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Medical marijuana advocates slam Dayton in TV ad

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Supporters of medical marijuana are raising the stakes in their criticism of Gov. Dayton by launching a TV ad, the Associated Press reports.

The ad will begin running Wednesday night on TV stations around Minnesota, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a nationwide advocacy group which is paying for it.

The ad features Angela Garin of St. Paul and her 5-year-old son, Paxton, who has a rare medical condition that causes him to have hundreds of seizures per day. In the ad, Garin said her son's seizures were dramatically reduced when he used medical marijuana, and she calls on Gov. Dayton to support top the legislation.

"When I found out Gov. Dayton was blocking a bill that would allow Paxton to get medical marijuana in Minnesota, I was shocked,” Garin said in the ad. “Minnesota deserves better.”

Dayton has been the target of high-profile criticism from medical marijuana advocates in recent weeks, who say he is standing in the way of the bill's passage. Dayton has said that he won't support legalization unless law enforcement officials approve of the bill, and so far that hasn't happened.

As a compromise, Dayton recently suggested a $2.2 million study researching the effectiveness of non-smokable marijuana for children with certain health conditions, but medical marijuana supporters rejected that idea.

In response to the ad, Dayton’s press secretary Matt Swenson said in an email: “They have every right to express their views; that is what democracy is all about," according to the Associated Press. He added that it’s unfair to portray Dayton as the only one standing in the way of passage.

Heather Azzi of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care said the group is likely to air a second ad starting next week, the Star Tribune reports.

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