For the first time in seven years, medical marijuana legislation in Maryland has been approved by a full chamber of the Maryland General Assembly. In a 35-12 vote with no discussion, the Maryland Senate yesterday passed SB 627, which would not only protect patients who use marijuana with their doctor’s approval from arrest but also allow pharmacies or dispensing centers to distribute marijuana to patients with ID cards. The bill will now move over to the House of Delegates, which has until Monday night — the end of this year’s legislative session — to pass the bill on the floor.
The Senate hearing occurred late in the session, and votes were delayed a few times to allow more time for the drafting and review of favorable amendments. As a result, this vote happened after the deadline by which bills must move from one chamber to the other.
That means approval will need to be gained in the House Rules Committee, following which it will go to the same two committees that have already heard the House companion legislation — Health and Government Operations, chaired by Del. Pete Hammen, and Judiciary, chaired by Del. Joe Vallario. These two chairmen are the only people with authority to call committee votes, which is why their links have been included.
If you have an interest in the use of medical marijuana being made legal in Maryland, it wouldn’t hurt the cause at all if you were to contact them!