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New Ulm Man Makes Case For Medical Marijuana

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As the medical marijuana debate heats up in the state of Minnesota, it's also hitting close to home. 

A New Ulm man being prosecuted for controlled substance possession is arguing that the marijuana found in his home is to treat a medical condition.

According to his own website, Jon Hansen, a New Ulm resident, is using marijuana to help treat depression. 

Attorney Calvin Johnson says, "The problem here is that Mr. Hansen has gone out, been diagnosed and been medicated through conventional medicine. It didn't work."

But that didn't stop Brown County from charging Hansen with two counts of possession and two counts of sale of a controlled substance.And according to the criminal complaint, authorities found over a dozen plants growing inside his home.

Hansen claims he was not selling the drugs and was only using them himself.And although Minnesota hasn't made marijuana legal, Hansen's lawyers say it is a fundamental right under the constitution.

Johnson says, "Jon Hansen has a strong case for medical marijuana and why it's justified under these circumstances. The real reason is this: is a man or a woman in this country entitled to their feelings, and that means legitimate feelings, good feelings." 

Brown County Assistant Attorney George Kennedy says, "The claim is there's a constitutional right to grow and use marijuana for your own personal reasons. I'm, not aware of any case in Minnesota, or the United States says that it's a constitutional right." 

While the case over medical marijuana is just beginning here in Brown Country, Hansen's attorney says it shouldn't be looked at as a county issue, a state issue, but as a national issue.

A national issue, using cases like Hansen's to determine if Minnesota will follow the 20 other states that have already legalized marijuana use in some form.

Hansen's case will return to court on April 22.

State lawmakers are currently debating medical marijuana use, but Governor Dayton has said it seems unlikely to pass.