Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s medical cannabis task force includes staunch opponents and supporters


Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton named 16 people to a task force that’s responsible for evaluating the state’s medical cannabis program. The list is a mixed bag, including eight healthcare providers and four members of the public — but also four opponents from the law enforcement community.
None of them have been content to sit on the sidelines. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, for instance, once wrote an op-ed calling cannabis “the most dangerous illegal drug in our nation,” and reaffirmed that position last November, mocking the use of the term “medical.”

At first glance, Dayton’s list of appointees — as ordained by the legislature — didn’t inspire much confidence from the advocates who’ve spent months, in some cases years, fighting for change in the state’s cannabis laws.
“These are people who think this is not medicine in the first place, and who advocated against it as an illegal substance,” says Brandan Borgos, a MN NORML board member and Independence Party candidate for attorney general. “I want people who are advocating for patients.”
For this task, Borgos and others are putting faith in an unlikely ally — Dr. Charles Reznikoff.
In April, Reznikoff published the results of his own survey, which suggests that doctors in Minneapolis know very little about cannabis. Of the 117 HCMC physicians who participated, only 13 said they were ready to weigh the risks/benefits of the plant for their patients, and only 32 supported the program in the first place.
Read the rest of this story over at The Minneapolis City Pages.