Maryland House Passes Medical Marijuana Measure


The Maryland House of Delegates has passed a measure to allow medical marijuana in the state.

The House voted 108-28 for the bill on Monday. The measure now goes to the Senate.

The measure would create a commission to oversee a medical marijuana program at academic medical research centers that decide to participate.

Supporters have been backing the measure for years, but it received an extra boost this year with the support of the state's health secretary.

It's estimated that patients could not participate in a medical marijuana program in the state until at least fiscal year 2016.

A participating medical center would be required to specify the medical conditions it would treat and the criteria by which patients would be allowed to participate.

The bill -- introduced by Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore), an emergency room doctor -- would create a commission. Medical research centers would then apply to the commission to operate medical marijuana programs, according to a release from the Marijuana Policy Project.

"People who use medical marijuana to treat illnesses like cancer and multiple sclerosis shouldn't have to resort to the illicit market to obtain doctor-recommended medicine," said Dan Riffle, deputy director of the organization, in the release.

The vote comes six days after the Maryland Senate voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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