Newsbrief: Maryland Governor to Support Medical Marijuana 1/24/03

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Incoming Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) announced January 16 that he would likely support medical marijuana legislation at the statehouse this year. The announcement is expected to provide momentum for legislative efforts that have in recent years stalled in the legislature. Erlich told the Baltimore Sun he has long supported medical marijuana, including cosponsoring a bill last year in Congress that would have allowed states to enact medical marijuana laws.

"I am predisposed to support it [medical marijuana]," Ehrlich said. "It's personal. My wife and I saw a very strong person taken down inch by inch" by cancer, Ehrlich said, referring to a relative he declined to identify.

Last year, the House of Delegates approved a watered-down bill that would have set a maximum $100 fine and no jail time for terminal patients caught with marijuana, but it lost by one vote in the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee.

At least two legislators, Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Frederick County) and Del. Daniel K. Morheim (D-Baltimore County), have announced plans to introduce medical marijuana bills this session. Brinkley, who campaigned on his support for medical marijuana, told the Sun he planned to introduce a bill similar to the one defeated last year. Morheim's proposed bill would start a state "medical marijuana pilot program." Under Morheim's proposal, patients with recommendations from two doctors could use marijuana after registering with the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Former Del. Donald Murphy (R-Baltimore County) sponsored medical marijuana bills in the last three sessions. He told the Sun this could be the year. "I think we have reached critical mass in Maryland, and as long as the new legislators understand the science and politics of medical marijuana, one of these bills will pass," said Murphy.

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Issue #273, 1/24/03 The Road to Mérida: Interviews with Participants in the "Out from the Shadows" Campaign | DRCNet Interview: Gustavo de Greiff, Former Attorney General of Colombia | DRCNet Interview: Luis Gómez, Andean Bureau Chief for Narco News | DRCNet Interview: Ricardo Sala, ViveConDrogas.com (Live With Drugs), Mexico | Mérida Addendum: Missing Paragraphs from Last Week's Giordano Interview | Rosenthal Medical Marijuana Trial Underway -- Medical Marijuana Supporters Stage Demos, Start Billboard Campaign | Bolivia: As Strife Continues, Armed Rebels Emerge -- Or Do They? | Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, February 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Cúpula Internacional sobre Legalização, 15-Dec de Fevereiro, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: Maryland Governor to Support Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Southeast Asians to End Drugs | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Canadian Heroin Bust Study Finds Drug War Futile | Newsbrief: Peruvian Coca Growers Begin to Organize | Newsbrief: Mexico Disbands Anti-Drug Agency, Cites Corruption | DC Job Opportunity at DRCNet -- Campus Coordinator | The Reformer's Calendar
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