Expanding the list of qualifying conditions to include intractable pain marks a critical juncture in the year-old program, which is among the most restrictive in the country.

MINNEAPOLIS — Judy Bjerke Severson wants to be normal — visit friends and family, go to the grocery store or even sleep in her own bed — but she says the crippling pain from fibromyalgia and back surgery complications, as well as a painkiller-induced fog, have made her a shell of her former self.

Monday brings a sliver of hope to her and other Minnesota residents who have incurable pain: They can finally buy medical marijuana.

Bjerke Severson will be the first to be seen Monday at a Bloomington clinic, one of eight statewide that sell the medicine. "I could just cry I'm so excited," the 70-year-old Edina woman said. "I don't enjoy this life I have right now."

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Kyle Potter ~ Associated Press via StarTribune.com ~

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