By Steve Elliott
The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday overwhelmingly approved House Bill 881, whicht would allow specially licensed physicians in the state to authorize patients with debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana.
The bill, which was written in response to growing public support for the medicinal use of cannabis, now goes to the Maryland Senate, where supporters are optimistic about its chances, reports Michael Dresser at The Baltimore Sun.
The legislation, which passed the House on a 127-9 vote, would replace a medical marijuana system that is almost universally regarded as a complete failure, and which hasn't helped any patients at all. That system restricted medicinal cannabis use to patients seeking care at academic medical centers, but none of the centers agreed to participate (surprise, surprise, since they receive federal funding).
"This is a matter of life and death for our people," said Del. Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore), whose medical marijuana bill was consolidated with one sponsored by Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), who is a physician.
The lead sponsor of the bill was changed from Morhaim to Glenn, because the state's medical marijuana commission is named after Glenn's late mother. "This was a real exercise of love and caring," Glenn said.