Minnesota has one of the most controversial medical marijuana laws in the country. The list of qualifying conditions in Minnesota is much smaller than most other states that have legalized medical marijuana. Also, Minnesota does not allow home cultivation, and medical marijuana cannot be smoked. Minnesota gave a virtual monopoly to just two companies that are responsible for providing all of the medical marijuana for the entire state of Minnesota.
The limited program has resulted in very low patient numbers. In fact, there are more medical marijuana doctors registered in Minnesota than there are patients. Per the Star Tribune:
One month after legalization, there are still more doctors than patients enrolled in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program.
As of Friday morning, there were 250 patients and 334 health care practitioners enrolled in the Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis.
Even so, patients eligible for the program have struggled to find doctors willing to help them enroll. Those who do make it into the program are facing rising prices for a medication that’s not covered by any insurance.
“Guess banging my head against the wall will not move the wall,” said Duane Bandel, who has AIDS — one of nine conditions the law says entitles him to try medical cannabis — but has been unable to get his doctors to fill out the paperwork for the state.
Minnesota should be an example for other states to not follow. All patients should be able to use medical marijuana if they find relief in the plant. All forms of cannabis should be allowed to be consumed. Until Minnesota drastically improves its medical marijuana law, there will always be a black market, and there will always be patients who are forced to go without medicine, which is obviously unacceptable.