Dayton now says 'certainly time' to work out medical marijuana bill

Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday morning that he thinks there's still time for compromise on a medical marijuana bill this legislative session, after saying Thursday that he thinks the chances are slim that a bill will pass during this legislative session.

He said he met with supporters of the legislation at the Governor's Mansion and told them to meet with his staff to try to come up with a compromise that can pass.

• March 13: Dayton says chances slim for legal medical marijuana
• March 11: Medical marijuana talks at stalemate
• March 2: Physicians ponder medical marijuana benefits

He spoke Friday with MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer. Here are some highlights from their conversation about the bill.

On listening to stories from medical marijuana supporters:

"It's very hard, very painful. We met for almost two hours. I met with some of them before the session began. The suffering they are going through, their children are going through, is very very painful to listen to. My heart goes out the them."

On the chances a medical marijuana bill might pass this session:

"There's still, I think, two months left in the legislative session, which is certainly time to see if something can be worked out. Whether it can or not, I don't know at this point."

"The only thing I see as possible this session is marijuana chemical substance in a pill or capsule form, not loose-leaf marijuana plant that would be smoked or vaporized -- I don't see that as going to happening this in this session."

"I think there are just so many logistical, medical and law enforcement concerns that have not been thought through by the legislative author of the bill [Rep. Carly Melin]."

House leader weighs in

Later on Friday, DFL House Majority Leader Erin Murphy of St. Paul suggested that the talks won't be resolved by the end of session.

"I do think it is fruitful and probably not possible to get this conversation done yet this session, but fruitful to have a broader discussion about the impact of the medical evidence ... and health care provider element of this discussion," Murphy said.

MPR News' Tom Scheck contributed to this report.

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