maryland house

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Maryland: House Bill Excludes Marijuana As Parole Violation


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Parolees in Maryland who use or possess small amounts of marijuana would no longer be violation of their sentences under a bill narrowly approved by the Maryland House of Delegates last week.

The bill, which squeaked by on a 10-vote margin, comes a year after Maryland voted to decriminalize the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. It heads to the Senate for consideration, report Ovetta Wiggins and Jenna Johnson at The Washington Post.

Proponents say it's important for the rules of probation and parole to mirror criminal law, and not to penalize people for offenses that are no longer criminal. Opponents of the bill claimed it would undermine aspects of the criminal justice system intended to keep former inmates on a "positive path," which apparently to these morons means encouraging them to drink rather than the safer alternative of using cannabis.

Possession of small amounts of cannabis isn't a violent offense, said Del. Jay Walker, one of dozens of benighted Democrats who voted against the bill, but drug possession is related to the "drug culture -- the most violent culture we have."

But Del. David Moon (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the legislation, said the bill is "an attempt to keep nonviolent offenders out of the system."

"The spirit is to include all offenses that have been moved from criminal to civil," Moon said.

Maryland: House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

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.

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