Academic Medical Centers Can Give Out Marijuana Under New Legislation

View Comments
Warren Pat 370x278 (2) Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
Read More

CBS Baltimore (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates:

Health News & Information:

Popular Entertainment Photo Galleries

POEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The ControversialPOEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The Controversial

Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.

Top Celebrities On TwitterTop Celebrities On Twitter

Ranking Stephen KingRanking Stephen King

Famous Women Who Underwent Double MastectomiesFamous Women Who Underwent Double Mastectomies

» More Photo Galleries

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—There’s finally a breakthrough for patients who use marijuana as medicine.

Pat Warren reports Maryland joins 18 other states with a system in place for patients to legally use marijuana.

Governor Martin O’Malley signed the state’s medical marijuana bill into law Thursday.

“I feel that it would cut down on some of my pain,” Lawanna Elsafty, an arthritis patient, told WJZ during the General Assembly session this year.

The bill signing comes nearly a year to the day that WJZ aired an Eyewitness News Special Report on people who feel they have no choice but to break the law to get the relief they need.

“It’s just as useful as chemotherapy,” Phillip Weigner told WJZ‘s Vic Carter in an interview last year.

Weigner is a cancer patient who was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was among the patients testifying in committee hearings on the bill.

Marijuana, he says, “helps me with my appetite, nausea, sleep, some of the pain that I have.”

The new legislation authorizes a commission to designate marijuana dispensaries in academic medical centers and study the effects on patients.

“Oh, it could potentially help me immensely if I get included in the study,” said Barry Considine, a medical marijuana advocate whose illness requires he use a wheelchair.

He is among those who consider the selective power of the commission to decide which diseases are treated as a shortcoming in the bill.

“Say somebody on the commission says, ‘You know what, rheumatoid arthritis is a much more serious disease than osteoarthritis, so let’s just study rheumatoid arthritis patients’ and then I’m out in the cold,” Considine said.

But supporters consider this bill a big step forward.

The law takes effect in October.

The governor last month signed a bill that allows caretakers caught with marijuana to avoid criminal charges if they can prove the drug is for a patient.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus