MD: Bill To Ban Medical Cannabis In Local Jails Stalled

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With only two days remaining in this year’s session of the Maryland General Assembly, proposed legislation to prohibit medical marijuana at local jails was stuck in House committees on Friday.

The Senate approved the measure last month. It now must clear the House Government Operations and Judiciary committees. Both committees must greenlight it before the full House can consider it, but Del. Paul Corderman, R-Washington, said Friday afternoon that the House Judiciary Committee had not yet scheduled a vote. Corderman and Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, serve on the committee.

Local lawmakers sponsored the bill at the request of Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore. He told legislators that two patients enrolled in Maryland’s new medical cannabis program have been incarcerated in the county detention center and wanted to have the drug while jailed.

The sheriff’s office would violate federal law by holding or distributing the drug, he said. He sought protection in the law from potential lawsuits over making it available.

An attorney for one of the inmates already had threatened a lawsuit, he said.

At the urging of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and several other legislators, the bill was amended to apply statewide. Medical cannabis already is prohibited in state-run prisons.