Weather Forecast


Ely man says marijuana eased his pain

ST. PAUL -- K.K. Forss dumped a trash-bag full of medicine bottles onto the floor, showing Minnesota lawmakers how he survived a serious spinal condition.

They let the Ely photographer survive, but his life was miserable.

"I don't want the meds," he said. "I don't want drugs. I just want my life back."

Forss was among several Minnesotans affected by painful diseases who told committee members Wednesday they support allowing marijuana to ease pain in some circumstances.

On a 9-6 vote, with five committee members out of the room, the bill by Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, advanced to another House committee.

"The side effects are ungodly," Forss said about his medical problem. "The pain was overwhelming."

But after he began to use marijuana, he no longer was forced to be bed fast 20 hours to 22 hours a day. And while he has not been able to return to photography, he said, he has taught photo classes now that his pain has eased.

Medical marijuana proposals regularly surface in the Legislature, but so far have not passed, due in a large part to stiff law enforcement opposition. A similar bill is making its way through the Senate.