Md. Senate May Pass Medical Marijuana
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Md. Senate May Pass Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 08, 2010 at 16:04:42 PT
By Kathleen Miller, The Associated Press
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Annapolis, MD. -- Sponsors of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland said Thursday the Senate may approve the measure, but it could be several years before it wins the approval of the House of Delegates.The Senate measure would allow pharmacies to distribute marijuana to patients who receive authorization from a physician with whom they have had ongoing medical relationships. It would also re-categorize marijuana as a highly regulated pain medication like morphine, instead of keeping it in the same group of drugs as heroin.
Ten senators have signed on as sponsors of the legislation, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, and Senate Republican leader Allan Kittleman.Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, presented the bill on the Senate floor Thursday as "the exact opposite" of California's medical marijuana program, where the state doesn't license the growers or dispensers of medical marijuana and patients do not have to prove a long-term relationship with a doctor.The Maryland proposal calls for state-run production centers that supporters say would be closely monitored and licensed by the state. Pharmacies would also be licensed to distribute the drug. In addition, people could only receive prescriptions from a doctor who'd treated them for a while and could attest that alternatives have not worked."People have a right to deal with medical pain," Raskin said.Proponents of the measure argue Maryland is currently sending "mixed messages" to people who use medical marijuana. In 2003, Maryland approved a law limiting sentencing to a $100 fine for people who use marijuana if they have a medical excuse. But critics of that law say it still drives people whose pain could be alleviated by marijuana into alleys to buy from drug dealers."This is the bill that ousts the criminal drug dealers," Raskin said.Republican Sen. Andy Harris, an obstetric anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, questioned whether doctors would flock to Maryland to enrich themselves under the legislation by becoming a grower, a dispenser and a prescriber of medical marijuana."This will solve our physician shortage in Maryland," Harris said. "I guarantee that."Harris asked for time to draft amendments to the measure to ensure greater oversight of physicians, noting the bill did not specify how a doctor who overprescribed marijuana would be punished.Senate President Miller delayed a vote on the legislation to Friday morning, telling reporters the measure was "already dead in the House," where two committees have formed a working group to evaluate a similar bill but have not sent it to the floor.Alexandra Hughes, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Michael Busch, said the working group supports the idea of medical marijuana but wanted additional time to work on the practical aspects and implementation of a program."Its chances of passing both chambers are nil," Miller said, adding that he wanted the Senate to approve the bill to lay the groundwork for future years."It's a very important issue and I think the people want it," Miller said. "The bill is very tightly drafted and I think it's a good start. Sometimes it takes one or two years of passing a bill before people get used to it."Fourteen other states allow use of medical marijuana.On the Net:Senate Bill 627: San Francisco Examiner (CA)Author: Kathleen Miller, The Associated PressPublished: April 8, 2010Copyright: 2010 San Francisco ExaminerContact: letters sfexaminer.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on April 09, 2010 at 08:07:10 PT
The FDA is a hoax!
If any other organization were to kill as many people as the FDA by getting it "wrong" as many times, they would be history!Nobody seems to question if it is FDA approved? Anything FDA approved only means the Big Pharm has a new money maker and with FDA approval people will automatically eat them up......until thousands of babies suddenly start being born with flippers or people outright die!This is the orginization that will not approve cannabis for medicine? Deaths by cannabis-0Babies born with flippers-0
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on April 09, 2010 at 07:57:55 PT
Man, I once saw a drug...
...and it was ugly..I don't mean to be a drug offender but that was one butt ugly drug! I hope I didn't offend it by calling it ugly...what the hey...I hope I offended it by calling it ugly I don't care if I am a "Drug Offender"!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 09, 2010 at 04:28:01 PT
Comment # 1
I try very hard to understand what the beliefs are of some of the deep southern states but as much as I try I am at a loss. It's almost like they aren't or don't want to be a part of the USA. 
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on April 09, 2010 at 04:01:36 PT
definition; drug offender. [ scare propaganda]
[1.] One who speaks despairingly about drugs.[2] One who is insulting to drugs.Part of the double speak drug war language designed to scare and disturb the public.
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Comment #6 posted by Cheebs1 on April 09, 2010 at 03:04:18 PT:
Haven't We Seen This Before?
 comment 1. Wow, the days of Hester Prinn are revisited and now carry more penalties than just shunning. Just as that poor woman was reminded day in and day out of a transgression that in today's society is more the norm than not, so too will these unfortunate individuals have to bear the shame of their scarlett letter. I think the Republican party is slowly morphing back into it's previously hideous incarnation known as the Puritans. What's next, are we going to burn three time drug offenders at the stake? These people would have zero stigma attatched them if cannabis were legal. No matter what century it is locking people up and oppressing them will always be in style.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on April 08, 2010 at 21:43:38 PT
I also think when cops see that star they will think they can show disrespect toward that person.I've gotten pulled over for having a tail light out. The way they treat Me may be different than the way they treat the person with the star and that seems wrong.Maybe I would feel different if I were a Repulican.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on April 08, 2010 at 21:38:01 PT
Hmmm again,
US HI: Police Chiefs Pressured Legislators On Pot Bill
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 08, 2010 at 21:08:18 PT
That's interesting.
"It would also re-categorize marijuana as a highly regulated pain medication like morphine, instead of keeping it in the same group of drugs as heroin." 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on April 08, 2010 at 21:06:21 PT
"Drug Offender" on driver's license.
Having to wear that "star", that mark, that brand, so authorities and officials can recognize "them" and single them out for more persecution more easily.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 08, 2010 at 20:40:05 PT
US LA: 'Drug Offender' Could Be Added to Licenses
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