Illinois has finally done it. As of today, residents of the Midwest state can apply for medical marijuana for a set list of medical conditions that the active agents in marijuana can help ease. Many Illinois residents are excited about the news and consider this to be a step in the right direction – towards legalization (and subsequently taxation). Maryland, however, is having a bigger issue with attempting to legalize medical marijuana. While our lawmakers successfully managed to decriminalize marijuana this year, it is beginning to look like we are going to have a harder time figuring out how to properly legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
What is Maryland Doing About Medical Marijuana?
Essentially, they are arguing about it. Maryland lawmakers have drafted an initial list of rules and regulations involving medical marijuana. Doctors, patients, and others who back the medical marijuana movement that have read the proposed rules and regulations find them to be far too strict to be useful. While rules and regulations are important, regulating the drug so strictly that few people who actually need it could use it, negates legalizing it in the first place. Some of the rules that seem draconian include:
- Zero history of substance abuse –even if it’s been under control for years
- No misdemeanor within five years of receiving prescription
- Two employees must be at the marijuana growing site at all times
- No dispensary or growing site within 500 feet of a school, day care, church, or playground
These rules would make it extremely difficult for medical marijuana to be sold in Maryland cities (such as Baltimore) and would also make it difficult for those who actually need medical marijuana to qualify for it. Legislators are working on drafting revised regulations now, though they are still being fairly quiet about what is happening behind closed doors. Our legislators are also pressed for time. They need to have everything drafted and ready to go by September 15th to be able to push the law through in the next session. In order for that to happen, lawmakers are going to have to finish working out all of the issues with this draft of the law. That gives them two more weeks to agree on something – unlikely, but we’ll continue holding on to hope. If it does not happen this session, there is always next session.
Marijuana Laws in Maryland
Marijuana will be officially decriminalized in the state of Maryland in November. Until then, it is important to remember that being caught with marijuana is a criminal offense. You’ll need to retain an aggressive Maryland criminal defense attorney. To schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.