a failed
      compliance check for underage sales in Colorado through licensed distribution
      channels.

      As far as tax revenues go, they may not have captured as
      much as they thought but on the contrary they have enough that the citizens
      will be voting to increase their tax rebates under the TaBOR act in the state. Don’t
      forget the savings due to a change in Law Enforcement focus either.

      I realize legalization may not be a utopia but the War on
      Drugs has failed and done so miserably.

    • Gary

      None of the assumptions you’ve mentioned has happened in Washington State where I live. We legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and legalized recreational use in 2012. Use rates have not risen, Seattle is still a cosmopolitan boom town wit the hardest workers in the country. Violent crime is half that of Minneapolis, businesses and downtown thrives. Obesity rates for marijuana users are far less than for the general American population and schools are currently being built in WA State with marijuana tax revenue. It’s time for you to educate yourself before speaking or writing about your baseless assumptions.

  • zabazoom

    Time we stop playing political games and just legalise it.

  • a_tribe_called_chris

    Not Really. This law would have been alright in the 90’s. I am at the point where full legalization for adults just makes more sense.

    In terms of harm reduction and fiscal sense, cannabis is
    significantly safer than alcohol and tobacco. Colorado and Washington, 2 states
    that we are essentially in competition with when looking at peer metros, have
    pretty good systems in place to control and regulate it. Minnesota continues to
    waste close to $100 Million a year on our enforcement efforts that does not
    benefit anyone except law enforcement and treatment providers.

    Enough is enough.

    In closing, I will say that the program is better than
    nothing but still pretty much garbage. Pain and PTSD should be included.

  • Gary

    Welcome to the 1990’s Minnesota! How “progressive” of you to finally join us, well sort of finally join us…
    Sincerely,
    Your friends on the Best Coast

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Hi Gary. It’s raining here too.

  • Gary

    The utterly failed policy of marijuana Prohibition and the discriminatory laws that underpin it have been far more deleterious to the individual and society than marijuana itself ever has been or ever will be. It’s time for Minnesota to get its head out of the sand and legalize, tax and regulate this market. I can assure you as a resident of Seattle that also owns a home in St Paul, it is far better to have adults 21 and up be able to stroll into a store and buy legal reefer in a storefront (especially vaporized oils and edibles) than it is to have petty dealers selling it on every street corner, behind every house as is currently happening in the twin cities. The war on marijuana is a failed conservative policy from yesteryear. It needs to go in favor of a more thoughtful educated, legal, taxed and regulated system.

  • Emery

    I am so grateful that the state of MN see’s fit to allow politicians and law enforcement come between the patient and their physician. Seems more like paternalism doesn’t it? /snark/

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called…

  • cathy

    It’s time to end the war on marijuana in Minnesota. Legalize it, tax it, regulate it!!

  • MaryJane2015

    Move forward and legalize it already….America stop making Cannabis a dirty moral Issue. Move forward Humans it is now 2015.

  • Minnesota has perhaps the most restrictive and limited medical marijuana law in the United States today. Though now in a poor minority of states, once we led the nation, including in individual liberty and freedom. Minnesota’s medical marijuana law should be expanded to allow everyone with a legitimate medical use for marijuana to be able to legally and affordably use and possess it. This would include plant-form marijuana as well as home-grow for patients, caregivers, and patient-caregiver coops.

  • John

    As with any mood altering substance, humans will acquire it and use it whether it is legal or not. However, making something legal gives it a type of public approval and suggests it is OK to use. This gives our children the idea that it is something that is OK to use and makes them more likely to think they should be able to use that substance (alcohol, cigarettes, etc.).

    Unfortunately, cannabis has been shown to inhibit frontal lobe brain development in children and adolescents and this effect can be permanent. So there will still be a black market, illegal sales, criminal penalties and children getting hurt by their use of this substance, just as they are by tobacco and alcohol.

