Md. House Debates Legalizing Medical Marijuana; Governor Likely To Veto Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Making medical marijuana legal in Maryland. Big names pushed for the bill in the House of Delegates Friday.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest on the debate.

This could be another heartbreaker for supporters of medical marijuana. That’s because this time it’s the state and not the patients who are afraid of breaking the law.

Instead of simply looking forward to the future, 21-year-old Phillip Wagner is fighting for it. Diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma last year, he found himself in court for using marijuana to help him eat.

“It was actually at a traffic stop,” Wagner explained. “I was on my way home from a friend’s house and I was pulled over and there was marijuana in the car. I wasn’t under the influence. I was just trying to get home.”

It’s for Wagner and others– including himself– that Baltimore native Montel Williams returned to the General Assembly this year to try to legalize medical marijuana.

“My family is here, my relatives are here, my mom is here. Right this minute, she’s in the hospital. And this is an issue that bothers me because were this to pass, it could be helping my mother right this minute,” he said.

A task force produced two proposals, one of which Secretary of Health Dr. Joshua Sharfstein approved. But now we hear the Feds may step in and Gov. Martin O’Malley is backing off and the State Health Department, of course, is backing off with him.

“The bottom line is the governor and I are very concerned about the shifting legal, federal landscape that at this point, we are not comfortable with legislation that would put state employees potentially at risk,” he said.

Lawmakers still have the option of moving the bill through and passing it in both Houses but a spokesperson for the governor says he is likely to veto it.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have some sort of medical marijuana law.

More from Pat Warren
  • mark armstrong

    medical marijuana joint hearing funny

  • 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON

    there are enough flakes in the world like we need pot like we need another deficit

    • ILikesmesomeBooze

      Thanks for your input but shouldnt you be getting ready for happy hour right about now? Drive safely.

  • Stupidity Rules

    Legalize it, control it, and tax it just like alcohol.

    • Kay Sea

      Make everything legal then tax it that way we can come out of debt!!! Why not whats the problem???

  • climbin_higher

    its time the east coast catches up with the rest of the country.

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  • sickomd

    It high time that the taxpayers of this state have the right to govern themselves. It is the Feds and the rightwingers that always say the states should be allowed to govern themselves until they come up with something they don’t approve of.

    It’s time to move to a state that is in tune with the demands of the people, Feds be damned!

  • jack of hearts

    It will be leagal across the country sooner than later…can’t wait to leagally light up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Soup Dog

    O’ Malley will stand up for the rights of gays to get married. Why not stand up for the rights of people who enjoy weed. Oh, thats right it wouldn’t be good for his national image, so the hell with Marylanders.

  • pfroehlich2004

    Hey O’Malley, how many state employees have ever faced federal prosecution for overseeing medical marijuana programs? (Crickets)

    Grow a pair and defend your constituents, you spineless dirtbag.

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  • sage

    “Abusus non tollit usum. [Abuse is no argument against proper use.]”

    Marijuana is safe . The Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA ) Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young stated in his 1988 ruling, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. [The] provisions of the [Controlled Substances] Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance.” Source: In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, Docket #86-22, September 6, 1988, p. 57.

    “If people let government decide which foods they eat and medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
    – Thomas Jefferson –

    cannabis should never been illegal as has been all these years tis the greed of men n corporations who wish to profit off its prohibition. namely in the prison industry, medical industry n several others that have influenced leaders and have perpetuated false truths …. free mother natures greatest gift n learn her lessons of patience n moderation for the benefit of mankind …with sound arguments n deliberations a policy should be found regaurdless of federal pressures . that will benefit all …

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  • awsinnottingham

    O’Malley will side with where he thinks he can garner the most votes. All he cares about is his bloated ego and his next political office.

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