Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform!


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Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.

Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.

Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.

In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.

Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.

As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).

We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last night possible.

In other great news, voters elected at least seven governors who support ending marijuana prohibition — Ned Lamont in Connecticut, JB Pritzker in Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polis in Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. For more details, check out our elections page.

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Minn.: Election Day is less than one week away!


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Check out the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization’s cannabis voter guide!

Minnesota’s General Election Day is less than one week away! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

The Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization (MCFL) has put together a state legislative voter guide with results of their candidate survey and incumbents voting records. (Note that an F grade may not mean the candidate is opposed; they may simply not have responded to the survey.)

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on marijuana prohibition:

• House District 3A (International Falls): Incumbent Rob Ecklund (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis and also cosponsored marijuana legalization/regulation bills, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Randy Goutermont (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 11A (Moose Lake, Barnum, Scanlon): Mike Sundin (DFL) cosponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Jeff Dotseth (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 19A (North Mankato): Jeff Brand (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Kim Spears (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey. There is no incumbent in the district.

• House District 37A (Spring Lake Park): Incumbent Erin Koegel (DFL) expressed support for legalizing and regulating marijuana and also cosponsored a marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HF 2714. Challenger Anthony Wilder (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 56A (Savage): Challenger Hunter Cantrell (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Drew Christensen (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 57B (Rosemount): Challenger John Huot (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Anna Wills (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (D) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Please check out MCFL’s voter guide, forward this to your network in Minnesota, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Minn.: State seeks public input on adding qualifying conditions


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Please consider voicing your support for expanding Minnesota’s medical marijuana program! 

On Wednesday, a medical marijuana review panel will meet to discuss the petitions to add opioid use disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, panic disorder, and psoriasis as qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program.

What: Public meeting on adding conditions, including an opportunity for public comment

When: Wednesday, October 24, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Where: Room 300N, State Office Building, 100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

You can check out MPP’s letter in support of adding opiate use disorder here, in case you want to make any of the same points.

If you are unable to attend, you may also submit written comments in support of adding one or more conditions.

Separately, Election Day is fast approaching! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy reform: Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (R) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Don’t miss this opportunity to voice your support for marijuana policy reform, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Minnesota patients with autism and sleep apnea now qualify for medical cannabis


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Last November, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the additions take effect the following summer.

Starting on July 1, 2018, patients with a doctor’s certification and either of those conditions could begin registering for the program. They can start accessing medical cannabis no sooner than August 1. Our allies at Sensible Minnesota offer one-on-one assistance to patients who need help navigating the process. Learn more here.

Congratulations to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program!

Sensible Minnesota is now working on petitions to expand the program to include opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.

If you are a Minnesota medical professional who might be willing to add your voice to the petition, contact Sensible Minnesota at 952-529-4420 or by email.

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Minnesota Adds Two Qualifying Conditions to Medical Marijuana Program


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Starting in July 2018, Minnesotans diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and autism spectrum disorders will qualify for medical marijuana. Congratulations to all the patients, families, and health care providers whose personal stories and expertise convinced regulators to expand the program.

Here’s the complete list of conditions that currently qualify for medical marijuana in Minnesota:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
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PTSD Patients Can Now Access Medical Marijuana in Minnesota


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Last year, MPP helped local advocates at Sensible Minnesota with their successful petition to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the state’s medical cannabis program. Patients suffering from this condition were able to enroll in the program last month, and starting August 1 they will be allowed to access medical cannabis.

Every year, the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis accepts petitions to add new conditions, and this year was no exception. This year’s petitions were due this week, and MPP and Sensible Minnesota again submitted paperwork — including for nausea, Alzheimer’s, and autism. Thanks to everyone who shared their story with us to help build the case. Before deciding whether to add the condition, a review panel will hold a public hearing.

While Minnesota has a comprehensive medical marijuana program, it remains one of the most limited — and costly — in the country. One of the most significant remaining flaws is that patients are not permitted to consume whole plant (flower) cannabis.

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Minnesota Accepting Petitions to Add Qualifying Conditions


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The Minnesota medical cannabis program is now accepting petitions to add qualifying conditions. Once again, MPP is teaming up with local advocate group Sensible Minnesota to petition to expand the program.

Post-traumatic stress disorder — which was added as a result of last year’s petition process — qualifies starting on Aug. 1, and the year before we were successful in efforts to add intractable pain. This year we are looking at adding several new conditions. They are: nausea, autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, and chronic pain.

If you suffer from one of these conditions, are the guardian of someone who does, or if you are a health care professional who treats one of these conditions, we want to hear from you! Please fill out this form to let us know who you are, what condition is relevant to you, and to share your story. Sensible Minnesota or MPP Foundation will be submitting letters of support along with the petitions.

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Minnesota Lawmaker Introduces Marijuana Regulation Bill


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Minnesota House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) has filed a bill to end cannabis prohibition and regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults ages 21 and up.

If passed, bill HF927 would go into effect on January 1, 2018. It would allow adults to possess and purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, and to grow six plants. Rep. Applebaum hopes that all revenues generated by such a program would go towards Minnesota’s public schools. His bill would not permit driving under the influence of cannabis or consumption in public. If you are a Minnesota resident, please let your legislators know you’d like to see Minnesota enact this sensible proposal.

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Minnesota Adds PTSD to Qualifying Conditions


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In a press conference last week, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health, announced the department will add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Patients who suffer from PTSD and have their doctor’s certification will be eligible to sign up for a medical cannabis card beginning August 2017.flag_of_minnesota-svg
Dr. Ehlinger also announced that the department will expand the program by allowing medical cannabis topicals, including patches, lotions, creams, gels, and ointments. Topicals have been shown to be a safe form of administering medical cannabis.
Last year, intractable pain was added to the Minnesota program, significantly increasing patient participation. The program — one of the most limited in the nation — had suffered from a lack of patient participation due to few qualifying conditions. The Commissioner reviewed a total of nine petitions requesting program expansion. While MPP wishes they had all been adopted, adding PTSD will help many hundreds of patients and is a significant victory.
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Minnesota Health Dept. Accepting Public Comments on New Rules


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Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger gave patients reason to cheer earlier this month when he approved intractable pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. Unfortunately, though, proposed revisions to Minnesota’s medical marijuana regulations could result in an excruciatingly long delay for reviewing future petitions. Under the proposed changes, there could be a delay of more than two years from the time a petition to add a new qualifying condition or delivery method is made to when it takes effect!

If you are a Minnesota resident, please write to Commissioner Ed Ehlinger at the Minnesota Department of Health and urge him to once again show compassion to patients by changing the timeline for adding new conditions. Members of the public may comment on the proposed rules until Wednesday, December 16.

A vast majority of medical marijuana states allow individuals to use and access any number of preparations of medical marijuana to treat a variety of conditions. Minnesota is one of the few that exclude conditions like severe nausea and that strictly limits the modes of delivery — including by excluding whole plant.

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