Medical marijuana debate returns to Minnesota

A bowl of medicinal marijuana is displayed in a booth at The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo April 18, 2010 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The push to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota moved a step ahead Tuesday after the bill passed a House committee on a voice vote.

The House Health and Human Services Policy Committee heard testimony from two dozen witnesses, but the bill still has a long road ahead in the Legislature - and remains controversial in the state and around the nation.

MaryAnn Nelson kisses daughter's hand
At a House of Representatives committee meeting to review a bill for medical marijuana Tuesday March 4, 2014, MaryAnn Nelson of Mankato kissed her daughter Rachel's hand. Rachel suffers from Rett Syndrome. "I don't want have to move to Colorado," she says stating that she has found research that medical marijuana can reduce seizures.
Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP

More from the Associated Press:

An informal coalition of law enforcement agencies, including county attorneys, sheriffs and police, issued a list of requirements for the bill, including that marijuana come in only pill, liquid or vapor form. The committee narrowly defeated an amendment that would have added similar language to the bill.

Champlin Police Chief Dave Kolb, co-chairman of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, said law enforcement groups object to any bill they view as leading to the expanded use of marijuana.

"If the bill becomes truly medical, we'd be neutral," Kold told The Associated Press before Tuesday's hearing.

Could Minnesota become the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana? Or are there too many unanswered questions surrounding the issue?

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