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Advocates from Montevideo, Clinton to serve on medical cannabis task force

ST. PAUL — Jeremy Pauling of Montevideo and Maria Botker of Clinton are among those that Governor Mark Dayton appointed to a newly created task force on medical cannabis therapeutic research.

Dayton announced the appointments of task force members on Thursday.

Pauling and his wife, Kristy, are parents to a 7-year old-daughter, Katelyn, who suffers chronic seizures due to Batten Disease. The couple frequently testified at the Capitol during the last legislative session for the legalization of medical cannabis. They believe it provides the only available help to ease their daughter’s seizures.

Jeremy Pauling is also hoping to construct one of the two facilities allowed under the new law to produce medical cannabis. The city of Montevideo has offered a site for the facility if Pauling can get state approval to build it.

Maria Botker also testified at the Capitol about epileptic seizures suffered by her daughter, Greta. She and her family have been living in Colorado to have legal access to marijuana, which she said has dramatically reduced her daughter’s seizures.

Other appointees include:

James Backstrom – Hastings, Minnesota County Attorneys Association representative;

Duane Bandel – Minneapolis, consumer member;

Dennis Flaherty – St. Paul, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association;

Karina Forrest – White Bear Township, substance use treatment provider;

James Franklin – St. Paul, Minnesota Sheriff’s Association representative;

Dr. Pamela Gonzalez – Minneapolis, substance use treatment provider;

David Hartford – St. Cloud, substance use treatment provider;

Dr. Vincent Hayden – Minneapolis, substance use treatment provider;

Chief David Kolb – Champlin, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association representative;

Doreen McIntyre – Champlin, health care provider;

Dr. Charles Reznikoff – Minneapolis, health care provider;

Laura Schwartzwald – Aitkin, pharmacist member;

Sarah Wellington – St. Paul, consumer member;

Dr. Dawn Wyllie – Bemidji, health care provider.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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