State Senator Proposes Medical Marijuana Bill
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State Senator Proposes Medical Marijuana Bill
Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2009 at 13:56:00 PT
By Doug Denison, Staff Writer
Source: Dover Post
Dover, Del. -- Delaware soon could be the 14th state in the nation to allow its citizens to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes, if a bill introduced May 27 in the state Senate is passed.  The bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington East, said in a press conference her proposal is intended to give people with debilitating diseases the option of using marijuana to treat their symptoms with the consent of a doctor.
 “Medically and statistically it has been shown that medical marijuana can help people with serious conditions like cancer, HIV, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis,” she said. “It is another tool.”  Joe Scarborough, an HIV and cancer survivor who joined Henry at the press conference, said he has used marijuana to supplement his treatment programs for years and help ease pain and side effects commonly associated with the hi-test drugs used to combat his diseases.  “Without medical marijuana in assistance with my medial regimen for HIV and cancer, I would be unable to benefit from the treatments and survive,” he said.  The text of Henry’s Senate Bill 94 is based largely on model legislation from the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group. It also is similar to medical marijuana laws enacted in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont.  Henry’s bill would allow a patient, with written permission from his or her doctor, to posses a one-month supply of up to six ounces of marijuana to be used for treating a medical condition.  The legislation also would allow the patient to possess and cultivate as many as 12 plants to maintain a supply of usable dried marijuana.  These authorized users would be protected from all forms of state and local prosecution related to the possession of marijuana, so long as they are within the limits established by the law. The bill also protects users from being fired by an employer for failing a drug test, though it prohibits them from being under the influence of marijuana while at work.  Users still would be subject to laws against operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana and prohibited from allowing anyone to use their marijuana who is not similarly authorized to do so.  In addition to establishing parameters for individual use, the legislation creates a network of not-for-profit dispensaries, known in the bill as “Compassionate Care Centers.” These centers would be able to grow marijuana on a larger scale in secure, locked greenhouses and distribute the herb to authorized patients and their caregivers.  The legislation mandates no dispensaries are to be located within 500 feet of any public or private school, and prohibits patients from using marijuana in public places, on public transportation or in prisons.  The Department of Health and Social Services would have 120 days from enactment of the law to establish regulations related to identification cards for users, caregivers and dispensary personnel, and to set up a web-based computer system to verify the identity of users and track their marijuana purchases.  The department also would be charged with enacting a fee structure for licensing the dispensaries and issuing identification cards that would raise enough money to offset the costs incurred in administering the program.  Even though the bill has four co-sponsors including one Republican, Henry said some of her colleagues are concerned about putting their names on the proposal.  “We have many, many more people who will support the bill, but they didn’t necessarily want to sign on because of the stigma,” she said.  Henry also attempted to ease the concerns of those who will say the bill represents an endorsement of illegal drug use and argue it will lead to an increase in drug-related crime.  “I don’t think doctors write prescriptions for the drugs sold on the street corners of the city of Wilmington,” she said. “Nothing we’re doing would stop us from working to stop the use of illegal drugs.”  Henry added she’ll likely face the same sort of objections she heard when she endorsed the state’s needle exchange program in 2006. Since that program has turned out to be a success and has not contributed to a rise in crime, she said, the arguments in favor of SB 94 will be that much stronger. A committee hearing on the bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Health and Social Services Committee at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 3. Henry said she hopes to pass the bill before the legislature recesses at the end of June. Though marijuana still is considered an illegal drug under federal law, the time may be right for Henry’s bill, considering the Obama administration has indicated it will not direct federal agencies to crack down on medical marijuana programs in states that have them.  And on May 18 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from several California municipalities who argue the state’s medical marijuana law violates federal law. The refusal affirmed the ruling of a California court, which said the federal laws are meant to address recreational drug use, not drug use for medical purposes. Source: Dover Post (DE)Author: Doug Denison, Staff WriterPublished: May 27, 2009Website: doug.denison doverpost.comURL: Article:Senate Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 07:35:30 PT
It's a tiny little state and the home state of the VP. Perfect. 
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Comment #5 posted by rchandar on May 28, 2009 at 07:30:47 PT:
Would be sweet, especially since Joe Biden is from there.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 06:00:07 PT
Delaware: Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced
Thursday, May 28, 2009URL:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 27, 2009 at 18:13:47 PT
I just found one on the Huffington Post. Here you go!
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Comment #2 posted by NikoKun on May 27, 2009 at 17:59:07 PT
IL senate just passed MM
Keep a look-out for articles on it, the Illinois State Senate just passed the Medical Marijuana bill 30-28
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 27, 2009 at 13:56:53 PT
VP Joe Biden
I like it. It's his home state.
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