The Medical Marijuana Bill is approved by Minnesota’s House Panel

A bill, that could make a use of medical marijuana legal in the state of Minnesota, took one more step to the implementation on March 4: a state house panel, by voting, chose to send the bill to one more committee. The House Health and Human Services’ voting took place after listening to nearly 3 hours of mostly highly emotional testimonials by Minnesota residents.

One of the residents who testified was Mary Ann Nelson from Mankato. Mary Ann’s daughter Rachael suffers from epileptic seizures caused by Rett Syndrome. Mary Ann believes that marijuana would help to decrease the weekly amount of Rachael’s seizures. Currently, Rachael has 1-2 seizures per week; each seizure lasts approximately 20 minutes.

However, about a month ago Rachael had a long hour seizure and had to be flown to Gillette Children’s Hospital. Nelson also stated that her daughter Rachael keeps having seizures even with taking the variety of legal drugs and despite having a vagus nerve stimulator implanted. Despite her seizures and inability to walk and talk, Rachael goes to school and have full cognitive functions.

Rachael’s mother Mary Ann thinks that Rachael’s condition would improve if she could take Charlotte’s Web – a marijuana extract. Charlotte’s Web has been used successfully on patients with Rachael’s diagnosis in Colorado, where medical marijuana use is legal.

Mary Ann testified for medical marijuana legalization in Minnesota because she wants to save her daughter’s life and does not want to be forced to move to Colorado, where medical marijuana has been legalized for years. Many other parents also testified in favor of medical marijuana’s legalization. One of the parents even mentioned that she and her family had to move to Colorado, so her child would be able to receive a medical marijuana’s treatment. A Minneapolis City Council Member and a glaucoma sufferer Andrew Johnson has testified in favor of passing the bill as well.

Minnesota House File 1818 bill would make it possible for people with a serious medical condition to buy a small quantity of marijuana from medical centers accredited by Minnesota. Patients who are treated with a medical marijuana would need to undergo a state registration and have ID cards that would distinguish them from drug users. According to the bill, people who qualify for medical marijuana’s treatment include, but not limited, to people with the following diagnoses: cancer, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, seizures and other diseases and sicknesses approved by the commissioner.

The State Legislature has already approved the medical marijuana bill before, but the Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed it because of law enforcement agencies’ objections. Law enforcement authorities believe that the medical marijuana bill would cause a drug abuse by people who are not diagnosed with serious sicknesses. So now the bill supporters are looking to find an appropriate marijuana’s form that would be accepted by Minnesota law enforcements.

However, the Minnesota Family Council spokesperson Autumn Leva stated that the Minnesota Family Council opposes the legislation of the medical marijuana bill due to the lack of testing and approval process of prescription drugs used by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. One Republican member has also suggested to limit the use of medical marijuana to non-smoking forms only.

Source:Kare 11