Dayton names 16 to the new Minnesota Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed 16 members of a task force that will monitor the state’s new medical marijuana law.

The Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research is part of the bill passed by the Legislature that allows use of medical marijuana for a small number of serious medical conditions, but doesn’t allow smoking.

The task force members include four patients (consumers) or their parents, four law enforcement representatives, four substance abuse treatment providers and four health care providers.

Terms for all members run through Jan. 5, 2015:

  1. James Backstrom – Hastings, Minnesota County Attorneys Association Representative
  2. Duane Bandel – Minneapolis, Consumer Member
  3. Maria Botker – Clinton, Parent Member
  4. Dennis Flaherty – St. Paul, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Representative
  5. Karina Forrest – White Bear Township, Substance Use Treatment Provider
  6. James Franklin – St. Paul, Minnesota Sheriff’s Association Representative
  7. Dr. Pamela Gonzalez – Minneapolis, Substance Use Treatment Provider
  8. David Hartford – St. Cloud, Substance Use Treatment Provider
  9. Dr. Vincent Hayden – Minneapolis, Substance Use Treatment Provider
  10. Chief David Kolb – Champlin, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Representative
  11. Doreen McIntyre – Champlin, Health Care Provider
  12. Jeremy Pauling – Montevideo, Parent Member
  13. Dr. Charles Reznikoff – Minneapolis, Health Care Provider
  14. Laura Schwartzwald – Aitkin, Pharmacist Member
  15. Sarah Wellington –St. Paul, Consumer Member
  16. Dr. Dawn Wyllie – Bemidji, Health Care Provider

Two legislators and the state commissioners of Health, Human Services and Public Safety will also be on the task force.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/11/2014 - 12:42 pm.


    It’s interesting that the ‘task force’ is largely made up of law enforcement, treatment providers and parents. The closest thing to an actual expert is a pharmacist.
    The University of Minnesota has a good medical school with a strong behavioral pharmacology program. I’m sure that they could provide some experts on the underlying mechanisms of drug use and abuse.
    As it is, this is largely a political exercise.

    • Submitted by tiffany vanvorken on 07/12/2014 - 10:34 am.


      Dayton wants to put the burden of proof on the “task force”. If something goes bad he blames the “task force”. on the other spin he will take credit for appointing a good “task force”
      He does not make independent decisions.

  2. Submitted by David Kessler on 07/11/2014 - 01:04 pm.

    Content of Committee

    It’s clear what the recommendations will be by the content of the committee. People already know what law enforcement and substance abuse counselors think of medical marijuana. They are neither health care providers nor doctors. They certainly should not choose conditions to be treated. They are not trained to take care of people’s health nor are they the experts in medical cannabis that they often claim to be. The content of this committee suggests that you are likely to end up with a medical marijuana law that works for law enforcement rather than patients. Good luck.

  3. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 07/11/2014 - 03:03 pm.


    The lead story in this morning’s Daily Glean demonstrates just how clueless Minnesota law enforcement is when it comes to Marijuana. A police SWAT team stormed a house with young children inside, shot the family’s dogs, and ultimately arrested nobody after finding some drug paraphernalia but no drugs. The target of the raid admitted using marijuana recreationally, but stated that he did not sell it. For that, should law enforcement be endangering children and killing pets?

    Now the people who are responsible for that kind of “law enforcement” are sitting on this committee. Is there anyone on the comittee who is going to stand up to these people and point out that they are just flat out wrong? That in Colorado, all their nightmare scenarios have not occurred and that crime has actually decreased?

    • Submitted by jason myron on 07/11/2014 - 03:22 pm.

      Success in Colorado is law enforcement’s

      worst nightmare. They’ve coasted on the “war of drugs” and the easy money it brings in to fund their departments and the para-military gear they’ve become enamored with. What fun is been outfitted like stormtroopers if you can’t bang down doors and kill family pets once in awhile? They’ll never admit that they’re wrong, Dan…they can’t afford to.

  4. Submitted by tiffany vanvorken on 07/12/2014 - 09:53 am.

    task force

    once again Gov. Dayton shows how ignorant of the real world he is.
    The reasearch has already been done by other states and verified.
    These people on the “task force” are going to come up with critiques based on their lifestyles and defense mechanisms so they can’t be sued for their assessment.
    Maybe the Gov. should use pot instead of Zoloft.

  5. Submitted by tiffany vanvorken on 07/12/2014 - 09:57 am.


    this task force is a joke!
    Is it possible that these people are going to come up with a different assessment then all the other studies that have taken place in the world?

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