Advocates of medical cannabis gave tearful testimonies on Friday before the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee, in an effort to encourage lawmakers to support House Bill 1321.
The measure, sponsored by 61 Delegates (43% of Maryland’s entire House), would legalize medical cannabis for patients suffering from ailments including cancer, PTSD, seizures and chronic pain. In a written statement released earlier in the week endorsing the bill, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown expressed confidence in the measure:
“House Bill 1321… addresses many of the issues we’ve identified since last year, and will ensure that Maryland has a responsible, safe, and functioning medical marijuana program. The best way to do this is to ensure that medical marijuana continues to be a tool that our physicians – within the confines of the doctor patient relationship – can use to take care of our citizens.”
Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn, the primary sponsor of the bill, is adamant that medical cannabis will be legalized this session. “We’re going to get a bill passed this year,” said Glenn.
If HB 1321 passes, patients would be allowed to possess a 60-day supply of cannabis for medical use; the amount that qualifies as a 60-day supply would be determined by a commission tasked with overseeing Maryland’s medical cannabis law. Compassion centers would also be established to provide safe access to medical cannabis for qualified patients.
Maryland lawmakers are also considering a measure to legalize recreational cannabis, Senate Bill 658, that would allow the possession of up to an ounce and the cultivation of up to 6 plants for adults.