By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— Decriminalizing marijuana. The Senate passes a bill to establish a Maryland model for the distribution of medical marijuana.

But as political reporter Pat Warren explains, supporters were hoping for more.

Many Marylanders have illnesses that compel them to use marijuana at the risk of arrest and conviction.

“My migraines are out of this world,” said Ann Smith Judy. “I got hit in the head with a crowbar.”

The Senate acted on behalf of these citizens Thursday. While marijuana is illegal in Maryland, current law recommends reducing the penalty to a fine if there’s proof it’s being used for medical reasons, but the conviction stands.

“What happens if I get pulled over? I’ll get arrested. I’ve gotten arrested before; the law does not help,” Smith said.

Thursday’s Senate action sets the patient free without a fine or record, but falls short of legalizing its use.

“I apologize to the thousands of Marylanders who are suffering who wanted us to go all the way. We didn’t do that, but we’re on a course to develop what we hope will be the best medical marijuana plan in the country,” Sen. James Raskin said.

The bill requires the health department to create a medical marijuana plan that would eventually legalize its use.

“First of all, it’s not gonna happen,” Sen. Roy Dyson said.

Lawmakers opposed to the bill say federal drug laws can’t be superseded.

“Drugs are so prevalent in our society. It just worries me,” said Dyson.

But one man’s worry is another man’s rescue as testified by Baltimore native and talk show host Montel Williams in Annapolis this session.

“Unfortunately opiates don’t work for me anymore so I’m left with one course of action,” Williams said.

“People like Montel Williams who has MS are not criminals. They could be members of our family who are put in this position,” Raskin said.

The next move is up to the House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland is one of 12 states considering marijuana for medical use this year; 15 other states have some form of legal use.

Comments (15)
  1. sillyman says:

    its about time this state comes into the 21st century…they should be more concerned about drunk drivers but of course most politicians are drunks

  2. DOCSRUS says:

    Its a dried up stale crumb with a drop of water. A useless waste of time and a slap in the face to 30 million Americans preferrinf a safer alternative to alcohol.

  3. moleman says:

    Sell it, tax it & eventually we will have a health problem just like the boys of booze.
    Grounds here for a lot of abuse but prohibition didn’t work either. Go figure.

  4. Rev John says:

    Rev John

    People that love one another can not marry but we can let “people” that say they need dope for a medical resaon have it drive their car kill someone then what.? Do they get the right to drive an doing the dope . Maryland and alll the other states that have this law this will come back and bit you all in the butt.

    1. amanda says:

      you have obviously never tried it because marijuana does not alter your vision

  5. Mike Lidinsky Jr says:

    Thought: think about how many state budgets go go from in the red into the black by Legalizing it and taxing it with out the “medical” tag

  6. hannah says:

    I have arthritis in my spine i am 22 years old and opiats do not work for me either. I have smoked it before and i have to say it helps it doesnt make me violently ill like pills do. I am in the military so i can not smoke it or eat thc but i believe that it does work for medical use. To bad the people that use it just for recreational use will only hold this process back even more. The people that need it should beable to access it with out having to buy it off the streets. TEAM GREEN

  7. Christy says:

    Unless there is also a way to keep these same people from driving after using it for medical purposes, I would say no. Does anyone want someone who’s been using Marijuana for medical reasons, driving your child to school on a bus?

  8. Dustin Clark says:

    To all of the people who are comparing it to alcohol, when have you heard of someone taking 1- bong hits and then crashing their car or being a nuisance to society? Never, now many times have you heard of someone drinking 10 beers and completely wrecking their car and killing someone or hitting their wife etc. there is absolutely no comparison. I live in North Carolina and used to live in maryland. I suffer from severe anxiety and migraines and Marijuana is the only thing that helps. More power to you Senator.

  9. virginia says:

    i hope thay do my name is virginia harding i wase stalked and beat to death thay brought me back with a ax handel i have so much pain thay have me on pain managment but that is no longer working if i smoke some my back legs arm no longer hurts i would rather have pot one thing then taking all those pain pills that no longer work a lot of people have so much pain thats why thay smoke it it realy works if people would get it instead of pills most of the pills on the streets would stop a lot of drug addits would no longer do crime to get some kind of meds in them becouse thay hurt herion would go down a lot people do that becouse thay hurt think about it crime would go down a lot

  10. randall says:

    it is a wonderfull drug i used it to get off crack and i have anxiaty and have panic attacks sence iv got off crack and it helps wiyh that too
    i dont like the way xannax or valum make me feel plus the weed works way better
    thank you GOD for this wonderfull weed

  11. amanda says:

    about time. god put it on this earth for a reason…. and its way better than alcohol

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE