Last Update: February 19, 2014
Legislature prepares to reconvene; medical marijuana set for debate
Last year, a bipartisan group of Minnesota state lawmakers filed legislation to create a compassionate and well-regulated medical marijuana program in Minnesota. Since then, legislative champions, patients, and advocates from Minnesotans for Compassionate Care have been making the case for passage of HF 1818/SF 1641 during the second half of the 2013-2014 legislative session. Lawmakers will return to St. Paul in mid-February and medical marijuana is sure to command the attention of many. Please email Gov. Mark Dayton today so he knows that medical marijuana is important and should be legal in Minnesota.
Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) introduced HF 1818 in the House, and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced the companion – SF 1641 – in the Senate. As mentioned, the bills carry over to 2014, the second year of the biennium session. 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. Minnesotans who want to help pass medical marijuana legislation should email their state senator and representative and ask them to support HF 1818/SF 1641.
Patrick McClellan of Burnsville talks to KARE 11 about using marijuana to treat his Muscular Dystrophy
Twenty states and the District of Columbia already allow seriously ill residents to use medical marijuana, and with their doctors’ recommendations, and -- according to a St. Cloud State University survey -- 76% of Minnesotans support a compassionate medical marijuana law. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Melin and Sen. Dibble, Minnesota could finally join these jurisdictions during the 2013-2014 legislative session. To learn more about the legislation, click here.
Finally, sign up for our Minnesota-specific action alerts to stay up to date on marijuana policy reform in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Are you a patient or supportive medical professional?
If you are a patient with a serious medical condition who could benefit from medical marijuana, the loved one of a patient, or a supportive medical professional, please email email@example.com to get involved.
Learn about Minnesota's marijuana laws
In 2011, there were 12,042 marijuana-related arrests in Minnesota. 60% of these arrests were for marijuana possession. While the penalty for a first offense of possessing a small amount of marijuana in Minnesota is a $200 fine and mandatory drug education, having two ounces could land Minnesotans in jail for five years! These arrests hit minority communities the hardest. According to data from the ACLU, African Americans in Minnesota are nearly eight times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors! You can learn more about Minnesota's marijuana penalties and enforcement by reading this report by Jon Gettman, Ph.D.