Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Maryland Latest State to Move Toward Medicinal Marijuana

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

While Idaho lawmakers continue to push back against any pro marijuana legalization—medicinal or otherwise—Maryland is the latest state to move toward approving medical pot.

This morning's Washington Post reports that Maryland's House of Delegates voted 108-28 Monday to create a state commission to oversee medical marijuana programs at academic medical research centers. It would not be operational in Maryland until at least the 2016 fiscal year. The Maryland Senate will now consider the measure.

"It may take several years for a program to get up and running, and federal policy presents a substantial obstacle to a law like this one ever being fully implemented," said Dan Riffle, deputy director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Still, this bill gives us hope that patients could have safe, reliable access through programs that bear the imprimatur of some of the country's most respected medical institutions."

Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia currently allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

A group calling itself Compassionate Idaho launched a statewide petition drive on March 15 to put a medical marijuana initiative before Idaho voters on the 2014 ballot.

Two years ago this month, Boise Weekly visited 45th Parallel in Ontario, Ore., where scores of Idahoans regularly visited.

"We know of at least 500 Idaho clients that have bought property in Oregon just in the last 60 days," the operator told BW. "They don't want to break the law, so this is going to be their new home. Idaho is losing residents, there's no doubt about it."

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