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Medical Marijuana Proposal to Receive Floor Vote Wednesday in the Minnesota House of Representatives

As lawmakers prepare for vote, second TV ad hitting Gov. Mark Dayton for obstructing the medical marijuana proposal will begin premiering tonight across Minnesota; ad features Bloomington man suffering from muscular dystrophy¬ — watch it now at http://youtu.be/rCBz8F1SsoY

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to hold a floor vote Wednesday on a proposal that would allow people with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Specifically, the House will vote on an amendment offered Tuesday by State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) that would add the medical marijuana program to a broader health policy bill, HF 2402. Unlike the medical marijuana bill currently being considered in the legislature, HF 1818, Rep. Garofalo's proposal would prohibit smoking and home cultivation of medical marijuana.

The Republican lawmaker's proposal comes as medical marijuana advocates are working to develop a legislative compromise on HF 1818. Gov. Mark Dayton continues to refuse to support the measure, which would actually provide patients with legal access to medical marijuana, because law enforcement associations oppose it. In March, the governor proposed alternative legislation that would fund medical marijuana research, but would not provide patients with access to medical marijuana or protect them from arrest and prosecution.

"Support for effective medical marijuana legislation clearly spans the political spectrum," said Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, which supports Rep. Garofalo's amendment. "It is time to move forward with this compassionate and commonsense proposal. Seriously ill Minnesotans and their families have waited long enough."

As lawmakers prepare for a vote on Rep. Garofalo's amendment, a second television ad hitting Gov. Dayton for standing in the way of HF 1818 will premier Tuesday across Minnesota during the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Late Show with David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel Live, then air Wednesday during the Today Show, Good Morning America, Ellen, and The View. It features Patrick McClellan, a Bloomington man who suffers from mitochondrial myopathy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy. McClellan describes how trying medical marijuana did more to relieve his severe muscle spasms and pain than any of the countless pills he has been prescribed. Watch the ad online at http://youtu.be/rCBz8F1SsoY.

“I don’t understand why Gov. Dayton is blocking a bill that would allow [medical marijuana] for people like me,” McClellan says in the ad. “I am a patient, not a criminal. We deserve better. Minnesota deserves better.”

A similar ad was released last week featuring St. Paul resident Angela Garin and her five-year-old son Paxton, who suffers from a rare condition that causes hundreds of seizures per day. Watch the ad online at http://youtu.be/vdn5NO2s0Nk.

Both ads direct viewers to a Change.org petition with more than 6,900 signatures that calls on Gov. Dayton to stop blocking HF 1818. The petition can be viewed online at http://www.TellDayton.org.

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 http://www.MNcares.org.

 

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