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Minnesota Adds Intractable Pain As Qualifying Condition For Medical Marijuana

minnesota marijuana

(image via minnesota norml)

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced Wednesday that intractable pain, as defined in Minnesota law, will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for which patients can legally access medical marijuana.

The commissioner must notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative health and public safety policy committees. Intractable pain will become a qualifying condition for medical marijuana effective August 1, 2016, unless the legislature passes a law stating otherwise.

The vast majority of the 23 states with workable medical marijuana programs allow the use of medical marijuana to treat intractable pain.

Statement from Robert Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project:

“This is a sensible and compassionate decision that will help a lot of Minnesotans who suffer every day from intractable pain. The commissioner heard from countless medical professionals, patients, and families from across the state about the benefits of medical marijuana for people suffering from this debilitating condition. We commend Commissioner Ehlinger and everyone else involved in taking this important step toward improving the lives of countless Minnesotans.

“Medical marijuana has been found to be an effective treatment option for people suffering from severe and chronic pain. It is oftentimes more effective than prescription painkillers, and it is undeniably far less addictive and less toxic. Recent research shows that states that allow medical marijuana for severe and chronic pain have lower rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses. The decision to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition in Minnesota will improve not only the health of individual patients, but also the community as a whole.”

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.


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Johnny Green


  1. That’s a great idea. Please encourage everyone you can to do it, and to pass the idea on.

  2. While this is good news on the face of it, Minnesota still has the most torturous laws regarding “legal” medical marijuana. The laws and regs as to who can provide it, who can get it under what conditions, all designed to dissuade and prevent people from getting the relief they need.

    This may be a good step, but it is a tiny step indeed. Minnesota has a very, very long way to go before it’s citizens will receive the benefits of “the evil weed”.

  3. This is a very good idea. However, a better idea is to hand-write a letter to the President. Letters, especially hand-written letters, carry much more weight than a simple phone call. And they are by far and away better than simply sending an e-mail. Don’t waste your time with online petitions. They are of no concern to any politician at all.

  4. Kudos for them doing so, but we need action at the federal level. Please call the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 every day and ask that the President get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 so that Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it on the same basis as every other medication. Call every day and ask everyone you know to call every day and to get everyone they know to do so and to pass the idea on. With luck the effort will go viral.

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