MN families, providers prep for medical marijuana

MANKATO — MaryAnn Nelson said she has tried almost every seizure medication for her 13-year-old daughter, Rachael, who has Rett syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental disorder.

But many have caused serious side effects, such as extended sleepiness and trouble breathing.

Nelson, of Mankato, has pinned her hopes on medical marijuana, which will become legal in Minnesota on July 1. She said she hopes to enroll Rachael in a clinic trial through her provider, during which she will receive medical marijuana in a closely monitored setting.

"We're out of tools in the tool box," Nelson said. " ... This is kind of a no-brainer for me."

Most providers appear to be more reticent about medical marijuana, however. Just 9 percent of providers who responded to a Minnesota Medical Association poll last week said they would be certifying patients, and two-thirds said they won't participate.

Local health systems are keeping relatively quiet about...

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