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The Capitol Note: Medical marijuana proposal advances in Senate, future uncertain

Mike Mullen//April 28, 2014

The Capitol Note: Medical marijuana proposal advances in Senate, future uncertain

Mike Mullen//April 28, 2014

1) A key Senate committee moved forward on Friday with a proposal that would allow patients with certain illnesses to use medical marijuana, according to the Star Tribune.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 7-3, across party lines, to move the languishing proposal forward. It has so far passed one committee in the House. Sen. Scott Dibble, the measure’s chief Senate sponsor, called the proposal a “responsible bill.”

The Senate plan would allow patients to smoke marijuana dispensed in shops across the state, which is more permissive than the House bill. Gov. Mark Dayton has been the biggest political obstacle such a measure has faced so far, with his support tied to law enforcement approval.

DFL Sen. Chris Eaton voted against the measure, joining Republicans Carla Nelson and Julie Rosen. GOP Sen. Michelle Benson voted for the plan with DFLers Kathy Sheran, Jeff Hayden, Melissa Wiklund, John Hoffman and Tony Lourey.

2) The Libertarian party endorsed four candidates at its statewide convention in Maple Grove on Saturday, beginning the rollout of a marijuana-based challenge to the two major political parties.

Chris Holbrook, a party newcomer, got the party’s endorsement for governor. Heather Johnson, secretary for the party, was picked for the U.S. Senate race against Al Franken. Keegan Iverson and Chris Dock were picked to run for state auditor and lieutenant governor.

“Nobody knows who I am and I’ve always liked it that way,” Holbrook told delegates. He said he felt compelled “to come out of my shell and represent my beliefs” after joining the LPMN about a year ago. “I finally took the Blue Pill and escaped the Matrix,” he said.

Roughly 170 delegates attended the convention.

3) Congressman Rick Nolan canceled a controversial fundraiser with Peter Yarrow, a 60s era folk musician who was convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old girl.

Republicans had been hammering Nolan for the fundraiser, and took out online ads in the 8th district condemning the move. The Nolan campaign acknowledged the fundraiser was canceled, but didn’t directly address the issue to Minnesota Public Radio.

Nolan is running against GOP challenger Stewart Mills, of Fleet Farm fame, for the competitive seat.


Gov. Mark Dayton is scheduled to participate in an event to memorialize MnDOT workers who have died while working on construction projects. The event is at the Egan Company Headquarters in Brooklyn Center, and begins at 3:00 p.m.

Andres Hortillosa has registered to run as a Republican candidate in House District 63B, the strongly liberal district now represented by Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis. Hortillosa is president of Smart Learning Inc., and has developed a smartphone application aimed at improving one’s chess abilities.

DFL candidate Gordon Wagner has registered to run in House District 12B, currently represented by Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls. Kresha, a House freshman, won election to that seat with about 53 percent of the vote in 2012.

Three lobbyists have registered to represent the Minnesota Homeowners Alliance. Christine Berger, Christopher Galler and Kevin Zabel all signed-on last week; it’s Zabel’s first registration with the state, while Galler and Berger also represent the Minnesota Association of Realtors.

Wellstone Action is hiring for a field organizer positions to work on CREDO superPAC campaigns. Experience in grassroots political work as either a volunteer or paid staffer required; apply here.

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