Cannabis News Marijuana Policy Project
  Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 01, 2010 at 04:59:35 PT
By Amanda Pino 
Source: Diamondback 

medical Annapolis, MD -- A litany of testifiers — from cancer survivors to scientists to police officers — showed their support for a bill that would make this state the 15th to legalize medical marijuana in a joint house-senate hearing in the state legislature Friday.

Although some said the proposed bill was too restrictive, lawmakers pointed to loopholes and potential consequences as cause for amending the bill. If approved, the legislation, which was co-sponsored by Delegate Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore) and Sen. David Brinkley (R-Frederick and Carroll), would give patients with serious medical conditions the right to purchase medical marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries or pharmacies.

“The science is in, the personal testimony is overwhelming,” Morhaim said. “Now we have a responsibility to do what we do best — craft the law which will allow orderly and proper access while avoiding undesirable side effects.”

The delegate stressed that, if passed, the bill would usher in one of the strictest medical marijuana laws seen so far in the country. The legislation stipulates that patients can only be prescribed marijuana treatments if they have an “ongoing relationship with their physician” and other treatments have failed. Patients would also be prohibited from growing the plant themselves, and workers at any state-licensed dispensaries must undergo background checks and cannot have ever been convicted of a felony.

Two professors from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Mary Lynn McPherson and Dr. Bradley E. Alger, made their cases in favor of the bill early on in the hours-long hearing.

“Pain relief is an essential human right,” McPherson said, after testifying that marijuana is as or more effective than drugs now on the market for pain relief and appetite stimulation.

Drugs available for pain relief and appetite stimulation may not work as quickly as marijuana, may have more undesirable side effects and could be difficult to ingest for patients struggling with nausea — a common side-effect of chemotherapy — she said.

Alger delved deep into the science of how marijuana works at the hearing, concluding that since it operates like other prescribed drugs it should not be stigmatized.

While most delegates and senators were receptive to the sentiment behind the bill, working out the kinks could prove to be messy. Some legislators think the bill allows for too many loopholes and proposed a number of amendments, such as expanding the felony exclusion to include other offenses and mandating growing facilities be indoors and secured.

Others, including Delegate Joseph F. Vallario (D-Calvert and Prince George’s), feared passing a bill that would contradict federal policy after DEA officers raided dispensaries in California.

Though Morhaim expressed willingness to negotiate on the specifics, some constituents, on the other hand, think the bill is already too restrictive. Many testifiers claimed preventing individuals from growing the plant themselves could price out low-income patients out and that quotas on the amount of marijuana a patient could be prescribed may be too low.

“I am a little concerned about affordability,” said one testifier. “I’d like the prices to be something someone can afford on Medicare or Medicaid and social security.”

Irina Alexander, president of the university’s chapter of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, said not allowing patients to grow medicinal marijuana themselves could hamper the abilities of some who need the drug to procure it.

“A lot of patients, especially if they have really serious conditions, aren’t able to move themselves, so getting to the dispensaries could be a problem,” Alexander said. “And sometimes prices are a little cheaper if you grow it on your own. Making sure all patients have access is important.”

The only law on the books regarding medical marijuana in the state was enacted in 2003 and allows people convicted of possession to use medical reasons as a valid defense in court for lowered penalties.

Although student members of SSDP haven’t been particularly active in support of this bill, Alexander said the legislation would be a “step in the right direction” for the state.

Source: Diamondback, The (MD Edu)
Author: Amanda Pino
Published: Monday, March 1, 2010
Copyright: 2010 Maryland Media, Inc.
Contact: editor@dbk.umd.edu
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/SlUf8lmC
Website: http://www.diamondbackonline.com/

CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
http://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml


Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help    Share on Facebook Share on stumbleupon digg it Share on reddit Share on del.icio.us

 
Comment #10 posted by Paint with light on March 02, 2010 at 01:28:55 PT
Side by side
I found the placement of these two sentences very telling.

"Alger delved deep into the science of how marijuana works at the hearing, concluding that since it operates like other prescribed drugs it should not be stigmatized.

