Minnesota must strike a balance on medical marijuana and pain

Health commissioner should keep an open mind after panel rules against drug’s use for intractable pain. 

It’s a safe bet that Minnesota’s Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain would have vetoed the state’s entire 2014 medical marijuana law if its cautious members had been given a chance.

Thankfully, the panel’s assignment was limited to making a recommendation on the addition of “intractable pain” to the state’s current nine approved medical uses of the drug. On that question, the panel’s eight members recently declined to deliver. Their rigid decision denies Minnesotans the flexibility to decide with their doctors whether medical marijuana is a good alternative to powerful but risky prescription pain drugs.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger will take the panel’s recommendation into account as he makes the final decision before the end of year. The panel’s advice shouldn’t box in Ehlinger. He should consider it with

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