Pass medical pot bill

The medical marijuana bill has two Republican co-authors and support for it looks promising.

State Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, authored a bill (SF 97) that would legalize the medical use of marijuana and the Health, Housing and Family Security Committee is slated to debate it Feb. 11, said the committeeâÄôs administrator, Laura Blubaugh. Only imprudent lawmakers would refuse to support this smart legislation. If enacted into law, the bill allows patients in incapacitating pain respite from the often dangerously addictive and ineffective market painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. For inane cultural and political reasons, itâÄôs much more acceptable to peddle these veritable drugs than the less lethal pot. Indeed, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network , a health surveillance network which monitors causes of death, in 2004 âÄî the last year in which data were available âÄî at least 58 deaths in St. Paul or Minneapolis were related to opioids while there were no marijuana-related deaths. The bill presciently contains stringent language regulating the drug. It severely penalizes state-regulated non-profit organizations âÄî which would be charged with administering the pot âÄî if they let the substance get into the wrong hands. Patients who have registered with the state as a medical marijuana user would be able to obtain 2.5 ounces if that person suffers from a âÄúdebilitating medical conditionâÄù such as cancer, glaucoma and other explicit conditions. Murphy proposed similar legislation last year and it passed the Senate but Gov. Tim Pawlenty indicated he would veto. Such a move would disappoint thousands of Minnesotans in pain and can only be viewed as greedy political maneuvering.