Medical marijuana TECHNICALLY speaking, of course, the...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

May 16, 2001

Medical marijuana

TECHNICALLY speaking, of course, the U.S. Supreme Court was correct: Just because a handful of state legislatures doesn't like a federal law doesn't mean that the law can simply be ignored.

So, it's up to Congress to clear up the confusion that exists for most of us laymen despite the high court's unanimous ruling on Monday. Federal prosecution remains a possibility for those who humanely continue to help cancer and AIDS patients obtain marijuana, right?

Creating a "medical necessity" exception that would allow for the very limited distribution of marijuana would be the sensitive and sensible thing for Congress to do.

It should act with dispatch.

First step

WITH THE region's elderly population rapidly rising, Howard County has taken a positive first step to encourage developers to construct more "age-restricted adult housing" -- for households in which at least one member is 55 years or older.

The county's recently approved law permits construction of adult homes in areas where residential construction is tightly restricted.

The law doesn't do everything it could. It still restricts senior housing in Howard's low-density western portion.

The measure does, however, recognize that builders are increasingly eager to build homes for senior citizens -- and those approaching the golden years -- who are shopping for houses and condominiums with specific features: living space on one level, doors and faucets that have levers instead of knobs and low-maintenance requirements.

The Baltimore region's elderly population (65 and older) is projected to increase from 294,300 to 451,250 by 2020. Local governments should give these residents incentives to stay, especially when other states offer them better weather and lower taxes.

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