Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Bills To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Two Minnesota state lawmakers are introducing legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

If made law, Minnesota would join eight other states that allow the legal sale and use of marijuana.

The author of the one of the measures introduced Wednesday, Rep. Jon Applebaum of Minnetonka, says that, to millennials, legalizing marijuana is not controversial. The second-term lawmaker says support for legal marijuana is growing in states across the country, including Minnesota.

“Eventually this is going to happen,” he said. “And it would be in Minnesota’s best interest if we start talking about it now.”


Charges coming in medical marijuana probe

A county attorney's office in Minnesota expects to file charges soon, following completion of an investigation into Vireo Health's alleged transport of $500,000 of medical marijuana products from Minnesota to New York.

No further information was available Thursday. Brian Lutes, an assistant county attorney in Wright County, Minn., said details would be forthcoming.

In a statement, Vireo said it has not been the target of Minnesota investigators' probe.

"While we are aware of an investigation by the Wright County Attorney, we have no information as to its status except that we have been told our company is NOT a focus of the investigation," the company said in a statement.


A Minnesota man just got four years in prison for marijuana. In 2016.

Closer inspection revealed 260 packages filled with high-grade marijuana. They called the cops, who laid in wait for the shipment’s recipient, one Steven Yang.

Yang would plead guilty to first-degree drug possession with intent to sell 258 pounds. At his sentencing this month, his attorney, Sia Lo, told the judge his 27-year-old client had no criminal record of any kind, and was currently caring for a disabled brother and his father.

Yang said his giant failed pot deal was “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life.”

Judge Gina Brandt rubbed it in: “Mr. Yang, I hope this was the worst mistake you ever made.”

Yang received a 74-month sentence. With good behavior, he’ll be out around New Year’s Day, 2021.


Marijuana Legalization: Minnesota To Allow PTSD Patients To Use Medical Cannabis

Residents of Minnesota suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be allowed to use medical cannabis starting from August next year, the Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday. The agency added that it had expanded the list of qualifying conditions that would benefit from its year-long medical marijuana program.

Also under review were conditions like depression, arthritis and autism spectrum disorders but Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said there wasn’t enough evidence proving marijuana’s effectiveness in treating those conditions.

He added that the lack of an effective treatment for PTSD helped its case. The list was compiled after taking into consideration public petitions filed to the department.


Cannabis for Canines: Minnesota Doctor Urges Veterinary Use of Treatment Newly Legalized for Humans

Dr. Ilo Leppik has dedicated his career to searching for ways to improve treatment for seizures that afflict those with epilepsy.

But lately, Leppik has turned his attention to another kind of patient: the furry, four-legged kind.

Dogs have higher rates of epilepsy than humans do, and Leppik believes a cannabis pill could do for canines what it’s done for humans.

He is pushing to amend Minnesota’s medical marijuana law to allow veterinarians to prescribe the treatment for animals.

“It could be available to dogs in the same way it is available to humans,” he said.


Half of Medical Pot Dispensed in Minnesota Is Prescribed to Ease Pain

Despite influx of new enrollees, Minnesota's medical cannabis firms continue to struggle. 

When Minnesota’s medical marijuana program opened its doors to pain patients this summer, the hope was that people in pain, and a program struggling with growing pains, might be able to help each other.

That was three months ago. Since then, pain patients have rushed to a program that has battled sluggish enrollment and high prices since its launch last year. Half the people currently enrolled are pain patients, and while it’s too soon to know if that’s enough to save Minnesota’s cannabis program, many patients say the program has already saved them.


Pain Patients Are Flooding Into Minnesota's Medical Marijuana Program

State's tightly controlled program has seen high costs and low enrollment. Pain patients might turn the tide. 

Minnesotans seeking pain relief have quickly become the second-largest group of patients in the state’s medical marijuana program, even though they became eligible just one month ago.

One out of three patients enrolled in the program is seeking relief from chronic pain, according to figures released this week by the Office of Medical Cannabis.

The Minnesota Department of Health added intractable pain to the shortlist of qualifying conditions for the program on Aug. 1. By Aug. 31, there were more pain patients — 847 — than patients with cancer, epilepsy and terminal illnesses combined.


Will Medical Cannabis Really Work for My Chronic Pain?

Severe pain drove this average Minnesotan to seek the comforts of medical cannabis. Here's how things worked out for her. 

Earlier this year, one of my friends asked: “Will medical cannabis get you stoned?”

This was just before my first appointment to get “qualified” for medical cannabis use. I wasn’t sure how to answer.

What did I know about medical cannabis? Not much. I struggled to parse what I was finding online. Perhaps I was naive in expecting straightforward information communicated by words without multiple meaning. So I was thrown off by the lingo.


Minnesota Pain Patients Buy Medical Cannabis, Is Recreational Pot Next?

Minnesota may have already legalized medical marijuana but it wasn’t until Monday that pain patients of the state finally had the opportunity to buy it. Even though the Minnesota state legislature legalized the drug for medicinal purposes in 2014, strict laws banned the plant form in favor of pills, oils and vapors.


'Intractable Pain' the next Step for Medical Cannabis

As the second year of medical cannabis in Minnesota begins on July 1, patients for the first time will be able to get certified to be treated with the drug for intractable pain.

A month later, certified patients will be able to start receiving medical marijuana from one of the state's two approved companies: LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions.

Interest already is being expressed.

"I've seen half a dozen patients in my practice already who have come to me wanting to know about the intractable pain," said Dr. Dave Thorson, who is part of a large family medical practice in the Twin Cities and is president of the Minnesota Medical Association.


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