House committee OKs bill to allow medical marijuana...

Assembly Digest

March 24, 2002|By From staff reports

House committee OKs bill to allow medical marijuana defense

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill yesterday that would allow medical necessity as a defense in court for people charged with possession or use of marijuana.

Under the legislation, people who successfully used that defense would face a maximum penalty of a $100 fine. For patients suffering from diseases such as cancer and AIDS, smoking marijuana can stimulate the appetite and suppress nausea.

"People will not go to jail, and that was the priority," said Del. Donald E. Murphy, a Baltimore County Republican, the bill's sponsor.

Delegates urge passage of Pr. George's school plan

Hoping to send a strong message to the Senate, the House of Delegates agreed yesterday to withhold $34 million from the Prince George's County school system if legislation doesn't pass this year to restructure the county's embattled school board.

The amendment - added to the House budget proposal for next year at the urging of Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a Baltimore Democrat and chairman of the Appropriations Committee - was the subject of an emotional floor debate yesterday.

The House voted 89-38 to keep the amendment, which would withhold the funding.

Bill places 12-hour hold on suspected drunken drivers

Suspected drunken drivers would not be permitted to drive for 12 hours after being arrested under a measure approved unanimously yesterday by the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Del. David G. Boschert, an Anne Arundel Republican, strips many of the original provisions from what was known as "John's Law." John's Law would, among other things, have impounded the vehicles of suspected drunken drivers for 12 hours after arrests.

The bill now moves to the House floor.

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