    I’m not saying that criminalizing marijuana is the answer – that just leads to more problems than it solves. Medical uses should be supported and use by adults should not be a criminal offense. I do hope we can keep the science in mind when the debate for legalization heats up in Minnesota and make sure the protections for potential underage users are strong and clear, with heavy penalties for those supplying children and adolescents.

    • a_tribe_called_chris

      I think you offered a good perspective.

    • Kris

      They have been using marijuana in places like California for almost 20 years now. There hasn’t been much when it’s come to the side effects/consequences when it’s come to marijuana use. While everything we put into our bodies have an effect on our system, I find marijuana to be a more trustworthy product than the pills that pharma likes to push on you. How often do you hear about a person going on a killing spree while on marijuana compared to some type of anti-depressant.
      Full legalization would also bring a boom to our economy with many new jobs and types of business being available. We could tax the recreational at the same rate as alcohol, have a lower rate for medical, and an even lower rate for the industrial marijuana. Figure in the savings from the police dealing with this, along with court and incarceration, and we would be rolling in the dollars. The benefits just seem to outweigh the consequences.

    • ummmm, Horsefeathers. Here’s 15,000+ studies to review.

  • Yanotha Twangai

    The sectors most opposed to legalizing cannabis are these:
    — law enforcement and prison guard unions, who see it as job security;
    — big pharma, which fears competition from non-patentable medicine;
    — the alcoholic beverage industry, which fears users will switch;
    — the tobacco industry, likewise;
    — white racists who really like the “new Jim Crow” effect of current laws;
    — big employers, who like having lots of workers with blots on their records whom they can pay lower wages because it’s harder for them to find work elsewhere.
    Am I forgetting anyone?

    • Yanotha Twangai

      Oh, yes. I forgot the biggest one: organized crime.

      • Comprehensive study done recently in BC shows that a mere 5% of “grow ops” are linked to “organized crime”. There’s a joke: “If you have ever tried to buy a pound of cannabis, organized is the LAST thing you can call these people.”

        • Yanotha Twangai

          Maybe not the grow ops, but certainly the dealers are dominated by organized crime gangs.

          • 95% of the “dealers” are independent business people providing a product that the corrupt governments rule as illegal. Officials protecting their bribes, prison corporations “generating” prisoners, police stealing from citizens…. at gunpoint. The truly organized gangs.

    • Emery

      The war on drugs has been hugely successful. It has provided lucrative employment for tens of thousands of gangsters who otherwise would have had to settle for ordinary jobs. It’s kept sales of small arms and ammunition buoyant even through the recession. And it provides plenty of opportunities for morally lax public servants to benefit through bribes and kick-backs. You just have to redefine what you mean by “success.”

      • Ulysses Tennyson

        “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” SLC

      • I assume you are speaking of law enforcement. “Prohibition creates corruption at all levels of government.” U.N. report 1993

    • Corrupt politicians.

      • Yanotha Twangai

        How do corrupt politicians benefit? I get how corrupt cops and judges might use prohibition to extort bribes, and I get that folks seeking elective office might use the issue for demagoguery (but that goes both ways, for and against), but not now an elected official might profit from it.

        • Lobby groups, donations from private prison corporations, bribery, collusion and personal financial interests. Examine stock holdings, for example. Largest $upporters of the Drug War are pharmaceutical companies…. according to the numbers.

  • PaulJ

    It is the same approach Minnesota takes to everything; obfuscate to legitimize the yammering for which the advertisers pay, and then legislate from some backroom. Of course getting a ‘straight’ answer on this subject might be unrealistic.

  • Kris

    This law in terrible and ripe with corruption. You have the Governor who figures that this is a compromise between him and the pro-marijuana constituents (which it’s nowhere near). Then you Bachman who had already purchased land for their facility months before they make the announcement of who would be allowed to grow the plants and manufacture the oils and pills. Gee, that doesn’t stink of corruption at all. Followed by the few places in the state that will be allowed to distribute the oils and pills, which some people may have to drive a long distance to get. This law was created to make a select few rich while keeping the police happy and funded through marijuana busts and confiscation of property.

