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.

None.

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.

Ignore it.

Eighteen states have done just that, legalizing medical marijuana. That wave continues to build, with even more state legislatures considering medicinal marijuana legislation in the 2013 session, and more likely to follow suit.

The feds insists Americans can’t use marijuana. That hasn’t stopped 18 states from legalizing medicinal cannabis. And the people of Colorado and Washington voted for full marijuana legalization last November. Maryland is set to become #19 in an increasingly effective state nullification effort.

“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…none,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully nullify unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people.”

Once signed into law, the measure will take effect on October 1, 2013. However, media reports estimate that the programs are not likely to be up and running until 2016.

TRACKING

To track state level marijuana legislation across the U.S., click HERE.