Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Minnesota Governor Thinks Terminally Ill Medical Marijuana Patients Should be Arrested

Last week Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) vetoed a medical marijuana bill that would have protected terminally ill patients - despite the bill passing the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives

The bill was watered down to help ease concerns that the governor had about the bill. Ultimately, the House decided to narrow it down to only protect those that are terminally ill from being arrested for using marijuana to relieve pain and suffering.

Astonishingly, Pawlenty didn't think that even terminally ill Minnesota citizens should be spared from prosecution for using marijuana.
“While I am sympathetic to those dealing with end-of-life illnesses and accompanying pain, I stand with law enforcement in opposition to this legislation,” Pawlenty said in his veto letter.
Sympathetic? How could you be sympathetic and then decide that dying people should be arrested and even jailed just because law enforcement officials want to arrest them? This is some seriously pathetic stuff here folks. This isn't California's medical marijuana legislation. Again - this bill would have only protected terminally ill people from arrest.

Here is an example of the people that Minnesota law enforcement and Gov. Pawlenty feel should be arrested for using marijuana:

Joni Whiting, whose testimony of finding marijuana for her dying daughter brought tears to many legislators’ eyes, had harsh words for Pawlenty.

“The governor thinks I’m a criminal for allowing my daughter some comfort during the last months of her life,” she said. “I don’t know how he sleeps at night, but I do know I’m not giving up until others in my daughter’s situation are protected.”

The fight isn't over though. SSDP has started new chapters in MN this year and we expect to see even more come September.
“Since the governor has refused to listen to reason or to the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans, we have no choice but to bypass him and take this directly to the people through a constitutional amendment,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing.
MN polls show that over 60% of MN residents supported the bill. Instead of allowing common sense legislation to take place - legislation that would have been the country's most restrictive medical marijuana bill - Pawlenty just made himself look like a heartless, nonsensical demagogue and I don't think it will be too long until we see medical marijuana in MN.