With a stroke of his pen Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) made his state the latest to adopt medical marijuana. One of the several bills O’Malley signed into law this morning was HB 1101, Medical Marijuana – Academic Medical Centers – Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission. The law takes effect October 1st.
This makes Maryland the 19th state to technically adopt a medical marijuana law.
Unfortunately, because of the many restrictions in the law this may be more of a psychological victory than a practical one. There is a chance no one in the state will really benefit.
To begin with, the law is unlikely to be implemented until 2016. In addition it only allows academic medical centers to take part in what is technically only a trial program. The trials would be the only source for patients to get medical marijuana and there is a real chance that none of the academic medical centers in the state will want to take part. Already several of the state’s most prominent medical centers have indicated they are not interested.
At the very least, the new law shows the issue of medical marijuana is moving forward. Hopefully, it will put more pressure on the federal government to seriously consider a petition by governors to reschedule marijuana.