..................Some legislators think the bill allows for too many loopholes and proposed a number of amendments, such as expanding the felony exclusion to include other offenses and mandating growing facilities be indoors and secured."

The first sentence embodies the enlightenment that is taking place.

The second sentence draws from some of the worst of the arguments against cannabis.

That cannabis is inherently associated with other criminal behavior...............

[I wonder if litterin' is an "other offense".]

.............and that it is so dangerous a substance or so much in demand that extrodinary measues must be taken to protect the public and...."the children" from being exposed to it.......

.......and yet aspirin is in almost every home in America.

Unprotected.

And much more dangerous a substance.

Legal like aspirin........or alcohol.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by Paint with light on March 02, 2010 at 01:10:06 PT
potpal
Howdy from Tennessee.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by rchandar on March 01, 2010 at 20:07:18 PT:

....With Lightning Speed
That's my take. Introduce as many bills in the state legislatures as is possible, so that it becomes evident that we're not going away. Let's do it as soon as humanly possible, so that we have some kind of grip nationally. That way, we can take our case to the Supreme Court, and Congress, before November, or very soon afterwards...

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by Hope on March 01, 2010 at 13:09:45 PT
I like this.
"“The science is in, the personal testimony is overwhelming,” Morhaim said. “Now we have a responsibility to do what we do best — craft the law which will allow orderly and proper access while avoiding undesirable side effects."

None of that, "Ooooh. It's too hard. We can't figure it out. We're too stupid. It makes it too hard for police. Oooh. Oooooh. Ooooh.

He's confident now, at least, without a load of prohibitionist foot draggers hanging on his coattails, probably.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 01, 2010 at 13:04:30 PT
GCW Comment 4
That sounds disturbingly like some sort of rogue police coup.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on March 01, 2010 at 10:49:14 PT
MCN Clinic Bozeman, MT
There will be an MCN clinic today at the C'Mon Inn in Bozeman, MT. Meet with a doctor to sign your recommendation! The event is free to the public. It's a great chance to see what is happening in the Big Sky State with MMJ! MCN is projecting to have over 1000 patients signed up today alone!!

http://greeneacrescaregiver.wordpress.com

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by The GCW on March 01, 2010 at 10:34:10 PT
Denver voters ignored.
US CO: Denver's voter initiative does little to curb marijuana citations

Webpage: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14489539

Pubdate: 1 Mar 2010

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by runruff on March 01, 2010 at 09:21:48 PT
Here is the current state of the CSA?
The Controlled substance Act, placed marijuana [cannabis] in schedule 1; The United States does not recognize any medical application for this drug."

There are currently 15 states in the United States that recognize the medical application of cannabis. If only one state among us recognizes cannabis a medicine, that would null and void the whole premise of the Schedule one placement of cannabis.

This application was applied to the prohibition of cannabis even though the government never proved any of the claims made to justifiy marijuana prohibition.

That Nixon went against the recommendation of his own committee, the Shaffer Report which had glowing reports about the many positive applications of cannabis.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 01, 2010 at 06:49:18 PT
potpal
Hello to you too! It's good to see you.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by potpal on March 01, 2010 at 06:37:09 PT
A good read!
Hello everybody!

http://www.bspcn.com/2010/02/28/five-things-you-may-know-about-marijuana-that-arent-true/

[ Post Comment ]


  Post Comment
Name:        Password:
E-Mail:

Subject:

Comment:   [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]

Link URL:
Link Title:


Return to Main Menu


So everyone may enjoy this service and to keep it running, here are some guidelines: NO spamming, NO commercial advertising, NO flamming, NO illegal activity, and NO sexually explicit materials. Lastly, we reserve the right to remove any message for any reason!

This web page and related elements are for informative purposes only and thus the use of any of this information is at your risk! We do not own nor are responsible for visitor comments. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 and The Berne Convention on Literary and Artistic Works, Article 10, news clippings on this site are made available without profit for research and educational purposes. Any trademarks, trade names, service marks, or service names used on this site are the property of their respective owners. Page updated on March 01, 2010 at 04:59:35