Senate Passes Medical Marijuana 07 May 14

The Minnesota state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The measure is more ambitious than Governor Dayton and law enforcement officials have said they would support, however. In a 48-18 vote, senators approved legislation that would make Minnesota the first state that prohibits smoking marijuana used for medical purposes. Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. The House expects to consider its medical marijuana measure on Friday. Both pieces of legislation would allow patients to use cannabis in the form of pills, oil and vapor. Law enforcement groups say legalizing the possession of the actual plant would lead to wider distribution of the drug. The Senate bill allows up to 55 marijuana dispensaries around the state, while the House version would only allow one.