  • Brian Kelly

    When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

    • Brian Kelly

      Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

      So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

  • Mary

    Who’s to say what the “right approach” to medical marijuana is. We’ve taken a step forward and that’s good. I don’t think our Representatives and Senators are qualified to make medical decisions for us, the citizens, in this instance or in any other instance. I think that’s up to the medical experts and scientists who have studied this issue. When dealing with kids I believe oversight by their medical specialists is the right approach. For adults I think it should be legalized across the board. Talk to your doctor if you think it would be detrimental to you. Let’s face it, there are a LOT of boomers out there who are still smoking it and have no problems with their professional lives. I know some 70 somethings that swear by it for their arthritis.

    • Shiner244

      I suffer from a rare neurological disease which causes me tremendous chronic pain. I am now prescribed several types of narcotics. I would prefer to deal with my pain in a more natural way one, because it works and two, because there are no side effects.

      My doctor has no problem with me exploring marijuana on my own. However, the “pain team” that is in charge of my case is not okay with it. They adhere strictly to the federal law and conduct random UA’s to check for any marijuana use.

      If nothing else, I believe treatment should be between a patient and their doctor. But due to strict federal laws regarding narcotics and other medications, more and more hospitals are using these pain teams to cover their butts.

      We need to expand the limited medical use put forward by Gov. Dayton for the use of marijuana and the methods of delivery or preferably, just legalize it already.

  • Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant that comes from a seed. The right approach is to let people put seeds in the Earth without prohibition. That’s what seeds were designed for. Anything else is an unbalanced agenda.

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Unless the seeds come from Roundup Ready crops, of course.

  • Marty Super

    When the bill was first introduced it was a fair and a good start but the bill that was passed will not work for most ill people, we should just make it legal and treat it like beer, the war on marijuana has not worked, more people use it now, the cartels make billions the banks launder the money the police use it to seize cash the prisons use those convicted as slave labor all on the backs of the poor.

  • KTN

    Hell no. THe Governor capitulated to the police federation, who have a slight conflict of interest. I prefer elected officials deciding on policy issues, not the police, which as well have all witnessed as of late, only look out for their own self-interests. While I agree it’s a start, it could have been so much more – in the tradition of our progressive politics over the decades.

    • joniw

      He didn’t capitulate, he embraced it because as a former stoner (10 years) self admitted he couldn’t wrap his head around it as medical. He didn’t understand that sick people don’t abuse it and do use it as medicine. He couldn’t wrap his head around the stoner idea of selling half your bag so you could use for free.

  • lindblomeagles

    Personally, I wonder why the United States of America can’t come together on more important issues (like our public educational system; racial tensions that SHOULD be just about gone by now; what to do with 11 million illegal aliens; what to do about stagnant wages and declining jobs; why we can’t allow gay people to marry legally; rising, unabated U.S. debt and people’s unwillingness to pay taxes to help that subside; gang and gun violence; you get the picture) but JUST CAN’T WAIT to get high from marijuana. If we’ve become sooooooo powerless as Americans to turn this country’s hope for a new life into a real new life that the only way to hide our powerlessness is to smoke weed and teach our children how to smoke weed, then this country ISN’T a great nation anymore. My God. We honestly should have HIGHER goals AS AMERICANS USED TO HAVE than bud. I guarantee you this; our forefathers were far from perfect (Indian killers, slave holders, anti-Irish and Chinese immigrant expressers, we know this already), but they didn’t reach for the nearest weed they could find while the country’s future stared them in the face. Conservatives are right – morality has been lost; but it hasn’t been lost because people are too dependent on the government or the government is too involved in our daily affairs or because we aren’t taking a daily walk with the Christian Bible. It has been lost because the only thing we Americans seem to look forward to is the next high.

