Medical marijuana bill heads for Senate floor vote

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A bill to legalize medical marijuana is headed to the Senate floor after passage by the Finance Committee.

The committee passed the bill 14-7 on Monday after adding a few wrinkles to the legislation.

It now would track medical practitioners who issue opinions that cannabis likely would alleviate a patient's symptoms. It also would track the conditions being treated. And it would track the actual costs to state public safety and health departments of starting a program, and compare that to the projected costs.

"Minnesota is one step closer to adopting an effective medical marijuana program," said Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care. "Marijuana has proven medical benefits, and those suffering from debilitating conditions deserve real access to it."

Sen. Scott Dibble, the Minneapolis Democrat sponsoring the bill, said fees assessed to patients, alternative treatment centers and labs would make the program pay for itself.


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