Minnesota: Intractable Pain Added As Qualifying Condition For Medical Marijuana
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger on Wednesday announced that intractable pain, as defined in Minnesota law, will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for which patients can legally access medical marijuana.
The commissioner must notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative health and public safety policy committees. Intractable pain will become a qualifying condition for medical marijuana effective August 1, 2016, unless the legislature passes a law stating otherwise.
The vast majority of the 23 states with workable medical marijuana programs allow the use of medical marijuana to treat intractable pain.
“This is a sensible and compassionate decision that will help a lot of Minnesotans who suffer every day from intractable pain," said Robert Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "The commissioner heard from countless medical professionals, patients, and families from across the state about the benefits of medical marijuana for people suffering from this debilitating condition.
"We commend Commissioner Ehlinger and everyone else involved in taking this important step toward improving the lives of countless Minnesotans," Capecchi said.
“Medical marijuana has been found to be an effective treatment option for people suffering from severe and chronic pain," Capecchi said. "It is oftentimes more effective than prescription painkillers, and it is undeniably far less addictive and less toxic.
"Recent research shows that states that allow medical marijuana for severe and chronic pain have lower rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses," Capecchi said. "The decision to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition in Minnesota will improve not only the health of individual patients, but also the community as a whole.”