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House leaders offer compromise medical marijuana legislation

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Democratic lawmakers Thursday offered a scaled-back compromise proposal that would allow people with severe illnesses to use medical marijuana under limited circumstances.

The Star Tribune reports the proposal stipulates that patients could smoke the drug only under the direct, in-person supervision of a licensed health care provider.

Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, told the paper the proposal offers “real help for families.”

– Qualifying conditions would include seizures (including those characteristic with epilepsy), cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), and Crohn’s disease.

“Our goal since the beginning has been to provide needed medicine to Minnesotans and children who are suffering and deserve a better chance at a good life,” Melin told KBJR. “I am pleased that we have developed a proposal that can provide real relief for Minnesotans who need it and that has a strong chance at getting signed into law.”

The bill incorporates much of Governor Dayton’s clinical trial proposal, but goes further in providing assurance that medication will be available if no federal clinical trial is approved.

“We believe this legislation achieves a compromise that can move forward this session," House Speaker Rep. Paul Thissen says.

Law enforcement has signaled they do not oppose the legislation, KBJR reports.

The House Rules committee is expected to hear the bill on Friday.

A similar bill, authored by Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, is making its way through the Senate.

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