Delegate Wants Medical Marijuana Law Review

Delegate Wants Medical Marijuana Law Review
Posted by CN Staff on February 27, 2009 at 06:45:24 PT
By Alan Brody, Staff Writer
Source: Montgomery Gazette 
Annapolis, MD -- A Montgomery County delegate wants the state to examine whether to make marijuana more accessible for medicinal purposes.Del. Henry B. Heller says concern for the safety of the elderly or impaired patients who might need to obtain marijuana is driving the issue. He wants a state task force to study a law on the books that allows anyone charged with possession or use of marijuana to introduce evidence in court related to medical necessity; that law limits any penalty to $100.
The General Assembly in 2003 adopted the law, which is dedicated to Darrell Putman, a former Army Green Beret and conservative activist from Howard County who used marijuana to treat his cancer in the final months before his death in 1999.Now, Heller (D-Dist. 19) of Leisure World says the state should consider making it easier for people in need to obtain marijuana, which has been shown to reduce nausea in cancer patients and relieve pressure for those with glaucoma."The task force would look at it from a medical point of view, not a criminal point of view," he said.One of the shortcomings of the 2003 law, Heller said, is it only allows physicians to recommend, not prescribe, marijuana for medicinal purposes. That leaves ailing or older patients to acquire the drug on their own, potentially endangering their own well-being."Drug dealers aren't the most ethical of people," he said. "They kill each other and rob each other all the time. What are they going to do to an impaired senior or an impaired 25-year-old?"Former Republican delegate Donald E. Murphy, who championed the medical marijuana campaign during his time in the legislature, believes a closer look at the law is warranted "to see how it works in the real world."More than a dozen states have similar laws allowing the medicinal use of marijuana to be entered as court evidence. Some states prevent marijuana users from being arrested if they can furnish proof that the drug is used as medical treatment."What it does is take away the fear of arrest and incarceration on the patient end," said Murphy, now a lobbyist who travels to other states to advocate for compassionate medical marijuana laws. "From that point, the law is good in all those states, but it could be better."The task force also would explore whether the medical schools at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland should establish research programs to study the medical and social issues relating to medical marijuana.Source: Montgomery Gazette (MD)Author: Alan Brody, Staff WriterPublished: February 27, 2009Copyright: 2009 Post-Newsweek Media, Inc.Contact: letters gazette.netWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 27, 2009 at 07:29:15 PT
Had Enough
That's just about what my state's law is. Thank you.Excerpt: The bill would make possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana a civil violation.
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Comment #1 posted by Had Enough on February 27, 2009 at 06:56:03 PT
Maine bill seeks changes in pot law2/25/09 | 63 comments AUGUSTA — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Chiefs of Police Association are opposing a bill to modify possession limits and fines for marijuana possession. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing Wednesday on Rep. Patsy Crockett’s bill. The Augusta Democrat said her bill would streamline and clarify marijuana laws.The bill would make possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana a civil violation.Possession of up to 1¼ ounce would remain punishable by a $350 fine. For possession of 1¼ to 4 ounces, the fine would be $700, with higher fines for second and subsequent offenses.The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supported the bill…More… at bottom of articleDo you think the possession of a small amount of marijuana should be a criminal offense?Yes
209 votes (22%)No
720 votes (78%)
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