Md. Lawmakers Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There’s a push to legalize medical marijuana here in Maryland. Monday night, patients flooded Annapolis, pleading with lawmakers to pass legislation in the state.

Meghan McCorkell has more on this controversial issue.

Advocates say medical marijuana could improve the lives of Marylanders suffering from chronic conditions, but getting the legislation passed may have hit a major roadblock.

Adam Epstein suffers from Tourette Syndrome.

“I have strong involuntary muscle spasms and shaking of my head,” Epstein said.

“He would come in and cry to us every night. `Why me?’ `Why can’t you do anything for me?’ `Why can’t you help me?'” said Adam’s father, Warren Epstein.

The only thing that eases his symptoms is medical marijuana.

“He doesn’t shake at all and it can last him for a pretty long time, about four or five days,” said Adam’s mother, Kathy Epstein.

Now, Adam is speaking out to lawmakers, hoping they’ll pass medical marijuana legislation.

He’s got some star power behind him.

“Cannabis…gives relief to millions of people,” said talk show host Montel Williams.

Williams urges lawmakers to legalize marijuana. But even if the General Assembly does pass medical marijuana legislation, Governor Martin O’Malley has said he would veto the bill this session. The administration is worried state employees could face federal charges for distributing the drug.

“At this point, we are not comfortable with legislation that would potentially put state employees at risk,” said Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland Department of Health.

Delegate Dan Morhaim is working on amendments to ease those fears.

“My hope is that we’ll find a way to pass one of the recommended bills from the task force and hopefully the governor would sign,” Morhaim said.

Adam Epstein and his family are eager for that day, so he can find relief.

“Things are going to take some time, but eventually we will reach an agreement,” Adam Epstein said.

Those amendments that would protect state employees are expected to be drafted by Tuesday.

There are medical marijuana laws in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

More from Meghan McCorkell
  • Ricardo Colon

    DE stopped cold from opening first dispensaries, Veterans will suffer.

  • just sayin'

    This governor will veto anything that might help people. He is only an advocate for raising taxes, increasing spending, supporting the collecge education of illegal aliens, and cutting back on Educational funding at the cost of the sub-divisions. I hope all you who voted for him are happy.

    • Had Enuff

      You are 100% correct. I couldn’t have said it better. Wish his term was up and he would just disappear. I can’t stand hearing him speak…. everytime he does it’s not to help Marylanders

  • Omallysucks!

    omally can go to hell!


    That news anchor reporting the story has a REALLY annoying voice.

  • SaraTG

    Here’s the problem with this. While I am sure there are SOME people who need this to ease their condition the reality is that 95% of those who end up getting some dotor to sign off they NEED the medical pot don’t need it. Don’t believe me??? Park outside of any busy mall on a Saturday and see how many 100’s of people pull in and out with “handicapped” tags and placards who have no real handicap. And yet some doctor (Who’s making a lot of money screening people) signed the forms certifying them.

    • keygrl

      Not all handicaps are visible. Just because you don’t look crippled doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with you.

    • Eliot Frankeberger

      I have a handicap placard and suffer from West Nile Virus Encephalitis. I am in the 1% of those so affected, of which perhaps 18% die. I go out when my tremors, headaches, and burning spine are under control. To the outsider, which would be most people without having a chronic condition, I may appear ‘normal’ though old.
      While with any system there exists the possibility for abuse, I am saddened to read such a stereotypical observation and ask you kindly reconsider lumping all those you observe into the category of abusing this privilege. For me it is so often a Godsend.
      As regards the possibility of Maryland enacting Medical Marijuana law, another reason for the delay as I understand it is to have more strict requirements so it is not a source for recreational users, but those with a true medical need. Hence, the referral to a study committee for the past year. Empathy is appreciated, and understanding both sides of an issue welcome.

  • camo

    Why the Hell would any state employee have to even touch it ? I’m sure the big drug companies could distribute it just fine. I really think your going about it the wrong way though.How about mentioning that many of O’Marty’s “new americans” probably have the expertise to grow, refine, and distribute said crop It would make for a great opportunity for them to make money and to be embraced by a grateful public as the deliverers of nature’s helping harvest ,not to mention the unbelievable amount of taxes, O’Marty and the ” Thieves of Annapolis ” could inflict upon the ill of Maryland and fill Government coffers with. Explained in such a way I would be surprised if “medical mary jane” was’nt law by Friday.

  • Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines » Blog Archive » Another Small Step: Protecting Patients from Arrest in Maryland

    […] To read more about yesterday’s press conference click here. To access ASA’s Action Alert click […]

  • BiteMe

    The Otaxme administration is dumber then a box of rocks what are they thinking a pharmacist at a pharmacy will need a prescription from the patient in order to receive the MEDICAL marijuana

  • Zak Mallicote

    to be completely honest… whether or not a patient needs ANY kind of medicine is up to a DOCTOR. which im sure none of the people on this comment list are. do you take prozac for your anxiety? lexapro for your depression? how would you feel if one day someone said those drugs are jus as harmful as heroin and arrested you because you were in possesion of them. and thats jus what harry j enslinger did to marijuana. this plants has been around since recorded history, and for a country thats 200 and something years old to try to ban it is LUDACRIS. marijuana will ALWAYS be around whether legal or not, the only difference is that with medical marijuana and dispensaries people will know that what they are getting is quality medicine, rather than to get it from jose, mike, or devonte down the street who cant tell you how it was grown, what strain it is, how much thc or cbd’s are in it etc. the medical marijuana system will only help the common man and THAT is the reason OWE’malley will not pass this… if they could put a tax on it and turn it into a huge industry for profit they would, but they cant and once again THAT is the reason it wont be passed.

  • Anonymous

    Please take the time to sign this petition and show Governor O’Malley your support for Medical Marijuana Legislation—house-bill-15/

  • Anonymous

    I am a 59 yr old lady that has MS and I was diagnosed when I was only 18. I have smoked pot most of that time if I could find a way to get it without getting caught. There has been only one time in my life that I held a job that required drug testing and during that time in my life I stopped smoking, and guess what, I began to notice symptons that I remembered and not fondly. I kept going down and finally made an appt with a Neuro and there it was MS, showing its horrible face and it took me all the way down. I was finally bedridden and that is when I began to find another dr. that would help to get me back on my feet and althought I have never gone back to work I have gone back to that little weed that has always helped me and I have been able to keep my secret from family members and friends. I don’t know where everyone else stands but I know what it does for me, and I have never hurt anyone by doing what I have done. Until you know someone else’s pain, you should not say if that is or is not the best thing to do. 40 years is a long time to live with an animal like Multiple Sclerosis without something to ease the pain.

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