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Dayton taps local doctor for medical cannabis board: Wyllie serves with Indian Health Service in Bemidji

BEMIDJI -- Dr. Dawn Wyllie of Bemidji has been appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to the state's newly created Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research.

The state Legislature legalized medical marijuana use in the 2014 session and set up a program to study its effects.

"Gov. Dayton appointed members to this task force who would represent a diverse array of viewpoints and experiences, and ensure this program is implemented both safely and effectively," Dayton spokesperson Matt Swenson said in a statement. "Dr. Wyllie's experience as a health care provider will add an important perspective to the work of the task force as it carries out those important objectives."

Wyllie holds the rank of rear admiral with the U.S. Public Health Service, and is attached to the Indian Health Service office in Bemidji, where she serves as chief medical officer. According to a bio from her alma mater, the University of Washington School of Medicine, Wyllie has experience in the field of epidemiology; preventing prescription drug abuse and diversion. Originally from San Francisco, Wyllie is of Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (Dakota) heritage, the bio said.

The task force includes members from health care and law enforcement fields, as well as the general public.

In addition to Wyllie, health care provider representatives also include Dr. Charles Reznikoff of Minneapolis and Doreen McIntyre of Champlin.

Law enforcement members appointed are James Franklin of St. Paul representing the Minnesota Sheriff's Association, Chief David Kolb of Champlin as Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association representative, James Backstrom of Hastings as Minnesota County Attorneys Association representative and Dennis Flaherty of St. Paul as Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association representative.

Substance abuse treatment members of the task force include Karina Forrest of White Bear Township, Dr. Vincent Hayden of Minneapolis, David Hartford of St. Cloud and Dr. Pamela Gonzalez of Minneapolis.

Pharmacist members include Laura Schwartzwald of Aitkin. Consumer members include Duane Bandel of Minneapolis and Sarah Wellington of St. Paul.

Parent members include Maria Botker of Clinton and Jeremy Pauling of Montevideo.

The task force runs through Jan. 5.

Zach Kayser
Zach Kayser covers local government and city issues for the Pioneer. He previously worked for the Wadena Pioneer Journal, and is an alumni of the University of Minnesota, Morris. 
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