Minnesota has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country. For starters, patients are not allowed to smoke medical marijuana – they can only eat it or vaporize it. Also, Minnesota does not allow home cultivation. Only two entities are allowed to grow medical marijuana in Minnesota. Minnesota has one of the smallest lists of qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient out of states that have legalized medical marijuana. Below is the current list of qualifying conditions, per the Minnesota Department of Health:
- Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea
or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting.
- Tourette Syndrome.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
- Seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy.
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including
those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis.
- Crohn’s Disease.
- Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less
than one year*
There was a recent push to add intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Minnesota. A public hearing was held on November 10th. The first vote by the Advisory Panel as to whether or not to add it resulted in a 5-2 vote in favor of adding the condition. Unfortunately on the second vote, the recommendation failed to pass by a 3-5 vote (see the Advisory Panel official report at this link here).
A recent poll was conducted, which asked, ‘Do you think the State of Minnesota should or should not expand the medical marijuana law to make more people eligible to use marijuana for medical purposes?’ 67% of poll respondents stated that Minnesota should indeed expand the program. Only 26% of respondents said that Minnesota should maintain the status quo. 7% of respondents were unsure. Minnesota officials need to listen to the people. There are people suffering all over Minnesota, and they deserve safe access to medicine that will help them if they choose to use it.