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Minnesota Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced With Bipartisan Support

Bill with maximum number of House and Senate sponsors would allow Minnesotans with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

ST. PAUL – A bipartisan group of Minnesota state lawmakers joined patients and advocates for a news conference at the state capitol on Thursday to announce the introduction of a bill that would allow people with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) is introducing the bill in the House of Representatives (HF 1818), and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) is introducing the companion bill in the Senate (SF 1641). Both bills have the maximum number of sponsors allowed – 35 in the House, including 12 committee chairs, and five in the Senate, including two committee chairs.

"Medical marijuana made life bearable for my daughter in her final few months," said Joni Whiting of Jordan, who attended the news conference. Her daughter, Stephanie, used medical marijuana to relieve the extreme pain and nausea associated with cancer and chemotherapy.

"She would have tried using medical marijuana immediately after her doctor recommended it, but we feared the legal consequences and she suffered for months before we decided it was worth the risk," Whiting said. "This legislation will prevent patients and families from being put in such a terrible situation."

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Minnesota voters support changing state law to allow people with serious and terminal illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it, according to a survey conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Two-thirds (66%) said they think Gov. Mark Dayton should sign such a bill if it is approved by the legislature. The full results and crosstabs are available at

"A strong majority of Minnesota voters agree it is time to adopt legislation that allows seriously ill people to use medical marijuana if their doctors believe it will help treat their conditions and ease their suffering," said Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care. "People suffering from diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis should be able to access medical marijuana safely and use it without fear of being arrested."

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. Similar legislation has been introduced in 14 states this year, and it is expected in two additional states.

Minnesotans for Compassionate Care (MCC) is a coalition of organizations, medical professionals, patients, and concerned citizens working to protect people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other serious illnesses from arrest and imprisonment for using medical marijuana with their physicians’ advice. For more information visit


Reader Comments(1)

joniw writes:

Thank you all so much for including this in your news. I believe that the benefits of this plant because of the effect it had on my daughter. I urge all who support the use of marijuana for ill people to email or write Governor Dayton and ask him to support it. Together we have a voice.

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