It’s official; the Maryland Senate voted 35-12 to pass SB 627 today. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail that I received from Maryland ASA – “Next, the bill moves to the House where they have until midnight Monday to pass the Senate version of bill without any changes. It will take some serious political will and quick action in order for the House to adopt the legislation. But, this is an overwhelming positive development in terms of support within the Senate chamber.”
One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator David Brinkley (R-Frederick) said, “I’m very proud of my Senate colleagues today for voting to provide some of our most vulnerable residents with the compassion and care that they deserve. Anyone who has watched a loved one suffer from a debilitating illness would agree that we should not stand between doctors and patients, or deprive seriously ill people safe access to a legitimate medicine if it can help them cope with their illness.”
Another sponsor, Senator Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring) said, “We think this bill offers the most carefully crafted medical marijuana law in the country. It offers legal protection and safe medical access to patients who are desperately in need and takes every possible measure to prevent abuse. I’m hopeful that our colleagues in the House will give this proposal serious consideration, and make Maryland’s medical marijuana law a national model for how to promote medical privacy, social compassion, and security in administration.”
The Maryland system would resemble the New Jersey system, as opposed to medical marijuana systems in the West. Patients could not grow it for themselves; the state would determine who grows the medicine. State licensed dispensaries would distribute it, with a limit of 6 ounces per month.