Do you think marijuana should be legally allowed for medical purposes with doctor’s approval or not? This is the question from the latest poll released by Public Policy Polling, which had over 74% of Minnesota voters answering “yes“. Only 18% of people were opposed. What’s best about this recent public opinion is that support for medical marijuana legalization is strong among all age groups, even among seniors of 65 and older. Expectedly, the majority of support came from the age group between 30 and 45.
A month ago Minnesota became the 22nd medical marijuana state
Indeed, it was only a month ago when Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has signed into law a bill that makes Minnesota the 22nd state to embrace a medical marijuana law. Although, some have criticised the new law to be ‘overly restrictive’ it brought much needed relief to many deserving patients and their respective families. What’s being criticised is the fact that the law prohibits smoking medical marijuana as well as the use and possession of the dried flowers, which is, of course, the most widely used method of consumption. Instead, the law limits medical marijuana use to oil that is extracted from the plant. And it is not just any extraction that is allowed – the oil has to be manufactured using a state-licensed process. Beside oil, pills, and extracts prepared from the plant are also allowed.
Even qualified patients can be jailed if caught
Well, yes, that’s the way the new law works. Possesion of small amounts remains a misdemenaor even if you are a patient qualified for the medical marijuana treatment and you were cought smoking or simply carrying around some leaves – you could be jailed for up to 90 days, fined $1,000 and terminated from the program.
In order to be eligible to enter the state’s medical marijuana program, one needs to obtain a recommendation from the physician and be diagnosed with one of eight qualifying conditions (Cancer associated with severe/chronic, or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting, glaucoma, AIDS, Tourette’s Syndrome, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, seizures — including those characteristic of epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms — including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis, and/or Crohn’s Disease and terminal illness, with a life expectancy of less than one year). Not a pretty list, right?
Those in need of medical marijuana still have to wait
Cannabis-based products are expected to be available to qualified patients by no later than July 1, 2015 – the state has plans for two producers of cannabis and no more than eight distribution centers. All health impacts experienced by patients taking medical marijuana will be monitored and evaluated. Hopefully, this will help industry’s professionals to better understand and further develop medical marijuana based treatments.