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Health commissioner to hear from public on expanding medical marijuana program


ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota's health commissioner will hear what the public has to say about expanding the state's medical marijuana program to include patients suffering chronic pain.

Dr. Edward Ehlinger is expected to hear Tuesday in West St. Paul from advocates of medical marijuana who say it's their only hope of pain relief.

A panel of medical experts has recommended against expanding the program to include chronic pain beginning next year. It's up to Ehlinger to make that decision by Jan. 1.

Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1L85AEj ) reports that of the 23 states that allow medical cannabis, only Minnesota and four others do not allow it as a pain treatment. The Health Department says of 417 people who have sent written comments on the proposal, 388 favored putting pain on the list of qualifying conditions.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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