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  Lawmakers Aim To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill
Posted by CN Staff on February 01, 2007 at 07:23:09 PT
By Brian Voerding, Winona Daily News 
Source: Winona Daily News 

medical Minnesota -- State Sen. Steve Murphy and other Minnesota lawmakers are making another run at passing a medical marijuana bill. Lawmakers have introduced similar bills several times in recent years, though none have ever come close to final approval.

“We’re talking about quality of life issues,” said Murphy, a DFLer from Red Wing and chief author of the bill. “This isn’t for everybody. This is another tool in the doctor’s toolbox, if (the patient) feels it’s appropriate and they’re willing to give it a try.”

Murphy said he warmed up to the proposal two years ago when his father died of cancer after nine months of intense pain.

“If that would have been an option for him and he would have chosen it, I would have understood,” he said. “I watched him waste away, and he was in incredible pain.”

Under the legislation, anyone who suffers from a “chronic or debilitating disease” would qualify to receive a registration card and get up to 12 plants or 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

Marijuana can help alleviate pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting — common symptoms associated with chronic illnesses. It’s most commonly used by patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, severe arthritis and multiple sclerosis among other diseases. Some patients use it to avoid getting addicted to prescription painkillers such as Vicodin.

Some doctors and other health officials have spoken against the legislation because smoking can lead to respiratory disease; in response, drug companies have developed ways to distribute marijuana through a prescription inhaler.

Former Winona senator Bob Kierlin carried the bill in 2005; he said then that he supported the bill out of compassion for suffering patients.

Eleven states have legalized medical marijuana in some form, though conflicts have arisen because federal courts don’t always recognize state legislation.

Washington in particular has struggled with vague laws. One patient who was arrested three years ago for using marijuana took a case all the way to the Washington Supreme Court, which upheld her sentence of two months’ home confinement. Some growers and state advocacy groups have been subjected to raids by federal drug officials.

Complete Title: Healthy Weed: Lawmakers Aim To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

For more information on the legislation, go online to http://www.senate.mn and enter SF345 in the search box in the upper left corner.

SF345: http://tinyurl.com/3b475z

Source: Winona Daily News (MN)
Author: Brian Voerding, Winona Daily News
Published: February 1, 2007
Copyright: 2007 Winona Daily News
Contact: letters@winonadailynews.com
Website: http://www.winonadailynews.com/

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 07, 2007 at 14:29:57 PT
Minnesota -- Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced
February 7, 2007

A bill was introduced to the Minnesota House Monday that would legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota. A similar bill was recently introduced in the Minnesota Senate.

The language of the House bill would allow for "qualified" patients with a "registry identification card" to posess an "allowable" amount of medicinal marijuana for which they could not be arrested, prosecuted or penalized. The bill would also allow a primary caregiver with a "registry identification card" to possess an "allowable" amount of medicinal marijuana for each qualified patient under his or her care.

Marijuana has been used to treat nausea, pain and appetite loss for cancer and AIDS patients.

The bill was authored by Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) who also recently authored the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007, proposing a statewide smoking ban. The medical marijuana bill had 18 sponsors and included both Democrat and Republican legislators.

If the bill became law, Minnesota would become the 12th state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have already enacted similar legislation.

SOUND OFF: Would you support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Minnesota?

Copyright: Southwest Newspapers 2007

http://www.chaskaherald.com/node/770

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