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Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patients and Advocates Deliver Very Large, Provocative 'Get Better Soon' Card to Gov. Dayton, Who Is Recovering From Hip Surgery

Huge greeting card urges the governor to 'show some backbone' and 'stop bowing to law enforcement,' which is holding up a bill that would allow seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

ST. PAUL — A group of local medical marijuana patients and advocates gathered in front of the Minnesota governor’s mansion Thursday to deliver a very large and provocative “get better soon” card to Gov. Mark Dayton, who is recovering from hip surgery. The governor is currently holding up a widely supported bill that would allow seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it because it is opposed by some law enforcement officials.

Following a brief news conference hosted by Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, patients, their family members, and supporters signed the huge greeting card, which was then delivered to the governor by Patrick McClellan, a Burnsville man suffering from muscular dystrophy. The front of the card features an image of Gov. Dayton and says the “keys to a speedy recovery” are “show[ing] some backbone” and no longer “bowing to law enforcement.” It also states, “Now that you’re back on your feet, please stand up for medical marijuana patients.” The inside of the card says, “We hope your position on the medical marijuana bill will get better soon,” and includes an inscription that reads, “You took action to relieve your pain. Will you take action to relieve ours?”

“Gov. Dayton needs to stop kowtowing to law enforcement and stand up for seriously ill patients and their families,” said Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care. “Doctors are the ones who should decide what medicine is best for their patients, not police officers.”

Gov. Dayton has said he will only support the medical marijuana bill, HF 1818, if it has the approval of law enforcement officials, who he instructed to work with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carly Melin, to reach a compromise. Rep. Melin met with leaders of law enforcement organizations this week, but they steadfastly refused to support workable medical marijuana legislation, resulting in Rep. Melin temporarily removing the bill from the House Government Operations agenda.

“When Gov. Dayton elected to have surgery to ease his hip pain, his decision was guided by trained medical professionals, not trained law enforcement professionals,” Azzi said. “He should explain why he is taking orders from police officers to prevent Minnesotans with cancer, epilepsy, and other devastating conditions from following their doctors’ orders. Fortunately for the governor, law enforcement officials are not blindly opposed to hip surgery as a medical treatment option.”

The group also launched a Change.org petition calling on Gov. Dayton to “show some backbone” and get HF 1818 passed. The petition has received more than 1,300 signatures since it was launched less than 24 hours ago. It can be found at http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-mark-dayton-stop-bowing-down-to-law-enforcement-and-stand-up-for-patients.

“If Gov. Dayton agrees that seriously ill Minnesotans could be benefitting from medical marijuana, there is no excuse for holding up legislation that would make it available to them,” Azzi said. “It's time for the governor to stand up for patients and stand up to law enforcement.”

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 according to their physicians’ advice. For more information, visit http://www.MNcares.org.

 

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