A 27-year-old North St. Paul mother and her 6-year-old daughter have a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, according to The Huffington Post. Like many others with EDS, the woman said she experiences pain so severe that it keeps her from being able to play with her daughter. Smoking medical marijuana, she said, dulls the pain enough to enable her and her child to comfortably enjoy their time together.
Medical marijuana use is a hot-button issue, especially as advocates push for legalization. More than 20 states and Washington, D.C., have approved it for medicinal purposes. Thanks to new legislation, Minnesotans like this mother will now have legal access to it.
Limitations of the law
The new Minnesota law contains regulations that restrict and govern the use of the medical drug and these measures including the following:
- A physician, advanced-practice registered nurse or physician assistance must diagnose the illness.
- Patients may only qualify if they have one of the eight illnesses on the approved list.
- Workers at dispensaries and manufacturing facilities will have to pass a background check.
Smoking the drug is not a legal option for patients in Minnesota under the new law, as the law does not allow the use of plant components; the state only permits the use of medical marijuana in pill, vapor and oil forms.
For those who abuse the system, there are consequences in place. For example, should people in the medical marijuana program use the drug outside of its intended purposes, they may be charged with a crime and find themselves in need of criminal defense.
Benefits of medical marijuana
Advocates have long pointed to the ability of medical marijuana to alleviate pain and nausea. Research from the California Pacific Medical Center reveals that a psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis can actually stop the metastasis of cancer. Further studies suggest that the drug can also calm and reduce seizures, increase appetite and reduce anxiety.
An increase in appetite can greatly help patients undergoing chemotherapy or individuals who have HIV. Medical marijuana also has been proven to lower the amount of ocular pressure in people who have glaucoma. What’s more, according to a report in Men’s Health magazine, researchers are increasingly finding that marijuana is remarkably non-toxic. One study even points out that researchers could not find a single death directly caused by marijuana. Those wondering if they qualify for use under the new Minnesota law should contact an attorney.