House Affirms Affirmative Defense for Marijuana
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House Affirms Affirmative Defense for Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2011 at 06:13:22 PT
News Story
Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, M.D. -- The House of Delegates on Saturday gave final passage to a plan to decriminalize marijuana possession for the sick. The bill, which also includes a medical marijuana study component, must be adopted by the Senate (which has already blessed a slightly different bill) before the conclusion of the legislative session Monday night. Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he would sign the proposal into law.
Lawmakers are looking to extend the affirmative defense option as Maryland officials research a plan to develop and implement a system for the prescription and distribution of medical marijuana. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use.Under the House's affirmative defense proposal, a person arrested for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana could present a doctor's note, medical paperwork or the live testimony of a doctor in court as evidence of a medical necessity for the drug. The judge or jury would have to be convinced of the necessity by a preponderance of the evidence in order to find the person not guilty, the House plan states.Delegates registered objections to the affirmative defense portion of the proposal, but an amendment to strip that portion out of the larger medical marijuana bill failed on a vote of 42-79.Del. Theodore Sophocleus, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, asked colleagues how the legislature could "put our stamp of approval" on what is listed as a Schedule One drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "Why rush in Maryland to circumvent the FDA process?" Del. Warren E. Miller, a Howard County Republican asked, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's lack of action on medical marijuana.Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, a Montgomery County Democrat, defended the bill as a "half-step" forward for medical marijuana. In 2003, the state legislature allowed sick people arrested for marijuana possession to present medical evidence as a way to secure a more lenient sentence of a $100 fine. But lawmakers said they'd heard compelling testimony from patients who felt it was unfair that they be marred by the criminal conviction that comes with those lesser penalties."They've been saddled with a criminal conviction that has ruined their lives," said Del. Dan Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat. The legislature's only medical doctor, Morhaim has spearheaded the legislation in the House. On the Senate side, Sen. David Brinkley, a Frederick County Republican, and Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat -- both cancer survivors -- are leading the effort.From The Baltimore Sun BlogSource: Baltimore Sun (MD)Author: Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore SunPublished: April 9, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Baltimore SunContact: letters baltsun.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on April 12, 2011 at 06:02:07 PT
"distributed in the future in Maryland".
They can get where everyone else in the country is getting it, from the high schoolers.High school kids grow in their backyards. Around here I cannot find one parent that objects. There are no jobs in this little berg so I suspect that the nice cars that fill the high school parking lot are paid for by home gardens.If you follow our police blotter we don't have any crime to speak of and there are no gangs in the whole of the south end of the state.Our local football team won allstate this year and I know about every kid on the team is a pot smoker. What we do not have a lot of here is a beer drinking problem with high schoolers. Now and then yes, because it is here but, why drink expensive beer and get stupid and wreck your car and fight with your girlfriend? It is much more fun to play music or listen to music and make-out with your girl. And the herbs are free!Turn the growing operation over to your local high school FFA and let them learn about the produce market first hand.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 11, 2011 at 18:28:45 PT
New Defense for MMJ Clears MD General Assembly
New Defense for Medical Marijuana Clears Maryland General Assembly Monday, April 11, 2011Annapolis, Md. -- A new defense for Maryland residents who use marijuana for medical reasons has cleared the Maryland General Assembly.The Senate gave final approval to the bill Monday night on a 39-5 vote.The bill would enable Marylanders to avoid a $100 fine and misdemeanor conviction if they are arrested with marijuana but have a doctor’s permission to use the drug for medicinal purposes.The measure also calls for a study on how medical marijuana could be distributed in the future in Maryland.Gov. Martin O’Malley says he’ll sign the bill.Copyright: 2011 The Associated Press
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 11, 2011 at 10:53:26 PT
Thank you, runruff.
Their front page is looking great these days.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on April 11, 2011 at 07:34:21 PT
Get your petion here.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on April 11, 2011 at 07:30:57 PT
Get on the mailing list.
Help us show legislators there is widespread support for ending the drug war.
Sign the petition today! 
Last month, the DEA raided at least 28 medical marijuana dispensaries in Montana and California.These raids – and many before them – break President Obama's promise that he would not use "justice department resources to circumvent state laws" on medical marijuana. Their changes in rhetoric aren't enough. It's time to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. Show your support by signing our petition demanding No More Drug War!
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on April 11, 2011 at 07:28:10 PT
Pass this around, please.
