Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CDT

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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Minnesota lawmakers strike medical marijuana deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers struck a deal Thursday to legalize medical marijuana, handing a major victory to severely ill children and adults whose emotional appeals for help propelled a major policy change that once appeared dead for the session.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign the legislation, which was closer to the House’s more restrictive bill than the Senate‘s. Some patients lamented that the agreement doesn’t allow them to use actual plant material - they instead can use the drug in oil, pill and vapor form - but others were overjoyed.

“This will change my daughter’s life and thousands of lives around Minnesota,” said Angie Weaver of Hibbing, whose 8-year-old daughter is afflicted by a rare form of epilepsy.

The compromise bill allows for two manufacturing facilities and eight dispensaries statewide, more than the House bill called for. But it covers fewer conditions than the Senate favored. Its prohibition against using plant material disappointed some advocates, who said vaporizing the leaf or smoking the drug were the only ways some patients could get relief from their maladies.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, who sponsored the Senate version, lauded the compromise.

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Minnesota’s Kill donates $100K for epilepsy fund

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill is starting a fund to help children with epilepsy.

Kill and his wife, Rebecca, donated $100,000 to start the “Chasing Dreams” fund through the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. The Kills have an initial goal of raising $500,000.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1jzLpBv) reports the money will help fund seizure-smart school initiatives, along with Camp Oz, a camp for epilepsy patients in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Jerry Kill says his goal to educate every school in Minnesota on how to handle seizures in school.

Kill was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005 and has missed parts of four games in three seasons at Minnesota because of seizures. Last October, Kill took a two-week leave after a seizure kept him from joining the Gophers for a game at Michigan.

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5 charged in gun-purchasing conspiracy case

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