Dayton: Medical marijuana likely dead for the year

Gov. Mark Dayton says the prospects for a study of one type of medical marijuana have little chance of becoming law this session. Dayton said advocates for full legalization of medical marijuana rejected his compromise plan this week.

Dayton proposed spending $2 million to have the Mayo Clinic study whether marijuana extracts in pill or liquid form would effectively treat children with an extreme form of epilepsy.

Dayton said by rejecting the study supporters of medical marijuana have effectively killed the issue for the session.

“I'm disappointed that the advocates who want to be able to smoke leaf marijuana are not willing to accept that,” Dayton said. “The authors of the bill are not interested in carrying it forward on a more limited basis. There are people who want to smoke marijuana and that's what they want to do legally. It's not going to happen in this legislative session."

Supporters of medical marijuana say they still think they can get an agreement to pass a bill.

Heather Azzi with Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, said she still thinks the bill can become law.

“Since the day that we started drafting this language and working on it, we have known that our only real hurdle is Gov. Dayton,” Azzi said. “As far as I know, what we were told on the meeting on Thursday was that he is not threatening to veto this bill. So we're moving forward under the assumption that we can work some language up that will be effective."

Dayton has said he will not support legalizing marijuana that involves smoking the drug.

The bill is currently stalled in committees in the House and Senate. DFL legislative leaders have said it's unlikely to move forward unless a compromise is reached.

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