MINNESOTA - Last time we checked, cannabis was still a Schedule I narcotic in Minnesota. Why? Because, according to the statute, it has, like heroin, "A high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision."
At least the last of those two is false. Minnesota is in the midst of establishing a medical cannabis program and 21 other states, plus D.C., have their own on the books. Other states, like Utah, allow for the use of CBD-rich oil to treat certain ailments.
Noting this, Kurtis Hanna, a cannabis activist, has presented a petition to the regulatory agency in charge of classifying cannabis: the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. He'll present his argument at the board's December 10 meeting, but you can read it ahead of time below.
The board has twice rejected Hanna's assertion that cannabis ought to be removed from the Schedule I designation in Minnesota, claiming a change would put Minnesota at odds with the feds. Then the board turned around and successfully lobbied the state legislature to remove its own rule-making authority.
This time around, Hanna is requesting that the board recommend rescheduling cannabis in its end-year reports to the state legislature in hopes that lawmakers see the contradiction of their own making.
More than a few people have defended themselves from prosecution, claiming the law violated their due process -- but without being able to talk about the medical benefits of cannabis in court they couldn't adequately defend themselves. But the courts tend to throw the question of scheduling back at the board of pharmacy, which wants nothing to do with it.
In filing the petition, Hanna is asking for clarification over who the hell is actually responsible for reforming cannabis laws.
"It's a gray area that needs to be cleared up," he tells us.
By Jesse Marx - City Pages-Blog/Oct. 21, 2014