A medical marijuana bill that could allow academic medical centers to provide marijuana to patients whose doctors recommend it took a significant step toward becoming law minutes ago when it was approved by the Maryland House of Delegates. In a sign of just how uncontroversial this bill is, there was no debate and the vote was an overwhelming 108-28! The bill now moves over to the Senate, so you know what to do.
Unlike medical marijuana programs you’ve heard about in other states, HB 1101 would allow academic medical centers, like Johns Hopkins, to apply to an independent commission for the ability to administer a research-focused program through which participating patients could obtain marijuana without fear of arrest and prosecution. The bill is far from perfect – it could take years to get up and running and would require either federal cooperation or medical centers in Maryland to violate federal law – but it’s a start. The bill could be amended down the road if the current version proves unworkable.
Until recently, things had been all quiet on the marijuana front in Nevada. That changed suddenly last week when Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom introduced SB 374, a bill to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada, and Assemblyman Joe Hogan introduced AB 402, which would regulate marijuana like alcohol.
We’re already halfway through Nevada’s scheduled session, with adjournment slated for June 3, so time is short. If you live in Nevada, please contact your elected officials today and urge them to support the dispensary bill and to support removing criminal penalties and regulating marijuana like alcohol.
Sen. Segerblom’s bill would fix current Nevada law, which prohibits buying or selling marijuana. Last year, a Nevada judge called that “ridiculous” and “absurd” and called upon the legislature to pass a bill much like SB 374. And of course, Hogan’s bill would be a financial boon for the cash-strapped state. Rather than spending millions locking up adults for using a substance safer than alcohol, the state could make millions in tax revenue.