MD Medical Marijuana Law Update
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 04/15/2010 in Medical Marijuana Laws
There’s good news for medical marijuana patients in Maryland this week: the Maryland Senate approved a medical marijuana bill by a landslide. Not only did the bill receive overwhelming support, but the measure is supported from Senators from both parties supported the measure. One of the lead sponsors, Senator David Brinkley, is a Republican (and a two-time cancer survivor). The margin of approval votes, 35-12, indicates that state legislators are very serious about the bill, which would benefit countless medical marijuana patients in need of safe access to their medicine.
Currently, Maryland’s marijuana law, the Darrel Putnam Compassionate Use Act, provides an affirmative defense for patients using marijuana for medicinal reasons, and limits sentencing to a $100 fine if the patient can successfully prove during trial that his or her use of marijuana is for medical reasons. But the law does not protect patients against arrest for possession of marijuana nor does it provide patients with a safe and legal place to get medical marijuana. Additionally, Maryland currently has no guidelines for patients to qualify to use medical marijuana
The proposed Maryland marijuana bill, if passed, would vastly improve Maryland’s current laws. It would protect medical marijuana patients from arrest, establish a state-run registry system, and provide safe, legal access to medical cannabis through state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Additionally, it would require patients to have an established relationship with the physician who provides the medical marijuana recommendation.
Will Maryland legalize medical marijuana this year? Unfortunately, it’s likely. The House won’t vote on the measure until next year, since the state’s legislative session ended this week. But the outlook is good and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on any advancements made.