Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Only one day after Minnesota's proposed medical marijuana bill successfully passed through the state's Legislature (boasting an impressive list of 26 co-sponsors), Governor Tim Pawlenty informed reporters, as Andy Birkey wrote in his May 19 article ("Pawlenty says he will veto medical marijuana bill"), that he would "definitely veto" the measure. And indeed he did. Pawlenty applied his veto stamp to the bill just two days after Birkey reported the Republican governor's initial response to its legislative passage.
As Birkey wrote in a follow-up piece published May 25 ("Pawlenty vetoes medical marijuana bill, supporters vow to push amendment"), Pawlenty voiced sympathy for "those dealing with end-of-life illnesses and accompanying pain," but he ultimately "[stood] with law enforcement in opposition" to the bill.
All is not lost, though, for potential patients and their advocates in Minnesota. According to Birkey, "Bill proponents say they will introduce a constitutional amendment to bypass the governor, noting overwhelming popular support in the state," as well as from members of the Legislature; Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) quickly issued a press release in which he voiced his disappointment regarding the governor's decision, lamented the strict parameters of the bill, and vowed to keep pushing the issue until suffering Minnesotans in need of a safe, legal way to obtain their medication "are protected."