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Half of medical pot dispensed in Minnesota is prescribed to ease pain

(StarTribune) Half the people currently enrolled [in the Minnesota medical marijuana program] are pain patients, and while it's too soon to know if that's enough to save Minnesota's cannabis program, many patients say the program has already saved them.

"It's given me my life back," said Jeanne Luck, one of the 1,667 Minnesotans who have turned to the Office of Medical Cannabis in search of relief from intractable pain — severe, chronic pain that is not eased by the usual painkillers, opioids or therapy.

Luck, a mother of three and a former nurse practitioner, uses cannabis oil to ease symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a painful genetic condition that affects her body's connective tissues and forced her into a series of joint surgeries.

Minnesota's medical marijuana program is one of the most restrictive in the country and one of the smallest. As of last Friday, 3,331 patients had enrolled, half of them pain patients. Visits to the state's eight cannabis clinics doubled in August, the first month that pain patients were allowed into the program.

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