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Minnesota Launches Restrictive MMJ Program

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Minnesota Launches Restrictive MMJ Program

The state’s cannabis producers believe the attitudes of everyone involved, from lawmakers to doctors, will change once the program has had some time to mature.

The state of Minnesota launches its medical marijuana program today, but unlike the more than 20 other states with similar systems in place, patients will only be allowed to consume the herb by way of pills and oils. Smoking cannabis remains strictly prohibited under state law.

Patients will now finally get a chance to take advantage of what is, perhaps, one of the most bizarre medical marijuana programs in the United States. Those suffering from nine specific conditions like cancer and AIDS will be given access to cannabis pills and oils, but they will only be able to secure it from just eight locations throughout the state.

Some worry that the ultra-restrictive nature of the program will create hardships for patients living in rural areas, as well as those without the means to travel long distances. Local cannabis advocates say the regulations attached to the program are just the beginning to developing a more comprehensive version in the future.

“The door is opening,” Bob Cappechi of the Marijuana Policy Project told The Associated Press. “This will start helping people out. That’s really what this is all about.”

Even the two companies responsible for producing cannabis products for Minnesota’s patients agree that the state’s approach to taking this treatment mainstream is oddly unique. They say that because the medical marijuana industry as a whole does not operate in this manner, it presents challenges, all the way around, because every aspect from seed to sale is new.

However, the real problem is getting patients registered and physicians to play ball.

As of last week, only 41 of the 65 patients certified to participate in the program had been given access. Many believe it’s the difficulty of the enrollment process that has contributed to such a low turnout across the board. Others complain that finding a physician willing to write a recommendation is what’s holding the program back.

A recent survey of 14,000 doctors in Minnesota found that nearly 70 percent of these professionals had no plans of participating in medical marijuana, while only about 9 percent said they would. The state’s program mandates that patients first complete the registration and then get their doctor to sign off on their qualified condition.

Unfortunately, nearly 20 percent of the doctors polled said they plan to take a wait-and-see approach to advising their patients on the use of medical marijuana.

Do you think qualified patients should have the option to smoke cannabis to treat their conditions? Share your thoughts in the comments.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. honestman

    July 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I live in MN and I’m thinking of moving to a state where recreational pot is legal. I do not qualify for Medical Maryjane even though I suffer from PTSD and chronic pain. I take 2 Hydrocodone (10/325) 4 times a day to just take the edge off the pain. I have to take random piss tests and if any drug but opioids show up I lose them. I could smoke a joint and br pain free for half the day.

    • Michelle Strozier

      July 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

      I totally agree with you. I will be leaving Oklahoma this year to a legal mmj state. I am in extreme pain with several auto immune diseases and have crippling RA and OA and due to having 2 kidney failures I can’t take meds from allowing it to progress. I am glad on one level as they are big time poison yet the pain is unbearable. I went on hydro 10s 4x/day plus 800 motrins the same and cried as they stopped helping as that meant stronger meds and stronger. This is what has happened and I am at the limit of opiads and fentynal patches and I am still in crying extreme pain and in bed 95% of the time. It will be a cold day in hell before they make true med cannabis available here. We will join thousands of med cannabis refugees all over America and it sucks as we should have the choice to choose cannabis as our med or not. Prohibition is against our Civil Rights!!! Good Luck, keep fighting for all our rights to Cannabis!!! 1❤️4ALL

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