A bill that seeks to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Maryland has been passed by the state Senate. We shared with you reports circulating on Friday that the measure will pass the Senate, and they indeed approved the bill on Saturday.
As previously mentioned, though, it will not be an easy – nor a fast – ride for this measure in the House. Two committees have reportedly formed a working group to evaluate a similar bill in the House; while they do support the idea of medical marijuana they would like to put spend more time on the various aspects of a program, including implementation, according to the spokesperson for House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Alexandra Hughes.
Already the proposed medical marijuana legislation for the state of Maryland is being touted as the “best medical marijuana bill in the country.” While it seeks to provide patients in need with safe access to the drug as well as legal protection, it staunchly strives to prevent abuses, as expressed by Sen. Jamie Raskin, a principal sponsor of the bill. Sen. Raskin also encourages House lawmakers to give the bill their support.
The provisions of the bill include close monitoring of production through state-run licensed production centers, licensing of pharmacies for the distribution of the drug, and allowing prescriptions only from doctors who already have an established history for treating a patient and who can justify that all other treatments have not worked before resorting to a marijuana prescription.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. says: “It’s a very important issue and I think the people want it… The bill is very tightly drafted and I think it’s a good start.”