Friday, May 03, 2013

Maryland becomes 19th medical marijuana state on May 2nd. In neighboring D.C. dispensaries are poised to open.

On May 2, 2013 Maryland Governor, Martin O'Malley, signed an act making Maryland the 19th medical marijuana state. Delegates Cheryl D. Glenn (Baltimore City) and Dan K. Morhaim, M.D. (Baltimore County) are the legislative heroes in overcoming the Governor's and state Health Secretary's resistance to the bill. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan votes in the House of Delegates and Senate, having been supported by the Maryland State Medical Society and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, among others. Implementing the bill, H.B. 1101, creating a program of clinical medical marijuana at "academic medical centers," is going to be time-consuming.

Morhaim, has championed the legislation for a decade, since former Delegate Don Murphy (R-Baltimore County) led the fight for the Darrel Putman Compassionate Use Act, enacted in 2003. Murphy later traveled around the nation working to convince Republican governors and state officials to support medical marijuana under the aegis of Republicans for Compassionate Access.

Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia, medical marijuana dispensaries, originally authorized by a public referendum in 1999, are going to open very soon, according to an article in the Washingtonian magazine and a report on NBC4TV. These stories report about Capital City Care in the NoMa section of D.C. near the NoMa/New York Avenue Metrorail station, and the Takoma Wellness Center in Takoma neighborhood of D.C., near the Takoma Park Metrorail station.

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