Vid: The Fight for Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

“I have a lot of trouble hearing physicians or politicians come
on TV or radio and say, you know, we don’t know what medical
marijuana does cognitively to the brains of these young kids…any
parent who’s got a kid with epilepsy, who’s having seizures, we
know what that does cognitively, to their brains,” said Mark
Botker, a farmer in Minnesota.

Mark and Maria Botker have three daughters and own a farm in
Clinton, Minnesota. Their 7-year-old daughter, Greta, suffers from
a severe form of epilepsy. Over the years, they’ve tried numerous
prescription medications to control Greta’s seizures without

Last summer they learned that a form of medical marijuana with a
high concentration of a cannabinoid called CBD can help control
epileptic seizures. Because medical marijuana is illegal in
Minnesota the Botkers purchased a home in Colorado so that Greta
could have access to the medicine. Maria and Mark now take turns
caring for Greta in Colorado while the rest of the family remains
in Minnesota.

Since she started taking medical marijuana, Greta’s seizures
have decreased dramatically. The Botkers would like to bring Greta
back home to Minnesota, and lawmakers in the state may give them
the opportunity to do just that. The Minnesota
legislature is currently considering two medical marijuana
. Reformers say they have the votes to legalize medical
marijuana, but it’s not clear that Gov. Mark Dayton (D) will sign a
medical marijuana bill into law. In a recent press conference, Gov.
Dayton had this advice for people like Greta who could benefit from
medical marijuana: “The fact is that you can go out in any city in
Minnesota, I’m told, and purchase marijuana. And if you possess
less than an ounce of it, an ounce and a half of it, it’s a petty
misdemeanor, it’s a traffic ticket.”

“We just plead with the legislators, and we plead with Governor
Dayton to please consider our daughter and our family,” Maria
Botker said.

About 5 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine. Camera by Alex Manning.
Music: “Beyond Touch” by Keijo.

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