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Medical Marijuana Issue Moves Through State Legislatures
Bills Being Debated In At Least 25 States, Some Seen As Likely To Pass
Oregon passed a law by citizen initiative to allow medical
patients with a valid doctor's recommendation to grow and use
a limited amount of marijuana. Recently, patients and advocates
testified in the state capitol of Salem, OR, to argue for changes
in the rules under which medical marijuana is allowed.
According to the
Register-Guard on May 8, 2001 (
"Patients Urge Easing Marijuana Law"),
"The 1998 law allows patients who qualify for medical
marijuana cards to possess up to 3 ounces at a time -- which is
what most patients need to medicate themselves for a period of
a month or so, according to Monday's testimony."
A medical marijuana bill was recently introduced in the New Hampshire House. The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee held a hearing on the bill (HB721) in the beginning of March, 2001, according to the Nashua Telegraph.
In Maryland, the State Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee held a hearing on legislation to allow medical marijuana for some patients. The Frederick (MD) News Post reported on March 1, 2001, that "The bill hearing drew testimony from 20 supporters, some of whom described losing their appetite because of the disease or because the treatment was so harsh."
The Washington Times reports ("Bipartisan Bloc Backs Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana") that "About a third of the House sponsors are Republicans; the rest are Democrats.".
The Times story also notes that a number of the House co-sponsors have personal experience with some of the illnesses covered in the legislation: "At least three of the 28 delegates co-sponsoring the bill are cancer survivors, one has glaucoma and several, including Mr. Murphy (Delegate Donald E. Murphy, R-Baltimore County), have watched friends or relatives battle symptoms some contend are often best relieved by marijuana -- still an illegal drug under state and federal law."
The effort in Texas is being led by Terry Keel. In the story "Medical Marijuana Bill A Surprise" in the Dallas Morning News, "Mr. Keel, a conservative Republican from Austin, is an ex-prosecutor and a former Travis County sheriff."
In a recent news release, Robert Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, noted "While 25 states are debating medical marijuana bills, Maryland is one of three states that are the most likely to pass a bill this legislative session. The other two states are Massachusetts and New Mexico."
There is a great report from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine available online, entitled "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing The Science Base".
On the 27th of March, CSDP President Kevin B. Zeese participated in a Cate Institute forum on medical marijuana. Click here for more information, including video of the event.
Click on this link for information on the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club case going before the Supreme Court.
Click on this link to view articles on medical marijuana from the MAP media archive.
Get the Facts about Medical Marijuana from the online publication Drug War Facts.
Updates on medical marijuana issues can usually be found at the NORML website.