Lawmakers Agree on Medical Marijuana Compromise

Posted at: 05/15/2014 12:41 PM
Updated at: 05/15/2014 6:20 PM

Photo: ABC 6 News
Photo: ABC 6 News

ST. PAUL, MN (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers say they have a deal to legalize medical marijuana that Governor Mark Dayton would sign.

They were set to detail the agreement Thursday afternoon at a Capitol press conference.

The House and Senate passed differing medical marijuana bills. The main differences surrounded the number of access points, the form the drug could come in and the health conditions that would be eligible. Both versions prohibited smoking of marijuana as medicine.

Dayton has resisted allowing any marijuana in leaf form out of fear it would be tough to monitor. He has sided with law enforcement concerns in demanding tight controls.

Olmsted County Sheriff David Mueller tells ABC 6 News, "The biggest concern was people being allowed to smoke marijuana. We know it's been a significant effort to find some balance at the state capitol and, from our perspective, we think this solution fits very well for us."

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi was more reserved. She tells us, "I wish they wouldn't have done that. However, I am glad they left out the smoking provision."

Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels tells ABC 6 News, "The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association supported the bill as long as marijuana use was restricted and smoking was prohibited. I support the legislation as I understand it."

However, Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson had the most succinct response. He said, "I never understood why law enforcement was involved in this conversation in the first place. If I get sick, I go to a doctor, not a cop."

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