Earlier this month the Maryland Senate voted overwhelmingly to legalize medical marijuana. The bill was approved 35-12 without any objections and without any discussion. Maryland is seeking to join 14 other states that legalize medical marijuana. Current Maryland marijuana laws are already favorable towards medical marijuana. Current law allows a defendant charged with possession of marijuana to raise a medical necessity defense. If the judge determines that the use of the marijuana is beneficial to that defendant, the judge will impose a maximum fine of $100. Since Maryland already basically allows for the medical use of marijuana, supporters of the effort to legalize medical marijuana argue that this would allow patients to not have to rely on the black market to obtain their marijuana. This measure now moves to Maryland's House of Representatives for their consideration.
There is a definite surge in the movement to legalize medical marijuana in the United States. Last year, more than a dozen states, including Illinois, moved forward on legislation to legalize medical marijuana. If the trend continues, very soon, half of Americans may be living in states that legalize medical marijuana. In November, California voters will get to decide whether to legalize the possession of marijuana for all adults.
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