Today, the Maryland General Assembly has given final approval to a bill that allows residents with serious illnesses to obtain medical marijuana via state-regulated programs administrated by academic medical research centers. The Senate passed HB1101 (HB1101) by a vote of 42-4; the House of Delegates approved it 108-28 on March 25. The bill will now be transmitted to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has pledged to sign it into law.
HB1101, sponsored by Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore), an emergency room physician, creates a commission through which academic medical research centers can apply to operate state-regulated programs that provide patients with marijuana grown by the federal government or state-licensed growers. Program applications will be required to specify qualifying medical conditions for treatment; treatment duration and dosage; where marijuana would be obtained; sources of funding; and a plan for monitoring data and outcomes, among other things. Sinai Hospital has expressed interest in the program, according to Del. Morhaim.
Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to prohibit weed. The Supreme Court concurs. But sharing an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. You can claim you are a unicorn, but you’re not. Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.
So, more and more states continue to do exactly what they should do when the federal government tries exercise power it does not legitimately possess.