Under the bill, recreational and medical marijuana enterprises legalized in 20 states and the District of Columbia could open bank accounts.
On Monday, the House of Delegates approved legislation that would allow some physicians in the state of Maryland to “recommend” marijuana to patients suffering from debilitating conditions who could benefit from the drug.
Though the bill still needs approval from the senate before it passes, supporters are not worried. If approved by the Senate, the legislation would replace a system that went into effect last year, that has since failed to prove itself as successful. The previous system, which mandated that medical marijuana could only be administered by academic medical centers, failed due to the fact that none of the centers approved to administer the drug agreed to participate.
Under the new bill, a state commission would be able to lawfully license certain physicians to provide recommendations for marijuana use. Due to federal law, the “recommendation” cannot be called a prescription, but officials remark noting that it is essentially the same thing.
Under the new legislation, patients who receive a recommendation for the drug from their physicians would be able to purchase marijuana from state-certified marijuana growers, all of whom would be licensed and approved by a medical marijuana commission.
Supporters of the bill have stressed its importance, noting that medical marijuana can alleviate chronic pain conditions, allowing people suffering from severe conditions to function more normally, and with less pain. Other studies have reportedly suggested that marijuana can even aid in controlling seizures, in some patients. This could greatly improve the quality of life for those living with conditions such as epilepsy, as many people suffering from chronic seizures do not benefit from currently available medications
The use of medical marijuana has been widely supported, and a recent poll published by Goucher College found that roughly 90 percent of Maryland citizens were in support of the bill passing.