Pubdate: Fri, 30 May 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Page: 17


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota joined the ranks of 21 other states
Thursday where marijuana is a legal medicine with a law that is one of
the nation's most restrictive.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation that sets up a medical
marijuana program with tight controls over qualifying conditions and
the way it is administered. People won't be able to smoke marijuana
legally or access it in leaf form.

"I pray it will bring to the victims of ravaging illnesses the relief
they are hoping for," Dayton said in a written statement.

The compromise bill upset some medical marijuana advocates, who say
many people who need relief won't get it. But legislative backers say
it is a positive first step that satisfied concerns of law enforcement
and doctor groups. Dayton had said he wouldn't get behind a bill that
those two entities opposed.

Medical conditions eligible for the treatment include cancer, glaucoma
and AIDS. A physician assistant or advanced-practice registered nurse
would certify a patient suffered from a qualifying illness.

If all goes as planned, the drug will be available in pill, oil and
vapor form in mid-2015. Two manufacturing facilities and eight
dispensaries will be permitted statewide.

The law sets up a task force to assess the impact of medical

Dayton signaled earlier this month that he would sign the bill, but
waited as his staff tried to assemble bill sponsors and affected
families for a formal ceremony. A ceremony could still occur at a
later date.
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