By Steve Elliott
A bipartisan group of Maryland lawmakers on Friday vowed to pass legislation this year that will create a workable medical marijuana program in the state, 34 years after the idea was first proposed in the General Assembly.
Delegates Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore) and Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), sponsors of two bills that would replace legislation passed last year which is now widely regarded as a failure, said they would combine their two bills into a single measure, reports Michael Dresser at The Baltimore Sun.
"We're going to get a bill passed this year," said Glenn, adding that Maryland should join 20 other states which give suffering patients the option to access cannabis, which is considered a Schedule I prohibited drug at the federal level.
The Maryland Legislature last year passed, and Gov. Martin O'Malley signed, a badly written medical marijuana bill which restricted its distribution to academic medical centers. Since then, unsurprisingly, none of the state's medical centers has volunteered to operate such a program, meaning serious ill Marylanders still have no safe access to cannabis.
Some pain experts told a legislative work group that marijuana is safe and effective in relieving symptoms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, the side effects of cancer treatment, and other conditions.