Dr. Davies with MD Gov. Martin O’Malley. Medical Marijuana only on paper?

Last year Maryland approved a medical marijuana law. The problem is that the rules governing it are so restrictive it might not help anyone for years, if ever. The rules are so bad even the guy in charge of the program is pessimistic about its success. From the Balitmore Sun:

[Dr. Paul W.] Davies told the House’s marijuana work group that even under the best-case scenario it would take 1 1/2 to 2 years after July 1 for a medical center to set up a program and to make an arrangement for a grower to provide the marijuana.

So far, he said, the state’s academic medical centers have been wary about participating in the program, which was authorized by the legislature last year as Maryland’s first, tentative step toward permitting the use of marijuana to alleviate medical conditions. He said the centers receive federal grants and are apprehensive they could be jeopardized in the institutions participate.

The only places that are allowed to take part are academic medical centers, but there are several legitimate reasons the five in the state wouldn’t take part given current federal law. It is a medical marijuana law in name only.

Fortunately, there is a good chance this year Maryland will elect a more marijuana reform-friendly governor and this will be fixed. Among the three big Democratic hopefuls both Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler back marijuana decriminalization while Del. Heather R. Mizeur is pushing for full legalization.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

Photo via Dr. Davies