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Minnesota Governor To Parents: Just Break Marijuana Laws


minnesota medical marijuanaA parent with a sick child would do almost anything to find relief.  Some parents rejoiced when Dr. Sanjay Gupta exposed them to the stories of children like theirs finding relief from epilepsy with a cannabis extract high in CBD.  The only problem is the oil is not legal in their state, so these parents have begun to lobby their legislatures for a legal solution.

But rather than help these parents by finding them a legal way to treat their child with marijuana, invertebrate politicians have instead done something contrary to their oath of office: they’re openly encouraging desperate parents to break state and federal laws.

In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton met with Jessica Hauser.  She and other parents met with the governor on March 13 to lobby for HF 1818, an extremely restrictive medical marijuana bill that would have established dispensaries to provide medical marijuana for a limited set of medical conditions.  Hauser’s son Wyatt has infantile spasms, a form of epilepsy that strikes him hundreds of times per day.  Hauser’s conversation with the governor was stunning:

“I explained to [the governor]how my son and others like him would benefit from safe and legal access to medical marijuana. I told him in great detail our story and our struggles. My optimism quickly turned to dismay when, after hearing my son’s story, the governor actually suggested I should just find medical marijuana for my son off the street.”

“This is our state’s top official looking me in the eye and telling me that I should have to break the law to buy marijuana from an illegal drug dealer instead of being able to access it safely and legally from a tightly regulated state licensed provider as outlined in the H.F. 1818 bill. Is that what his friends in law enforcement would prefer as well?”

Gov. Dayton prefers a proposal for $2.2 million study of CBD at the Mayo Clinic, but provides no way for the Mayo Clinic to get the CBD aside from the federal government.  “At least 34 states have tried this approach. It doesn’t work,” said Heather Azzi, political director of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, which lobbied for HF 1818.  In fact, no new law is required for Dayton’s proposal; if the FDA and NIDA approved clinical trials of CBD, it could be happening at the Mayo Clinic tomorrow.  The governor is just offering up something, anything, as a defense to what’s turning into a politically uncomfortable situation that places him between sick kids who desperately need CBD and Minnesota cops who desperately need marijuana arrests.

Gov. Dayton portrayed activists’ rejection of his unworkable bill as “their decision to make,” adding, “There are people who just want to be able to smoke marijuana, and that’s what they want to do legally, and that’s not going to happen in this legislative session.”  When parents slammed him for those comments, he walked them back the next day, saying, “My comment yesterday, in which I referred to ‘the advocates who want to legalize medical marijuana and be able to smoke marijuana plants and leaves…’ was in no way intended to refer to victims of terrible diseases or their parents, who I was trying to help.”  Well, who was it intended toward?  Heather Azzi at MCC?  The majority of Minnesotans that support medical marijuana?

As for telling Ms. Hauser to “find medical marijuana on the streets”?  Gov. Dayton said, “I cannot, and I do not, advocate breaking the law. But as a father, I understand parents who would do anything possible to help their children. If advocates agree to the compromise solution my administration has proposed – which I believe would provide their children with the medication and relief they need as quickly as possible – then something can be accomplished on this issue this session.”

Gov. Dayton, who is the veto threat that had prevented any medical marijuana bill from advancing, added, “I also regret that I have been wrongly portrayed as the sole barrier between sufferers and their access to medical marijuana.”  The governor expressed that he’s merely echoing the concerns of medical professionals and law enforcement that marijuana can “disrupt learning and impair memory, exacerbate mental illness, increase blood pressure, heart rate, and heart attack risk, [and]impair drivers,” none of which can damage or kill a child like hundreds of epileptic seizures per day can.

Gov. Dayton’s not the only politician encouraging parents of sick kids to break the law.  The CBD-only bill just signed in Utah and soon to be signed in Alabama, like the ones pending in Kentucky and South Carolina, and like the one killed in Georgia, all require the parents to get CBD oil from Colorado, breaking that state’s and federal laws in the process.

This is not an unintended consequence; these state lawmakers openly call for their constituents to break the law.  In Utah, when colleagues pointed out parents would be breaking federal trafficking laws once they crossed the Utah/Colorado border, it was bill sponsor Rep. Gage Froerer saying, “They know very well that this may not protect them from the DEA if the federal prosecutors stepped in.”

