MEDICAL MARIJUANA: House bill passes by 86-39 vote - KMSP-TV

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: House bill passes by 86-39 vote

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Jessica Hauser listens to the medical marijuana debate, holding up picture of her son Wyatt, who suffer from epilepsy Jessica Hauser listens to the medical marijuana debate, holding up picture of her son Wyatt, who suffer from epilepsy
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota House has passed its version of the medical marijuana bill by an 86-39 vote.

The Minnesota Senate passed its medical marijuana bill on Tuesday, by a 48-18 vote. The House bill -- seen as a more restrictive bill than the Senate version -- faced a gauntlet of nearly 50 potential amendments before a vote.

The House and Senate bills share one major characteristic: No smoking of medical marijuana in Minnesota. The House bill would only allow marijuana to be used in pill, liquid, oil or vapor form.

Friday’s debates and amendments in the House centered around adding medical conditions to the eligible list and expanding growing and distribution networks.

Rep. Pat Garafolo asked the House vote to delete the House bill and insert the Senate bill in its place. That amendment was voted down by a 97 to 28 vote, but it made for some very poignant exchanges on the floor.

Author of the bill, Rep. Carly Melin, closed the debate with poignant words.

"Members, I again thank you for this very civil debate and for sharing your stories and I would just ask you to please join me in helping the sickest among us have legal, safe access to the medicine that they need. Please vote green," she said.

Law enforcement opposes the Senate version, but has not voiced opposition to the House bill. Gov. Mark Dayton has said his signature will require the support of law enforcement.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill again on Monday. If passed, Minnesota would become the 22nd state to adopt compassionate use legislation.

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