Easing state into medical marijuana

Minnesota legislators reached an agreement on a medical marijuana bill Thursday, one that the governor will support. It is an agreement that will provide relief to people suffering from a number of serious medical conditions, it limits the distribution and production of the marijuana extracts and products that will be allowed, and sets up a patient registry of those who will be using it.

It is not a bill that will legalize the widespread use of pot. Law enforcement should not be too upset by the bill. The bill will not allow selling marijuana in leaf or plant form, and will not allow smoking of marijuana as a form of treatment.

This is a measure that responds to the pleas of the many patients, and parents of young patients, who are suffering from a number of serious ailments, and who have found no relief from their symptoms in other treatments. They are counting on medical marijuana to reduce the incidence of epileptic seizures, to reduce chronic pain, to help cancer patients who suffer from nausea and lack of appetite because of treatment.

This legislation is a compassionate but measured response to their needs. We hope it will provide the relief they need, without leading to abuse.

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