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May 16, 2014


Oliver Steinberg

Senator Petersen's remarks hit the nail on the head. There was no need to water down or eviscerate the MPP-written bill, originally identical between Sen. Dibble and Rep. Melin. It was super-restrictive as it was and already excluded many patients. Parenthetically, I doubt that figure of 5,000 patients expected to receive processed cannabis products under the Melin pretended compromise version.
Because it will be difficult and intimidating for physicians to participate, most of them won't. It will be difficult, intimidating, and expensive for patients to participate--most will continue to seek clandestine sources or will move to one of the free states.
It seems Rep. Melin wanted to provide relief for the constituents who came to her from her district; the predicament of other patients somehow didn't seem to command as great a degree of commitment from her, when push came to shove.
It is my impression that Marijuana Policy Project actually recruited Rep. Melin as the main sponsor of the bill that MPP wrote.
The voters of Minnesota may have a chance to weigh in on Governor Dayton's despicable performance on this issue. While Dayton will be renominated and the Republicans will also predictably nominate a prohibitionist candidate against him, the Grassroots Party (now re-styled officially as the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party) will begin circulating petitions on Tuesday to place a gubernatorial ticket on the ballot for the general election.
Chris Wright, candidate for Governor, ran against Dayton in 2010; David Daniels, the Lt. Governor candidate this year, was the Grassroots challenger when Dayton ran for US Senate in 2000. Mr. Daniels, a long-time cannabis reform advocate, is also a survivor of stage-IV cancer, and will bring an interesting personal perspective to the contest.
Passing the Melin bill won't be the last word.

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