Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Legislation In Limbo


Photo: www.liberty-lawyer.com
Indoor marijuana grow in Minnesota. Thanks to Governor Tim Pawlenty’s veto, patients still have to break the law to use medical cannabis.

​With Minnesota’s legislative session set to begin this week, the author of last year’s medical marijuana bill said he doubts he will introduce another bill this year.

“For right now, it looks a little discouraging,” said State Senator Steve Murphy, who authored and introduced medical marijuana bills in both 2007 and 2009, reports Kyle Potter at mndaily.com.
A medical marijuana bill actually passed the Minnesota Legislature last session, but was then vetoed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

State Sen. Steve Murphy: “We need a governor who will sign the bill”

​Murphy said he appreciated the nationwide progress made by medical marijuana in the past few months, but said the key element of a successful bill still isn’t in place.
“We need a governor who will sign the bill,” Murphy said.
Gov. Pawlenty claimed his signature on a medical marijuana bill would require the support of law enforcement. According to Murphy, that may never happen.
“I don’t know any high-jumper that’s going to get over the bar that he’s setting,” Murphy said of Pawlenty’s position.
Murphy said he is OK with waiting until Pawlenty leaves office next year before trying to advance the legislation again.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he was pleased to hear Murphy may not reintroduce the bill this year. Backstrom worked with the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition on a letter urging Gov. Pawlenty to veto last year’s bill, warning of the supposed “dangers of marijuana.”
“Allowing this use for medical purposes will result in more illegal marijuana use in our communities and will endanger the safety of our public,” Backstrom said, displaying a majestically bovine disregard for the facts.

Photo: MPP
Kurt Gardinier, MPP: “Clearly it has support in the state”

​Kurt Gardinier of the Marijuana Policy Project said he would be disappointed if the bill wasn’t introduced in this year’s legislative session in Minnesota.
“Clearly it has support in the state, House of Representatives and Senate,” Gardinier said.
In May 2008, a Survey USA poll found a solid 2-to-1 majority of Minnesotans were in favor of the use of medical marijuana for the terminally ill with a doctor’s recommendation.
Sen. Murphy plans to retire after this session, but says he is positive that medical marijuana will happen in Minnesota, with or without his help.
“Under any other administration, this would have already been law,” he said.