Maryland’s General Assembly voted on Monday to review its new but defective medical marijuana legislation to ensure patients can easily access the drug and smoothen the implementation of the program, reported the Washington Post.
The move, which is sponsored by Senator Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore) and other lawmakers, aims at allowing certified private doctors to assist patients who need medical marijuana for medical reasons to obtain it through a state-recognized distribution network.
The House voted in favor of the law 125 to 11, while the Senate backed it 47 to 0.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore), “This has been an emotional rollercoaster for me.”
Del. Glenn’s mother-Natalie M. LaPrade- died of cancer and couldn’t eat, might have had her appetite alleviated by medical marijuana. Glenn said that the family discussed plans to source the drug for her ailing mother though it was against the law, something she refused.
“My mother wouldn’t do anything illegal,” Glenn said.
However, in honor of her mother, Glenn named the state’s marijuana commission after her.
The existing law, which was enacted in 2013, gave the responsibility for dispensing the medical marijuana program to academic medical centers. Unfortunately, all of them refused to get involved with the program.
The new amendments passed yesterday empower the state’s marijuana commission to designate doctors who will be allowed to administer the medical marijuana to needy patients. The patients will then register with the commission, allowing them to get the drug for state-approved dispensaries and growers.
The new laws also regulate the number of dispensaries and growers and bars system participants from having financial interest in either dispensaries or producers or accepting gifts from them. Up to 15 growers will be licensed as Maryland becomes the 21st U.S. state to allow medical marijuana use
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