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Medical Marijuana

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By Kelly Brewington and Meredith Cohn | January 31, 2010
Even as a proposal to legalize medical marijuana emerges in Maryland, a backlash over the burgeoning industry has developed in other states - and is likely to influence legislation here. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council tried to rein in the growth of marijuana dispensaries, limiting the number to 70 and imposing tight restrictions on where and how they can operate. And in Colorado, towns are trying to shutter some of the hundreds of dispensaries that have popped up. But supporters of the Maryland proposal say they have learned from problems in states that approved use of the drug without uniform regulations on the dispensaries providing it. The result, they say: Maryland's measure could be among the most stringent in the nation.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
With Maryland's proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents. Prospective medical marijuana growers would have to pay $125,000 a year for a two-year license, while dispensaries would have to pay $40,000 a year, according to the recommendations of a state commission.
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NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2013
Maryland is on its way to becoming the 19th state to have a medical marijuana program after the Maryland Senate passed the measure 42-4 today. The bill heads to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it. The drug would be administered by doctors and nurses through academic centers that are also charged with studying the effects of the program. The O'Malley administration has called this a "yellow light" approach toward medical marijuana in contrast to states that have allowed private dispensaries to open.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2014
Running a medical marijuana operation could cost each grower more than $125,000 a year in fees, a sum so steep some officials believe it may shut out small businesses. Maryland's medical marijuana commission is tentatively proposing that fee for each of the 15 potential growers envisioned for the state's new program. The panel also is recommending a $40,000-a-year charge for dispensaries, according to a draft plan expected to be released for public comment Wednesday. Those license fees - atop as much as $6,000 in application fees - would finance the state's nascent medical marijuana program.
NEWS
December 8, 2011
In response to the Reuters report that appeared in your newspaper about the global fight against HIV/AIDS, I'm writing to raise awareness of the usefulness of medical marijuana in AIDS treatment ("Obama raises U.S. goal on fighting AIDS," Dec. 1). While antiretroviral drugs are known to slow the production rate of HIV, these drugs have terrible side effects, especially when used in combination, that include twitching, tremors, drooling, problems with balance, restlessness, seizures, nausea, flu symptoms, joint pain and swelling, fainting, dizziness, headaches, etc. Jim Barnes, an AIDS victim, told Peter Gorman of "High Times" magazine he used marijuana to help calm himself and to stimulate his appetite.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2014
State lawmakers agreed Maryland's medical marijuana program was a flop, but only this weekend reached a tentative compromise on how to invent a medical marijuana industry from scratch. Both chambers passed bills to expand access to the drug, but face a Monday deadline to decide how many growers should be allowed to cultivate it and where patients could go to fill a prescription.  Key lawmakers working to revamp the state's medical marijuana law came to an agreement Friday. Only 15 growers would get licenses in the first year, but the state's medical marijuana commission could decide to allow more under a compromise reached between House sponsors and a Senate medical marijuana work group.
NEWS
February 6, 2014
Letter writer Kate Rollason is absolutely right ("Remove the medical marijuana roadblocks," Jan. 31). The law that legalized medical marijuana last year has completely failed to help anyone. Some of our more perceptive legislators are proposing changes to that law. Del. Dan K. Morhaim, Sen. Jamie Raskin and others are in the process of filing a bill allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana for their patients. I believe the bill has a good chance of passing. Gov. Martin O'Malley has made statements indicating that he might support it. Please, let's not have another round of "Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, but sorry, there's no marijuana.
NEWS
February 1, 2010
My Brother died this past November, after a three-month illness in which he was neither diagnosed or treated for any specific disease. He spent one week in a local hospital, four weeks at Johns Hopkins and didn't eat a square meal for three months. A team of the best doctors available came up empty handed regarding a diagnosis or treatment, so brother Dorsey eventually dwindled away and died. It is a known fact that medical marijuana enhances the appetite and mood, but not one doctor was able to prescribe medical marijuana, which alone might have saved Dorsey's life.
NEWS
February 15, 2011
After reading Mike Gimbel's letter about medical marijuana ( "As dangers become clear, states shy away from medical marijuana," Feb. 15), some clarifications are in order. Contrary to his assertion that "the state of Montana voted Thursday to repeal the state's six-year-old medical marijuana law," no such vote occurred. In reality, the Montana House voted along party lines to repeal the law. The Senate has not done so, and in fact is considering legislation that would expand on the law and bring needed reforms such as statewide regulations on dispensaries.
