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Maryland: Lawmakers Approve Measure To Establish ‘Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Programs’

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 8, 2013

    Senate lawmakers today voted 42 to 4 in favor of House Bill 1101, which establishes a new 12-member state commission to promulgate medical cannabis research. House members had previously approved the measure, which now goes to the desk of Democrat Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is expected to sign it into law.

    House Bill 1101 establishes an independent commission within the state Department of Health. The purpose of the commission is to request applications from academic medical centers to operate ‘medical marijuana compassionate use programs.’ The commission will decide which patients will qualify for the programs and it will license growers to provide cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Medical marijuana patients who are not participants in an authorized medical center program will not be legally protected from arrest. (Existing state legislation allows certain medical cannabis patients to raise an affirmative defense of medical necessity at trial.)

    Full text of House Bill 1101 is available here. Once signed into law, the measure will take effect on October 1, 2013. However, media reports estimate that the programs are not likely to be up and running until 2016.

    25 Responses to “Maryland: Lawmakers Approve Measure To Establish ‘Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Programs’”

    1. TheOracle says:

      So whadda you got in the Mid-Atlantic? Is Jersey the only state getting the MMJ off the ground, off paper and up and running from seed to consumers? If MD implements also instead of keeping it all on paper, you’ve got major parts of the megalopolis from D.C. to northern Jersey. Hook in the Big Apple and Philly. Implement from Boston to D.C. Not just on paper anymore. Feds need to go for the money grab too and count the savings, decide if they want to lay the groundwork for a possible federal tax on cannabis later on down the road. Everyone wants a slice of the money pie.

      Pie graph anyone?

    2. jimmy says:

      “(Existing state legislation allows certain medical cannabis patients to raise an affirmative defense of medical necessity at trial.)”

      This statement confirms that the prohibition is inherently wrong. No one needs to justify their right to be free from pain, without negative side-effects, certainly not in COURT.

      There is one thing that is puzzling to me. There’s another message that belies another statement

      “The commission will decide which patients will qualify for the programs and it will license growers to provide cannabis for therapeutic purposes.”

      This house bill is progressive and a great step forward, to be sure, but it illustrates how strange prohibition policies are, nonsensical but often accepted as the “way things are.”

      Why is it a priority at all to decide who could or should have access to cannabis? It’s a gift of nature and the creator, for all people. Why is it considered normal for people to believe it rational that some will decide for others who can have access? This “decision” is totally 100% arbitrary.

      Prohibition tramples the spirit of the law. Prohibition is a textbook example of Failed Public Policy.

      Let’s limit people’s options in how they want to be treated, or what treatment they would prefer, regardless of their consent.

      Precedent for compassionate use already existed with the Supreme Court. Robert Randall took on the DEA, FDA, NIDA, DOJ, etc, and won in Randall vs. US. Cannabis lowers eye pressure (cannabis use to lower eye pressure was patented already). For a person with glaucoma, who faces losing their vision because of increasing pressure that eventually kills the optic nerve, cannabis is medically useful.

      Randall argued that it was more dangerous, more harmful for Randall to lose his vision than it was to cultivate a plant. Randall won.

      Based on the premise that cannabis truly lowers eye pressure as a side effect, or even as a main effect, the Supreme Court must have acknowledged that cannabis can be used for legitimate medical use, and that, is sufficiently sound as a premise for arguing a medical necessity defense.

      The federal govt, through their grow-op at the University of Mississippi, grew the shwag and sent joints to Randall and other patients for medical use, for a while. The simply ended the program later.

      They probably ended the compassionate use program because they were essentially admitting unspokenly that there is indeed, even one, medical use. And this negates any schedule I designation, causing a quandary among the federal bureaucratic monolith.

      But there are myriad medical uses because external cannabinoids act as agonists on our natural endocannabinoid system we are all born with.

      Another patent: “patent number 6,630,507 states unequivocally that cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson’s, Alzeheimer’s and HIV dementia. The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.”

      http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2008/jul/23/significance_us_govt_cannabinoid

      A minority of people or interests, should never be able to enforce arbitrary rules on others, especially * everyone else * out of self-interest. Unless we live in a plutocracy.

    3. mark odell says:

      yea, It’s long past overdue! So many lives and families have been separated, damaged, destroyed jailed,and persecuted and prosecuted by the law. And all in the name of injustice.– A law enforced with out reasoning. My only question is why does it take so long for the government to realize and act on what the people want.

    4. freekkc says:

      POST ALL AROUND THE INTERNET EVERYWHERE YOU GO TO MAKE 420 THIS YEAR THE BIGGEST WEED SMOKING? SESSION EVER TO TAKE PLACE ON PLANET EARTH — COPY AND PASTE THIS EVERYWHERE YOU GO EVERY WEBSITE EVERY FORUM EVERY WEBPAGE IN ALL CAPS SO IT GETS SEEN EVERYWHERE -

      - LEGALIZE CANNABIS AND EVERY ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY – FREE ALL PRISONERS INCARCERATED FOR CANNABIS

    5. MotherEarthsChoiceNow says:

      I agree with you, Jimmy…we would like to see a Maryland, Medical-Cannabis Patients, and Growers Association established…we need to bridge the gap…Patients; Doctors; Growers have a special Relationship!…In making it all work this work together…false bureaucracy is, still being sticky-handed in another attemp
      to continue to control every aspects of of our lives.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      I like the 42-4 vote for it; the 2016 kick-in date, not so much.