In Georgia, it was bill sponsor Rep. Allen Peake explaining how his state should protect those parents smuggling in CBD oil.  “Let’s leave that decision to the parents,” he said.  ”If they are willing to take the risk that a TSA agent will arrest them with a vial of oil, let’s let them make the decision.”

Isn’t it ironic that representatives and governors are so afraid of someone smoking a misdemeanor amount of pot to get high under the cover of a medical law that they would rather have parents become interstate felony drug traffickers than provide sick kids a marijuana extract that causes no high?

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. He basically said same thing twice also not just once only thing is we’re not hearing that part. Anyway UNBELIEVABLE. He wont hear the end of this one for quite a while. .so actually thank you for what you’ve doing ,, You just got the whole mmj straight up front.

  2. Lowkey as long as the person that drive Mack only a hit before driving.nd the parents aren’t smoking Nd driving Nd if the person driving high they should be chilling for 30 before driving Nd drink 1 water bottle while waiting then they can drive BUH what sucks Mack is I live in East Los Angeles CA I have my MED card for medical marijuana I use drive my car all the time till I was coming from Moreno valley not under the the blazed noe drank I was completely Sobar I was driving bck to east la CA I got in a car crash almost near montebello CA, these to crashed into me I flipped 7 times that day minor injuries Nd they were high BUH I was currently smoking but not that day lmfao BUH the thingy I say is I was following the Federal law Nd I got a ticket they didn’t I broke the law and they did u can smell the bud Nd they even walked up to us with a blunt in hand Nd they took a couple hits Nd threw it before the highway potral came

  3. “Marijuana can… increase blood pressure, heart rate, and heart attack risk, [and] impair drivers”

    Hmm. Sounds like we should regulate it like cigarettes and alcohol then.

    I do agree with Gov. Dayton that civil disobedience is a good plan, however, because by peacefully ignoring silly prohibitions and thus gaining “standing” (catching a court case), these undeniably sympathetic defendants will put heavy pressure on federal and state actors to prove that their draconian (Nixonian) laws which actually DESTROY communities by incarcerating an alarming percentage of young minority men somehow serve the greater social good.

    Laws which restrict individual liberties must do so for a reason. The burden of proof is on the government to show that behavior regulations promote the public interest – if they can’t do so, such laws are unconstitutional.

    -14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States

    “Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them… or shall we transgress them at once?”

    -Henry David Thoreau (On Civil Disobedience)

    “It is your moral obligation to disobey an unjust law.”

    -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

    “Disobedience that is wholly civil should never provoke retaliation.”

    -Mahatma Ghandi

  4. Chad Jergins on

    All they care about is keeping the status quo . I would think it would be tough to find charlottes web strain buying off the street and how would you know its not something else?

  5. Maryjane$thename on

    Im from MN and to see this on my notifications this morning, literally made me sick, here we have sick children in need of a non-psychoactive medicine. Little do our children know that this same miracle medicine that is making the seizures stop and making them feel better than they probably have ever felt before; is the same medicine that if they were caught using, could potentially put their parents in prison or get them thrown into the system. Our politicians are raping our state of the benefits, not only just for medical reason but even financial reason as we’ll that cannabis can and will provide. Im suggesting that these self righteous a$$holes pull their head out and look at what they are doing to these innocent kids and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  6. Robert Ireland on

    what a true criminally insane ass and moral reject! i would have grabbed his neck and punched him in the mouth so help me god! advocate that you mf-er!

  7. “just break the laws…” (and possibly have your children removed from you by the gestapo CPS type agencies .. ) Why not do something to help them rather than set them up for disaster? i dont understand the lack of intelligence in our elected officials. Its bewildering.

  8. Government officials like that should be ashamed
    of themselves ! They have the power to help but
    won’t. Very sad.

  9. It’s simple…If these elected officials don’t carry out the will of the people whom they’re supposed to represent, REPLACE THEM! Ask them if they support common sense changes to things like Cannabis prohibition. If they do not, find someone that will, and help to put THAT person in office. Start getting rid of these assholes systematically. Broadcast the fact that certain “lawmakers” don’t care about the same things us common folk deem important! Stick to that plan, and make it all inclusive with all the potential voters!
    You’ll see how fast they change their minds!

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