Dear jerry,Last month, the DEA raided at least 28 medical marijuana dispensaries in Montana and California.These raids – and many before them – break President Obama's promise that he would not use "justice department resources to circumvent state laws" on medical marijuana. Their changes in rhetoric aren't enough. It's time to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. Show your support by signing our petition demanding No More Drug War!The war on drugs isn't over – in fact, it hasn't skipped a beat. Every year, the federal government still spends billions of dollars to arrest, prosecute and lock up people for nonviolent drug offenses. But that can change.Momentum is growing to end the irresponsible policies that treat responsible citizens as criminals. Public opinion increasingly favors legalization. States are questioning whether money for arrests and incarceration might be better spent on education or infrastructure or even on putting the money back in taxpayers' pockets. Now it's up to us to make sure Congress is asking those same questions.Over the next few months, as we approach the 40th Anniversary of the war on drugs, DPA will build a critical mass of support through local events in communities across the country, release a hard-hitting report detailing an exit strategy, and work with the media and high-profile leaders to embolden them to speak out against the war on drugs.We need your help to show there is widespread support for ending the drug war. Sign our petition to send a clear message: No More Drug War!Sincerely,Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director 
Drug Policy Alliance
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on April 10, 2011 at 11:05:10 PT
mr. miller-
"Why rush in Maryland to circumvent the FDA process?"Because people are suffering in pain for lack of a safe, easy-to-grow herbal medicine, or did you overlook that tiny detail? Or are you just heartless and lack compassion? Because in most polls, medical cannabis gets a 60% or higher approval among American voters (what's your approval rating, incidentally?)- and you'd like to get re-elected!Because the scheduling of cannabis as Schedule 1, is in error, by the governments own admissions - starting with Patent #6630507, and the recent statement (and politically inspired redaction) by the National Cancer Institute!And, when it comes to cancer, it will strike 1 out of every 3 Americans. That's 1 out of 3 voters, to you, mr miller. And FYI- Cannabis can stop the growth and spread of several cancers, and, apparently, cure basal cell carcinoma! (And Rick Simpson is FINALLY being recognized!) Science Provides Physician’s Documentation That Confirms Successful Treatment of Skin CancerDENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS), US biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis products. On March 9, 2011 Cannabis Science announced that we would follow up our press release with medical documentation regarding the effectiveness of our cannabis extracts for treating skin cancer as was documented photographically in our earlier press release of February 22, 2011. We are pleased to announce that we have physician’s documentation that confirms the successful treatment of basal cell carcinoma that resulted from the application of a topical cannabis extract.Please visit to view the “Breaking News” of the successful results and images of the self-administered cancer treatments along with the physician's documentation after 4pm EST., today.Currently, there is a tremendous amount of controversy with respect to the effects that cannabinoids have on cancers. Endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids have demonstrated cancer killing and anti-metastatic properties in tissue culture and in animal models. While formal, proper, FDA approved clinical trials that would prove or disprove the therapeutic potential of cannabis extracts for treating cancers; trials have not been carried out. Nevertheless, a significant number of anecdotal observations have accumulated that suggest people suffering from a variety of cancers appear to have been cured by ingesting what is known as “Rick Simpson's hemp oil”.There is widespread ignorance regarding the endocannabinoid system by medical professionals and laymen alike. The first hint that an endocannabinoid system existed resulted from an experiment published in 1988. Because of the endemic political and social bias against medical cannabis, nurtured by decades of misinformation, Cannabis Science has chosen a path that we feel will have the greatest probability of successfully traversing the FDA approval process. Our initial test product will only be topical, and will be formulated to reduce any internal consumption and thus reduce any abuse potential. With these considerations in mind, we will initially seek FDA approval for topically applied cannabis extracts for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. (snipped)And that is only the beginning of why Maryland SHOULD be rushing to circumvent the FDA process!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on April 10, 2011 at 10:13:21 PT:
Sado-moralists seem to be easily identifiable 
nowadays. Just look for whether an upper-case letter 'R' appends the name of any pol, and in 98% of the time, you'll know.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on April 10, 2011 at 06:55:00 PT
Former Gov. Rell?
Another rich, full of herself, republicant.I know she is is disappointed in this legislation. Most republicants drown their frustration in single malts.The tee martunie lunch is still popular. We still have those teetotalers who get high on religion. As obnoxious as they are I think I still prefer a funny drunk over a dogma spouting commando in gods army.Last night I spoke to god about his people. I must have complained for an hour until god spoke up. He said,"listen, get real dude, I can't really talk to you. If I talk to you I have to talk to everybody. I don't have the time or the interest. Then he said something curious? He said, Y'all will just have to work it out on your own, pardner. It sound like the has been hanging out with some skateboarding cowboys???Oh, and he said to thank all his friends at C/news for keeping his Tree of Life alive-he likes that.Then he reminded me that we were not really talking because we cannot talk to him. I said thanks anyway and hung up....I mean, went to sleep. 
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