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Medical Marijuana Passes Big Hurdle in Maryland

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It’s a good day for medical marijuana in Maryland. Senate Bill 627 was passed by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee today and sent to the full Senate for a further vote. “We want to build the tightest ship in the country when it comes to medical marijuana,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, the bill’s co-sponsor. What’s the alternative, we send them out to an alley and they go and buy drugs?”

According to the article, cost estimates are $40 for patients, and $400 for a licensed pharmacy to become a distributor. One Senator tried to double the fees, but failed. “I think the drug addiction’s going to be a lot worse than the people who want to sell marijuana think is going to happen,” said Sen. Alex Mooney, R-Frederick, who is also the Maryland Senator that tried to double the fees. Senators Larry E. Haines, Norman R Stone Jr., and Bryan Simonaire also voted against the bill.

Some of the key amendments from today include:

1. A provision to reschedule marijuana under the state law, from Schedule I to Schedule II

2. Strong language to protect patients from arrest and prosecution for patients

3. New language to authorize patients to possess no more than 6 ounces every 30 days

4. Doctors can only approve marijuana for treatment if they believe other methods would be too harmful

5. Landlords and condo associations can ban the use of medical pot

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail from the great people at Maryland ASA:

Next, SB627 will move to the full Senate where it will be open to amendments and then voted on. If it passes the full senate, then it proceeds to the House Rules Committee. If the Rules committee votes it out favorably, then it will proceed to the House committees for consideration.

Many thanks to all of the patients and supporters who volunteered their time to testify in support of the legislation, placed calls, sent emails, participated in media interviews, and raised awareness. Your support and continued dedication is still necessary to ensure adoption of the bill!

Stay tuned for more information — including next steps HINT: It is time to contact YOUR Maryland State Senator and urge their support for SB627!

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