      I’d sure like to see, medical research opened up as well. I have an auto-immune condition called Addison’s disease. JFK had it. Your body stops making ‘hydrocortisone’, so you have to take it supplementally. Before JFK’s time, you had about two years to live.

      I’ve stopped taking ‘hydrocortisone’ for over a year with no ill results whatsoever. There is no way in Hell this condition righted itself. One possible explanation is the marijuana.

      To thwart the advance of medical science is a crime against us all.

    7. bobwv says:

      You know, Treason and genocide must be addictive. They have a hard time kicking the habit.

    8. john says:

      I had a nerve that ruptured and stopped the use of a limb. They cut out the nerve and replaced it with a new one and now I have function in the limb again. I healed from paralysis with medical marijuana.

    9. Lucky lady says:

      plz america don’t be a pain in the ass of the world, legalize weed!

    10. floridian for choice says:

      I am not here to discuss the pros/cons of Medical Marijuana – I am just here to try fight for a choice as a Florida citizen.

      I am not a grassroots activist – just a mid-life Dad who is starting to deal with persitent pain from nerve issues and who wants to be able to explore all reasonable options that would result in an acceptable quality of life without risking my future or my children’s future by breaking the law.

      There are currently at least 16 states that allow Medical Marijuana.
      There is an increasing shift in the number of American adults who view Medical Marijuana as acceptable – http://www.pewresearch.org/

      There are currently 2 bills – one in the house and one in the senate – in Tallahassee that will die this session because the members of our legislature are ignoring them.

      What we can do is collect enough signatures to force the issue on the ballot in the 2014 election and let the voting population of Florida decide.
      I am not affiliated with any of the organizations or groups below but am just doing my small part to address an issue I feel strongly about.

      United For Care ( originally People United for Medical Marijuana ( PUFMM) is backing a signature petition that would force the issue onto the ballot in 2014. Almost 700,000 signatures are needed. There are 8.4 million registered Florida voters – that is only 1 – 12 that we need to sign the petition. This initiative has gained mainstream momentum with the addition of John Morgan as chariman ( head of Morgan and Morgan law firm ).

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/20/us-usa-marijuana-florida-idUSBRE92J0RU20130320

      The links below lead to Unitedforcare’s website.
      http://www.unitedforcare.org/
      http://www.unitedforcare.org/sign_the_petition

      All I hope to see is the opportunity to express my choice at the polls in 2014. – Thanks for reading this.

    11. MotherEarthsChoiceNow! says:

      Create a Patient, Doctor„ Growers Association!!
      Create a Charter..along with California PA!

      NOW! Mwdical Academia wants in on the Cannabis Adventure, and are creating way’s to redeem themselves…they have come full circle with those Doctors they considered STUPID! They do not know how to Appologize to them, and the Public for being STUPID, and WRONG!!!

    12. MotherEarthsChoiceNow! says:

      Research is already done!!! What is left to research?

    13. MotherEarthsChoiceNow! says:

      Hello Galieo, this NORML site: go to their Library; look up medical research..it will give you the 411 you are looking for, as We all can say The RESEARCH is Done! Plus some!

    14. MotherEarthsChoiceNow! says:

      Hello Galieo, on this NORML site: go to their Library; look up medical research..it will give you the 411 you are looking for, as We all can say The RESEARCH is Done! Plus some!
      Purchase the book…it worth more than the price they ask for!

    15. Anonymous says:

      @MotherEarthsChoiceNow!

      Actually the feds have thwarted the kind of ‘gold standard’ reproducible medical marijuana studies necessary for the advance of any kind medical science. Then they turn around and say the confirmation studies aren’t there.

      We’ve all heard about the uses of marijuana to relieve nausea from and chemotherapy and relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. We’ve heard about them for decades. Yet somehow the studies to verify these medicinal uses never get done.

      NIDA thwarts these studies. Then the drug warriors say with straight faces that the FDA hasn’t approved any medicinal uses. The FDA won’t act without the necessary studies.

      This is a crime against us all, and I’d love to see those responsible treated with the same zealotry and lack of compassion they’ve seen fit to unleash on the rest of us.

    16. Galileo Galilei says:

      @MotherEarthsChoiceNow!

      Actually the feds have thwarted the kind of ‘gold standard’ reproducible medical marijuana studies necessary for the advance of any kind medical science. Then they turn around and say the confirmation studies aren’t there.

      We’ve all heard about the uses of marijuana to relieve nausea from and chemotherapy and relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. We’ve heard about them for decades. Yet somehow the studies to verify these medicinal uses never get done.

