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Time Running Out To Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The up-and-down medical marijuana bill at the Capitol may be down again.

Top lawmakers in the House and Senate say it’s not likely to pass this year.

Advocates of legalizing medical marijuana are hoping to make Minnesota the 20th state in the country to do so.

Thursday, the advocates said it’s possible to pass it this year. But it’s not about medicine at this point at the Capitol; it’s about math.

Top Republicans and Democrats admit Friday that there just aren’t enough votes to pass it this year.

Even as medical-marijuana advocates pleaded with Gov. Dayton Thursday to support it, many skeptics had questions about marijuana and crime.

Others wonder if it is a proven and effective medical treatment.

Republicans and Democrats WCCO spoke with Friday agreed that there’s not enough time to answer all of the concerns.

DFL Majority Leader Erin Murphy says despite past support, she doesn’t believe lawmakers are ready to make a decision this year.

“We have a lot of evidence from Minnesotans about their experience, so I do think it is fruitful and probably not possible to get this conversation done yet this session,” Murphy said. “There may be a more fruitful discussion that happens after session and into next year.”

Some of the advocates say the opposition is a moving target; first it was law enforcement, then the distribution methods and now medical effectiveness.

In the end, it probably gives everyone an opportunity to take a closer look at the 19 states that already have it.

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