Minnesota pot debate centers on plant access

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Updated: May 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers trying to come up with a medical marijuana bill that Gov. Mark Dayton will sign are focusing on key differences between versions passed by the House and Senate.

At a news conference Monday, Dayton said he hopes to get a bill "to help the people who need the help" without creating such wide access that the drug will be abused.

A substantial divide surrounds availability of parts of the cannabis plant itself. The Senate bill enables patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana plant material. The House proposal does not.

The Senate favors more medical-marijuana distribution sites and more qualifying conditions. It chose not to consider the House legislation Monday.