Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana bills are being filed in state legislatures, and more.

Nebraska

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Senator Anna Wishart (D-Lincoln) has filed Legislative Bill 474, which would create a system of regulated medical marijuana distribution for qualifying patients. She filed a similar bill two years ago, which was defeated. A medical marijuana initiative last year qualified for the ballot but was thrown off by the state's Supreme Court.

New Mexico

New Mexico Court Rules Inmates Can Have Access to Medical Marijuana. A district court judge in Albuquerque ruled in late December that inmates at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center who are qualifying medical marijuana patients can use the substance while under correctional control. It is unclear whether other state and local jails would voluntarily comply with the ruling, but it has set a precedent for other state courts. The ruling came in the case of man serving a 90-day house arrest sentence.

South Carolina

South Carolina Medical Marijuana Bill Pre-Filed. Once again, state Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort County) has filed a medical marijuana bill, S 150, the Compassionate Care Act. Davis has filed similar bills for nearly a decade. This year could be the charm, he predicted. "The bill has been thoroughly vetted," said Davis. "It's been looked at by the SC Medical Association. It has been looked at by law enforcement. We have a very good tightly regulated medical cannabis bill, and what it seeks to do is empower physicians."

Tennessee

Tennessee Lawmaker Files Bill to Protect Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Patients. State Senator Sarah Kyle (D-Memphis) has filed a bill that would allow patients with a valid medical marijuana registration card to possess up to half an ounce without penalty. Since Tennessee doesn't have a medical marijuana program, SB 0025 would only apply to outstate visitors from states that do have medical marijuana programs.

Utah

Utah Bill Would Allow Any Doctor to Recommend Medical Marijuana. State Senator Evan Vickers (R-District 28) is supporting a bill that would allow any doctor to recommend medical marijuana. Currently, doctors must register as a qualified medical provider to do so, but under a previous law which expired at the end of 2019, they did not have to do so. The bill would eliminate a major bottleneck for patients, supporters said. "If they don't have a physician in their area, especially in a rural area, they'd have to go to a physician somewhere else in the state," said Vickers. "Some of those physicians who have become QMPs are charging a pretty high fee."

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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