Skip to main content

Senate committee bucks law enforcement, passes medical marijuana bill

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A bill to allow medical marijuana use in Minnesota continues to roll along in the state Senate, after it was given up for dead a little more than a week ago.

The state Senate's Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to advance the medical marijuana measure to another committee, despite fierce opposition from several law enforcement officials -- including the state's top cop, Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman -- who testified against it, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The bill has now been approved by several Senate committees and could end up on the floor of the Senate shortly.

The Judiciary Committee passed the bill through "without recommendation," a maneuver which essentially keeps the bill alive, the Star Tribune reports, adding that the committee took a voice vote, so individual votes were not recorded.

The measure is authored by state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, and would allow patients to have access to up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and severe pain.

During the five-hour hearing, law enforcement officials repeated their concerns that any relaxation of the laws against marijuana use could put the drug into the hands of young people and would send a message that marijuana is safe to use.

"We simply do not view marijuana as some harmless substance, but instead see it as an addictive drug as well as a gateway drug," said Dennis Flaherty of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, according to the Pioneer Press.

Flaherty told the committee his group might be willing to allow marijuana extracts such as pills or oils, but don't want the smokable form to be legal, MPR News reports. He said they would support more testing of nonsmoking forms of the drug.

Gov. Mark Dayton earlier proposed such a study, to be conducted by the Mayo Clinic, but it was rejected by medical marijuana supporters.

Dibble also rejected the idea, saying some patients would need to be able to smoke marijuana to get relief from their symptoms, according to MPR News.

The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee.

A companion bill in the House has not seen any action over the past few weeks, so the ultimate outcome of the issue is still very much up in the air.

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.


Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.