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Minnesota: TV Ad Backs Medical Marijuana Use

By Anna Boyd

A new TV ad, featuring a woman suffering from extreme back pain, is the first in a new series meant to urge Governor Tim Pawlently not to veto a bill in order to protect suffering Minnesotans from arrest for using medical marijuana under a doctor’s recommendation.

The ad will begin running on broadcast and cable station throughout Minnesota later this week. It is the story of Lynn Rubenstein Nicholson of Minneapolis who suffers intractable pain after enduring 10 surgeries following a back injury.

"Really, the only thing that gave me relief was marijuana. It's not ok to break the law…” Nicholson says in the ad of her struggle to find relief from the constant pain that keeps her bedridden most of the time. “I am tired of being a criminal. Please Gov. Pawlently, do not veto the medical marijuana bill.”

The bill succeeded to pass in the Senate last year and the House Ways and Means Committee, 13-4, April 9 and is heading to the House floor for a vote soon, but Gov. Tim Pawlently has threatened to veto it if it passes.

“The governor has threatened a veto after hearing from certain aspects of the law enforcement community. Hopefully, before he finalizes his decision, he will also consider the opinions of the hundreds of doctors, thousands of nurses, multitude of medical associations, the vast majority of Minnesotans and suffering patients like Lynn, who all support this bill,” said Neal Levine, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, according to the Minnesota Public Radio.

The Minnesota House is considering a proposal that would allow people with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, Tourette syndrome, other chronic or debilitating diseases or intractable pain the possibility of obtaining and using marijuana without being subjects to arrest.

Medical use of marijuana is currently legal in twelve states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Illinois and New York are also considering marijuana bills.

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