Minnesota Adds Chronic Pain to Legal Medical Cannabis Conditions

MN NORML

Minnesota became the 19th state out of 24 to allow medical cannabis use for the treatment of chronic and intractable pain, that is pain that cannot be taken away medically. Tech Times reported earlier this month that the condition was added to the list after the government heard scientific research and testimony from 500 Minnesotans on the subject. About 90 percent of those interviewed thought that the pain relief use condition should be added to the state's medicinal marijuana program.

The program was rolled out in July. Out of roughly 5.5 million residents, less than 800 have been approved for the use of pot for medical purposes in the state of Minnesota. In fact, several frustrated patients told the Associated Press this year that they went back to buying the drug on the streets because the legal route is more expensive and difficult. The state plans to expand the number of approved patients to around 5,000.

Why such tight control? Minnesota is still a typical Midwest place where older, more conservative voters are stigmatized by the plant and its reputation as a harmful street drug tied to organized crime. Minnesota has some of the strictest medical weed laws in the United States of America and it also created a state-imposed monopoly on its production, allowing only two producers grow weed.

In terms of marketing, Minnesota wants to avoid selling it as a product with street names and monikers like "Sour Diesel" and "Purple Kush", the way it is sold in California. It is only available in pill and oil forms, to downplay the recreational use of smoking the substance. This approach is not popular among those who actually want to see the plant legalized for recreational and medical purposes. Many others believe that residents should be allowed to grow the plant and use it freely as they choose.

Photo by Tony Webster, via Wikimedia Commons Images.

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