Minn. Sen. panel approves medical-marijuana bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Senate panel approved a medical-marijuana bill with bipartisan support on Friday.

The legislation would allow licensed medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy to prescribe marijuana to patients with maladies such as cancer, epilepsy and extreme chronic pain. Those patients would receive a card enabling them to buy medicinal marijuana from approved alternative treatment centers; they could not grow their own pot.

The bill also would authorize a study to examine the medical benefits of marijuana.

Those voting for the bill included Michelle Benson, a Ham Lake Republican who is running for lieutenant governor. Those opposed included Democrat Chris Eaton, a registered nurse from Brooklyn Center.

The Committee on Health, Human Services and Housing vote was 7-3. The legislation goes next to the State and Local Government Committee.

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