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Apr 12, 2014

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Oliver Steinberg

Obstruction to medical cannabis bills since 1991 has been spearheaded by Republicans, notably Bill Schreiber and Charlie Weaver in the early years; when Weaver was Public Safety commissioner under Jesse Ventura, who had campaigned in favor of medical use of cannabis, Charlie sabotaged the bill in a Senate committee hearing by testifying: "The Governor wants this bill but as law enforcement I have very serious reservations about it" wink-wink, nod-nod, the bill was dead. Tom Emmer led the floor fight against the 2009 bill; every committee I have watched in 23 years had more GOP's than DFL's blocking medical cannabis; and in the 1990's when the DFL platform endorsed medical cannabis, the GOP's campaign flyers tried to demagogue that fact against the DFL. So I think it is unlikely they'll do anything more than try to help the Governor look hypocritical and stupid and cruel, without themselves actually shifting to support a practical solution. Sen Dave Thompson obviously doesn't know what the present medical bill looks like because it is so restrictive you'd think it was plutonium they were regulating, not ganja. This year, look for third party choices--they'll be there--and remember 1998!

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    Sorensen, editor and proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, serves clients in the business and nonprofit sectors. While progressive in outlook, she does not caucus with any political party.

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