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Community forum on medical marijuana to be held Wednesday in Rochester

Community forum on medical marijuana to be held Wednesday in Rochester

The Minnesota Department of Health is hosting a series of forums across the state this fall to give the public the opportunity to learn more about the state’s medical cannabis program.

The first session will be held 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Rochester Public Library's auditorium.

Participants will be asked to give their input on whether the state should add intractable pain to the list of medical conditions that qualify people to participate in the program, according to a news release.

The state defines "intractable pain" as:

A pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.

The health commissioner will make a determination on whether intractable pain should be added to the list of qualifying conditions by the beginning of 2016. Under current state law, the commissioner must make a decision on intractable pain before any other diagnoses are considered.

Medical marijuana became legal in Minnesota on July 1. However, the state's law is the strictest of its kind in the U.S. It prohibits smoking of the drug and requires the plant be manufactured in liquid, pill, or vaporized form. 

The non-smokable cannabis currently is only available to Minnesota residents whose health care provider certifies them to be suffering from nine qualifying conditions including cancer, glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS.

Rochester is home to one of eight distribution centers in the state.

Recommended: "How ‘Medical’ Is Marijuana?" by the New York Times


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