    • Brian Kelly

      Please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics,
      “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable
      Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore
      these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when
      they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while
      wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide,
      is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that
      thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for
      it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the
      demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never
      will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue
      criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a
      natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than
      daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic
      pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

      If prohibitionists are going
      to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from
      ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death
      and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is
      alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify
      and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts
      on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction,
      violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?Prohibitionists
      really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little
      live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a
      lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control
      others through Draconian

    • joniw

      unless it’s your child, mother, or wife dying, then you don’t give a shit about anyone getting high, you just want the legal right to use the medicine for your loved one. This isn’t about getting high for me, it’s about quality of life. It’s about saving the life of someone I love. but mine died. I would have given everything I had to see my daughter smile even if it was from a cannabis euphoria. big whoop it made her feel good. I’d have rather saved her life by killing her cancer. You remember this when it’s your turn.

  • Brian Kelly

    When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

    • Brian Kelly

      Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

      So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

  • Alex Fawly

    As a matter of fact, no. Much too slow, with our diverse demographics, and medical necessities we need full legalization. Recreationally and medicinally. With a tax surplus in the billions and a decriminalization of 30% of our population, we need it now. Not an inch at a time.

  • joniw

    In every aspect of the law that passed, it was set up to fail. The price is prohibitive. at 55 dollars a gram, it would take over 1500 dollars a month for an ounce worth of oil, and an estimated 88,000 people were “left out” of being eligible to participate. Initial contact with doctors has been negative and I have yet to find one doctor willing to sign off. as well as the costs associated with the reporting to MDH. Patients have to resubmit requests to the MDH EVERY month to obtain medication. How ridiculous is that! Clinics associated with big name health organizations have all currently said no, they will not allow their physicians to participate in the program. Can you blame them with the big pharmaceutical companies lining their waiting rooms on a daily basis? You have to give up your health rights (hipaa) to participate in the program. I certainly hope that the Manufacturers that were selected have a clause in which they can sue the state for setting them up for failure once it becomes obvious and apparent that is exactly what they did. I truly understand now why other states fight so hard for full legalization after the hoops and b.s. medical patients are forced to endure just to get an plant medicine that will help them. Because of the penalties included in the law, it is less risky to not join the program for any adult who needs it. and illegal use is far cheaper and less invasive then minnesota’s program. Being one of the Advocates that fought for a decent medical marijuana law, it is shameful what lengths Dayton went to to keep the medicine from those who would need it. I was in the room at his mansion when he told us he had used marijuana throughout his college years (a decade). I was there when he told all of us that it was cheaper and easy to get it off the street, and the mom’s of epileptic children could just go to florida, because there were no fences or guard dogs on the borders. I find it insulting and shameful that he could use it in his privileged life as long as he wanted to without facing either the criminal or societal consequences, and yet has the audacity to tell us that we can’t use it for medical reasons because we must be lying and want to sell it. Just because he did it that way doesn’t make it right. How many mom’s did he run to the rescue for when they got caught doing what he did? Angela Brown comes to mind and he did nothing. How many college kids in Minnesota have faced arrest, and the loss of their privileges after doing exactly what the Governor did…???? How many did he give a pass too so that they could go on to sit in his office someday. He is a hypocrite. We (the advocates) have lost two of the children whose parents fought hard for a decent law to pass. Those children would have been able to procure medicine immediately had the senate bill passed into law. It is unjustifiable that they died without help. There are currently 3 more children in the hospital, and two more children who didn’t make the cut in his law. Children who would benefit but instead suffer. Two children I have learned to love from seeing them both at the capitol, and one too sick to go there. In Governor Dayton’s world they are expendable. Not in mine or the people that love them, and that doesn’t even account for the 88,000 that he told to shove it, they weren’t worth a peep. The law was broken and a sham before he ever put the ink to the paper and must be changed in order to allow all the sick and dying people of minnesota access to it without subordinating their hipaa act rights. I personally find it very difficult to weigh his current recovery from alcohol and drug abuse giving him any credibility to being the person who decides cannabis as medicine for any ill person in minnesota. but that’s just my humble opinion.