NEWS
By Barry Considine | March 2, 2011
As a polio survivor who advocates for (and uses) medical marijuana, I was cautiously optimistic that the medical marijuana law proposed by Del. Dan Morhaim and Sen. David Brinkley (HB 291 & SB 308) would come out of the Health and Government Operations and Judiciary committees of the legislature with favorable reports. Before Delegate Morhaim began his bill presentation on Monday, that sense of hope was waning. Optimism among medical marijuana supporters continued to wane as the afternoon wore on. One problem was a discrepancy between departments over the cost of the program — but that's an issue that can be worked out. For me and others at the hearing, the biggest disappointment was the announcement by Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, that his department opposes the law. I believe this is because Dr. Sharfstein, a recent top official of the Food and Drug Administration, has brought with him the FDA mindset of, "If we didn't approve it, than it cannot be safe.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
A state panel on Tuesday hashed out more of the nitty-gritty details to create a medical marijuana industry from scratch, but some key points remained unresolved as the commission nears a deadline next week. Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission plans to release Wednesday a second draft of regulations to create the program. Those 81-pages of rules have been reshaped after the first draft came under fire at a public hearing last month. Among the many changes in the new draft: removing a provision that would have effectively outlawed a grower or dispensary operation within Baltimore city limits.
NEWS
September 4, 2014
As members of the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission's policy subcommittee, we are honored to be able to serve our fellow citizens to develop a program that makes medical marijuana available to those Marylanders who have not found relief from conventional treatments and may benefit from its many medicinal uses in a safe, affordable manner ( "Proposed medical marijuana rules under fire," Aug. 27). As we have been writing the regulations to implement this new law, we are very mindful to balance the concerns of the General Assembly to assure ease of access for the patient and provide necessary security safeguards.
NEWS
September 1, 2014
The lack of coherent rules for access to medical marijuana in Maryland is beyond absurd ( "Pot as medicine," Aug. 27). Medical marijuana has already been successfully implemented in many states across the country. Is Maryland so different that we can't adopt the same policies in use by other states? While there have been abuses of the system, they are relatively rare and non-threatening. Extending the logic applied by the Maryland commission on medical marijuana, we should ban swimming pools - responsible for hundreds of injuries and deaths every year - reduce the highway speed limit to 25 mph and make countless other changes to state law. Obviously, that's not the answer.
NEWS
September 1, 2014
I agree that Maryland's recently proposed rules regarding access to medical marijuana are overly restrictive ( "Pot as medicine," Aug. 27). Maryland policymakers are missing an opportunity to save lives. Baltimore, for example, has the highest rate of heroin addiction in the country. New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that states with legal access to medical marijuana have a 25 percent lower rate of opioid overdose deaths than states that prohibit marijuana.
NEWS
August 27, 2014
A state commission meeting this week to draft rules governing access to medical marijuana by patients and physicians has left advocates for the drug's therapeutic use wondering whether it will ever become available to those who need it. The commissioners need to balance the scientific and medical issues raised by medical marijuana against the legal constraints imposed by state and federal statutes. But in trying to walk a fine line between the two, the panel appears to have crafted rules that in some instances are so restrictive that many patients with illnesses that could be treated with the drug may never be able to get it. That would defeat the whole purpose of Maryland's medical marijuana law, which has already been delayed once since its passage in 2013.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2014
Critics took aim Tuesday at proposed regulations to create a medical marijuana industry in Maryland as a state commission tasked with writing the rules rushed toward a deadline it might not meet. Physicians, patients, advocates and potential growers said the commission did not collect enough public input before drafting the rules - which they said appear to forbid a medical marijuana dispensary anywhere within Baltimore city limits. Final regulations are due in less than three weeks, but the public hearing in Annapolis Tuesday was the commission's first.
NEWS
January 10, 2012
My wife is disabled. She is 58 years old, as am I. At one time, she was a wonderful teacher, sales associate for a large telecom and later a vibrant pharmacy technician and caregiver for her disabled father and mother-in-law. She has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She has seizures. They don't know why, but they are documented in a hospital study as not caused by epilepsy. She can no longer drive nor would I want her to. She wears a morphine patch to get through the day, along with various other drugs.
NEWS
August 26, 2014
I would like to share my organization's thoughts with regard to recent discussions about medical marijuana in Maryland and the question of whether physicians should receive additional training ( "Medical pot rules raise concern," July 26). As a statewide pharmacists' program with a mission to educate our field about drug and alcohol abuse, we are aware of the harmful effects substance use has especially when illicit drug and prescription drugs interact. Many clinicians outside of the pharmacy community lack the background necessary to discern the dangers recreational use of drugs can have on various health conditions due to prescription drug interplay.
NEWS
August 8, 2014
Op-ed writer Nate Greenslit is exactly correct in arguing that it would benefit the proponents of the use of psychedelics to focus the discussion toward the treatment of medical ailments ( "Are psychedelics the next medical marijuana?" Aug. 6). However, unlike medical marijuana, which is primarily being used to treat pain and glaucoma, the benefits to the field of psychotherapy and healing from psychedelics is enormous. Psychedelics actually have the potential cure depression, anxiety, phobias, PTSD and other mental illness.
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