FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/2/2015
Maren Schroeder maren[at]sensible.mn (Rochester and General Questions)
Kurtis Hanna kurtis[at]sensible.mn (Twin Cities)
Sensible Minnesota Response to Commissioner’s Decision on Intractable Pain
St. Paul, MN: We want to thank Commissioner Ehlinger for showing compassion to some struggling Minnesotans. Commissioner Ehlinger’s decision to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition for the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program is a small step in the right direction for Minnesota, and we applaud this decision.
After watching a contentious legislative session in 2014 and working with the implementation of the program over the past six months, Sensible Minnesota co-founder and Patient Support Network chairperson Maren Schroeder, says “this is an important step in the direction of expanding access to medical cannabis for patients in Minnesota. Without the addition of conditions, this program will remain unaffordable for the less than 1,000 patients currently enrolled, put patients’ safety at risk on the black market, and force the sick to needlessly suffer.”
According to Sensible Minnesota President, Brandan Borgos, “I am cautiously optimistic with this news. The number of bottlenecks patients face are still a major issue and it remains to be seen if Governor Dayton’s program will work.”
Andrew Johnmeyer, a Sensible Minnesota co-founder and intractable pain patient says, “While I’m thrilled to see that Minnesota is finally allowing patients a safer option to manage their intractable pain, I am concerned about the additional costs being imposed on them. Minnesota already has one of the most expensive medical cannabis programs in the country and it is still out of reach for too many vulnerable patients.”
“With today’s announcement, the Dayton administration is making an extremely modest movement in the right direction by adding this very restrictively defined definition of intractable pain to the list of qualifying medical conditions. While I applaud this move, I don’t think it will add very many patients to the program. The Minnesota legislature needs to feel the urgency next session to increase the amount of pain patients who qualify by adding chronic pain as well,” according to Kurtis Hanna, Sensible Minnesota co-founder.
Although we believe this is a small step in the right direction, we ask that the Commissioner and the media recognize the shortfalls of this program, and urge the Commissioner to provide guidelines that allow patients access without forcing dangerous options, like opioids, on patients prior to qualifying for certification.
About Sensible Minnesota:
Sensible Minnesota a Minnesota Non-Profit Corporation founded in February 2015 by experienced cannabis advocates. The organization is seeking 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. The organization seeks to educate patients, providers, and the public about the benefits of cannabis. Visit https://sensible.mn for further information.