Maryland could soon be considering some joint relief.
Republican state Sen. David Brinkley wants to renew an effort to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland. Brinkley said, if re-elected, he plans to reintroduce a bill that would also address the issues of providing a reliable source for marijuana rather than putting it on the black market.
A similar bill passed the state Senate during last session. A version of the bill failed in the House of Delegates.
Under current Maryland law, defendants charged with use or possession of marijuana can argue a medical need as a mitigating factor at their sentencing. But even if a medical necessity is proven, a judge can still fine a patient up to $100.
"While marijuana is certainly not a cure-all, and can be abused like legal drugs, doctors should be able to prescribe it if they believe it will help their patient," said Delegate Dan Morhaim, who also backs the marijuana measure and is a doctor who serves on the faculty of of the University of Maryland Medical School and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. "Why should this drug be treated differently?''