abc
QUICK LINKS:

Dayton Names 16 to Study Impact of Marijuana Law

Updated: 07/10/2014 5:47 PM
Created: 07/10/2014 5:20 PM WDIO.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday appointed 16 members to a task force that will study the impact of the state's new medical marijuana law.

The governor's appointees to the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research range from law enforcement officials to people who treat substance abuse to potential patients and their parents. They're charged with overseeing the rollout of Minnesota's program and evaluating access to the drug, the quality of medication and its impact on law enforcement and the medical community.

Patients are expected to be able to get medical marijuana starting July 1, 2015.

The Legislature passed a bill that gave Minnesota one of the nation's strictest such laws. Patients can only use a pill, liquid or vaporized form of the drug, and only those who suffer from eight illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS and glaucoma will qualify for the program.

That bill also created the 23-member task force, which will also include of two members from each the House and Senate and the commissioners of the departments of Health, Human Services and Public Safety.

Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers' association, is one of four law enforcement representatives on the task force. He said he'll bring the perspective of the "rank and file" police officer to the group and help advance research on the medicinal value of marijuana.

"I think there's probably not been enough research. Hopefully Minnesota can play a key role in that," he said.

For several years, police groups opposed efforts to legalize medical marijuana. Their support of the stricter bill was crucial to its passage and Dayton's signature.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, a vocal opponent of legalizing marijuana for medical use, said he'll also add a law enforcement perspective to studying the impact of the state's new law.

"We want to make sure that there's proper oversight of the entire process," Backstrom said. "The states that have had significant public safety concerns regarding medical marijuana laws that have passed, there hasn't been a lot of oversight."

Minnesota is one of 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, that has legalized medical marijuana.

Other members named to the task force include: Duane Bandel of Minneapolis, a consumer member; Maria Botker of Clinton, a parent member; Karina Forrest of White Bear Township, a substance use treatment provider; James Franklin from the Minnesota Sheriffs Association; Dr. Pamela Gonzalez of Minneapolis, a substance use treatment provider, David Hartford of St. Cloud, a substance use treatment provider; Dr. Vincent Hayden of Minneapolis, a substance use treatment provider; David Kolb from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association; Doreen McIntyre of Champlin, a health care provider; Jeremy Pauling of Montevideo, a parent member; Dr. Charles Reznikoff of Minneapolis, a health care provider; Laura Schwartzwald of Aitkin, a pharmacist member; Sarah Wellington of St. Paul, a consumer member; and Dr. Dawn Wyllie of Bemidji, a health care provider.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Front Page

  • Minn. DNR Increases Target Wolf Harvest

    The Minnesota DNR is increasing the target harvest for this fall's wolf hunt from 250 to 280. The DNR says the latest population survey estimates that there were 2,423 wolves living in Minnesota this past winter, which is 212 more animals than estimated the previous winter.

  • Update: Teen Killed in Douglas Co. Crash

    The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says a Lake Nebagamon teenager was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday afternoon.  15-year-old Seth N. Stariah, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene.

  • Workers at the NOvA hall in Ash River assemble the final block of the far detector in early February 2014, with the nearly completed detector in the background. U of M Reaches Milestone with Ash River Neutrino Detector

    The University of Minnesota is celebrating a milestone in creating an experimental particle detector that it says could eventually yield important information about the beginning of the universe.

  • Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park

    Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.

  • Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard

    Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.

 
Advertisement