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Senate Poised To Vote On Medical Marijuana Bill

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland General Assembly is poised for another landmark decision this session–giving patients access to marijuana.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the Senate vote.

If everything runs true to form, the Senate will say yes to allowing medical centers to dispense marijuana.

A prescription for marijuana. For years, advocates for the use of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of debilitating diseases have been taking baby steps.

This time, the sentiment is on their side.

“If it helps people with cancer, I’m all for it. My mother died of cancer, a very lingering death. And if my mother wants to smoke marijuana in her old age to help her with her cancer, I’m all for it,” said Senate President Mike Miller.

The bill this session allows academic medical centers to submit applications to dispense marijuana to qualified patients.

“It’s not to open it up for any and everybody, it’s a pain reliever. I’ve got a fractured nerve in my tooth right now and I wouldn’t mind a toke myself,” joked Miller.

All joking aside, some lawmakers think decriminalizing marijuana should be a ballot issue.

“Why don’t we just put it on the ballot and let people make a decision on it whether they want to do it or not and then that will clarify the policy. Right now we’re inching closer to decriminalization bill by bill, subject by subject. Let the people decide,” said Sen. E.J. Pipkin, Eastern Shore.

Right now, it’s the General Assembly’s decision.

This is not the Senate’s final vote, but it is a critical vote. It all depends on whether or not they pass it Thursday night if it will get a final vote and end up on the governor’s desk.

The Pew Research Center announced Thursday that, for the first time in its 40 years of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans — 52% — support making marijuana legal.

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