On Monday, the House of Delegates passed Del. Cheryl Glenn and Del. Dan Morhaim’s medical marijuana bill in a 127-9 vote. This year, Maryland may finally become the 21st state with an effective medical marijuana law!
The General Assembly already approved of a limited medical marijuana law last year. However, that program relied on the participation of research hospitals, and realistically would not have provided any patients with access to medicine.
This year’s medical marijuana bill, HB 881, does not rely on hospitals to implement the program, but instead allows certain physicians to recommend medical marijuana directly to their patients. It would also allow up to 10 cultivators to receive licenses to legally grow and distribute medical marijuana. Medical marijuana could be recommended to qualifying patients suffering from debilitating illnesses that produce severe pain, nausea, or seizures.
The Senate has traditionally been the more supportive of the two chambers, but we should not take their votes for granted.