      NIDA thwarts these studies. Then the drug warriors say with straight faces that the FDA hasn’t approved any medicinal uses. The FDA won’t act without the necessary studies.

      This is a crime against us all, and I’d love to see those responsible treated with the same zealotry and lack of compassion they’ve seen fit to unleash on the rest of us.

    17. MotherEarthsChoiceNow! says:

      You have a Testimony, with what you no longer have to go through; with the help of Medical Cannabis…Congradulations!
      Hopefully, one day the Lambs Bread cometh my Way too!

    18. Sam says:

      You got this Alabama. You can do it!

    19. don't tread on me says:

      I’m happy with the vote, but this version doesn’t seem feasible. I’m not sure which medical research institutions will want to be dispensaries? If my fellow Marylander’s can get this to a referendum I can see more support than 55%.

    20. Galileo Galilei says:

      @MotherEarthsChoiceNow!

      I agree there are plenty of studies showing the potential, apparently both preclinical and clinical. However, I think to reproduce these studies and then develop the medicines and treatment plans that medical science needs in its arsenal require more studies.

      Most drugs and even some current medicines are more toxic than marijuana. (Hell, even water is more toxic) NORML fans already know this, but the FDA will require rigorous, reproducible studies. That’s their job and they serve us well, most of the time.

    21. jimmy says:

      The FDA is corrupt like the NIDA (who officially grants federal funding for research for only the BAD effects of drug-war drugs, none of the benefits). The FDA has been cited numerous times in the Journal of the American Medical Association as a corruption based on money interests.

      http://www.cancure.org/medical_errors.htm

      “FDA advisers tied to industry

      An article by Dennis Cauchon, the USA TODAY Newspaper

      Sept. 25, 2000

      According to a USA Today study, more than half of the experts hired to advise the government on the safety and effectiveness of medicine have financial relationships with the pharmaceutical companies that will be helped or hurt by their decisions. These experts are hired to advise the Food and Drug Administration on which medicines should be approved for sale, what the warning labels should say and how studies of drugs should be designed. The experts are supposed to be independent, but USA TODAY found that 54% of the time, they have a direct financial interest in the drug or topic they are asked to evaluate. These conflicts include helping a pharmaceutical company develop a medicine, then serving on an FDA advisory committee that judges the drug.

      The conflicts typically include stock ownership, consulting fees or research grants.”

      Pharma drugs kill more people every year, from either accidental overdose or when used a s d i r e c t e d, than all the annual deaths caused by drug-war-drugs.

      Most FDA are experimental when they are approved by the FDA for kick-backs and self-enrichment. Think of the class action lawsuits and how some drugs have to be pulled from the market later. There is no way to test pharma drugs for birth defects because that would be unethical to test them on pregnant women.

      The FDA is corrupt. The USDA too. The DOJ.

      I would say that all drugs (alcohol, tobacco, pharma, OTC, meth, heroin) are all more toxic than cannabis. All of them.

      Forget that nonsense phrase “drugs and alcohol.” Alcohol is a drug. People tend to refer to pharmaceuticals as “medicine” or “pharmacy prescriptions” when they are drugs drugs drugs.

      It’s a war on some drugs, a war on a few drugs based on arbitrary BS.

    22. Pinkfloyd4life says:

      I think something must be done about drug testing in this country, it is too extreme. Im about to work at a aluminum company, pre-employment in june, and I have to skip using marijuana this week, but I will make 420. Its so bullcrap, drug testing what keeps me from marijuana, because I have to wait so long and its hard to wait so long when you can’t even enjoy your freedom.

    23. Pinkfloyd4life says:

      I live in Washington State and states that have weed legal already, I believe must start focusing on the drug policies for marijuana, do away with urine type-testing completely atleast!

    24. morkonow says:

      I’m 61 yr old. It has all been said before. BUT,one more time. I can not believe that cannabis is still viewed by our government with such ignorant unjust laws. I’m not a gambling man however, I’d be willing to say that the majority of close family members of our government do smoke cannabis,if not themselves. As we know it can easily be done.I’d even be willing to say that many official law makers smoke cannabis to include ,police,doctors,lawyers,teachers, athletes,stock brokers,bankers, priest and many peace seeking people.And believe me I’ve smoked with 99% of above list.Those people who accept alcohol,cigarettes and very powerful prescription drugs and think that it’s OK to destroy my family,my career,put me in jail because i smoke cannabis for medical reasons or for my right to personal freedom. You people need to get out of you state of paranoia and the others just need to get your head out of your ass holes.Simply put WAKE UP.I just want the laws to be in justice for all.WE need people to contact our elected officials to encourage them to do what is right for us. That’s why they are there.

    25. Anant says:

      Awesome Growmed Event is going to happen in Valencia in April 2013.There will be musical competition and European Products Award show whose winners will be announced during the show.It would be enjoyable for all growers. You can get more information and regular updates http://www.facebook.com/advancednutrients?fref=ts

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