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Legislation to legalize medical pot moves forward at the capitol

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The state Senate has advanced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota for certain medical conditions.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 7-3 to pass the measure, which would allow eligible patients to obtain a doctor's prescription for marijuana. Patients would then obtain the cannabis from a dispensary, the Pioneer Press reports.

Allowable conditions under the bill would include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, Tourette's Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, various forms of seizure-inducing epilepsy and other conditions, the Star Tribune reports.

The legislation next moves to the Senate rules committee.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, sponsored the bill in the Senate, which won votes from members in both parties. Dibble offered a lengthy amendment to his bill to tighten access by patients and improve standards for those who work in or operate dispensaries.

The bill was also amended to include a study on the evidence for medical marijuana, the Pioneer Press reports.

The bill has a long way to go before it would come before the full chamber for a vote.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he supports the concept of legalizing medical marijuana, but not without the support of doctors and law enforcement.

Dayton has also called for more study of medical marijuana.

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