Tuesday press conference will unveil proposal to allow qualified patients to obtain and use medical marijuana with doctor’s recommendation
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Tomorrow, Maryland lawmakers, patients and advocates will hold a press conference to announce the introduction of medical marijuana legislation in the Maryland state legislature.
"This bill will provide Maryland's doctors and patients with another tool in the toolbox, to be used safely and responsibly like any other therapy," said Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), the bill's co-sponsor and a physician board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. "I can't emphasize enough how important it is for patients to have access to the medicines that work best for them, especially for those suffering from serious ailments like cancer and multiple sclerosis. Marijuana may provide the greatest possible relief, one that can help when other therapies are not effective."
Fourteen other states, including New Jersey, and the District of Columbia have passed laws that give seriously ill patients safe access to medical marijuana and protection from criminal prosecution. Maryland's current law provides medical marijuana patients with a limited affirmative defense in court, but no protection from arrest. Patients can still be given a $100 fine that results in a criminal conviction.
"As a cancer survivor, I feel that it shouldn't be the policy of this or any other state to arrest, prosecute or imprison a person who uses marijuana under a doctor's advice to alleviate pain and suffering," said Sen. David Brinkley (R-Frederick County), the bill's co-sponsor in the Senate. "We don't want the government to interfere with the doctor/patient relationship in that way. I just watched my mother pass away from cancer as she chose to forego the only options that doctors could prescribe her to relieve her pain, because the treatments were so excruciating. If you disagree with me, I ask: would you call the police on a family member who confided in you that they were using marijuana under a doctor's order to ease their suffering from cancer or MS?"
WHAT: Press conference to announce the introduction of a medical marijuana bill in Maryland
WHO: Maryland state lawmakers, patients and advocates
WHEN: Tuesday, January 26, at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Room 318 in the House Office Building in Annapois
January 25, 2010