Minnesota state Rep. pauses medical pot push as law enforcement buzzkills bill


Minnesota state Rep. Carly Melin.

Legislators appear ready to approve a medical marijuana bill this session. All along, however, the worry has been that Gov. Mark Dayton won’t sign it unless law enforcement officials express their support as well.
While there have been indications lately that law enforcement is mellowing its stance toward medical pot, cops coming onboard the legislative effort has always been an unlikely prospect. And this morning, the legislator who introduced the bill in the House, Rep. Carly Melin, D-Hibbing, announced that since law enforcement apparently won’t compromise whatsoever, she’s postponing the next committee hearing on the bill, which was scheduled for today.

In a statement, Melin outlines how many concessions she and other medical marijuana supporters were willing to make to win law enforcement’s support:
Over the weekend, Rep. Melin and advocates for [the medical pot bill]offered a compromise bill to law enforcement that would:

— Remove the option for patients to smoke medical marijuana.
— Impose a penalty for the smoking of medical marijuana.
— Permit the use of a vaporizer to administer medical marijuana to a patient.
— Eliminate all ability for home or personal cultivation of medical marijuana.
— Replace “severe and debilitating pain” with “intractable pain” to further limit the number of patients who would qualify for medical marijuana.
— Require the Commissioner of Health to consult with law enforcement to set further public safety standards in implementation of the program.

In other words, the bill basically wouldn’t allow Minnesotans to get a pot prescription unless they were on the brink of death, but still, law enforcement wouldn’t budge.
Read the rest over at the Minneapolis City Pages.