ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Senate panel approved a medical-marijuana bill with bipartisan support on Friday.

The legislation - authored by DFL Senator Scott Dibble of Minneapolis -

would allow licensed medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy to prescribe marijuana to patients with maladies such as cancer, epilepsy and extreme chronic pain. Those patients would receive a card enabling them to buy medicinal marijuana from approved alternative treatment centers; they could not grow their own pot.

The bill also would authorize a study to examine the medical benefits of marijuana.

Those voting for the bill included Michelle Benson, a Ham Lake Republican who is running for lieutenant governor. Those opposed included Democrat Chris Eaton, a registered nurse from Brooklyn Center.

The Committee on Health, Human Services and Housing vote was 7-3. The legislation goes next to the State and Local Government Committee.