Medical marijuana backers say physicians support idea
ST. PAUL -- Supporters of legislation to legalize medical marijuana say that dozens of physicians in Minnesota support their cause.
Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, one of the groups that support access to medical marijuana, unveiled the list of doctors and clergy during a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol. No physicians attended the news conference, however.
The Minnesota Medical Association, which is the state’s leading lobby for physicians, said more study is needed when it announced in March that it wouldn’t give its support to the bills being considered in the House and Senate.
Earlier this month, the Senate’s health committee started hearing a bill that would give patients with certain medical conditions access to a limited supply of marijuana, so long as it was recommended by a physician. With a doctor’s recommendation, patients would be able to get an ID card from the state health department, allowing them to buy medical marijuana at a dispensary.
The state’s health commissioner spoke out against the bill during the hearing, and the state human services commissioner also raised concerns. The Senate committee tabled the issue at the time; a continuation of the hearing has not been scheduled.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Neil Lynch of the Republican Liberty Caucus expressed his group’s support for the bill. Both Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor legislators are listed as authors for the current bills.
But Lynch said there “are still some struggles” among Republicans on the issue.
“There’s still the stigma about marijuana in general, and there are good Republicans who think it is a moral issue,” he said.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service