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Lawmaker's Aim: Simplify Medical Pot Law

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The sponsor of a series of changes to Maine's medical marijuana law said fixes are needed to get the law to more accurately reflect what voters wanted.

State Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, said the requirement that all those using marijuana for medical reasons register with the state was never the intention of voters, who approved the system for implementing the law in a referendum two years ago.

She also said that having the state maintain a list of conditions for which marijuana can be used takes decisions about treatment out of the hands of doctors.

"I'm not sure it's really the state that should be determining what sort of treatment a patients should be given," Sanderson said.

A hearing on her bill, L.D. 1296, will be held before the Legislature's Committee on Health and Human Services at 1 p.m. today.

Sanderson's bill would make registration with the state optional. She said the state should accept a doctor's recommendation on whether the use of marijuana is the right treatment and said patients should not have to sign a release that allows state officials to discuss their condition with doctors.

"Your medical record is personal information between you and your doctor," she said.

Patients who choose not to register can save the state's $100 fee, but they wouldn't get an ID card to show law enforcement that they have a right to have marijuana. Sanderson said those who want that security can still register.

L.D. 1296 would also prevent towns and cities from putting unreasonable requirements on caregivers, who are licensed by the state to grow and prepare marijuana for patients, and allow caregivers to have immature marijuana plants in addition to the six mature plants per patient currently allowed.

Sanderson said the rules adopted by the state following the referendum are simply more complex than necessary.

"I don't want people to have to go through all the jumping through hoops that they have to do now," she said. "I want to make it easier for patients to access this form of treatment."

Jonathan Leavitt, the head of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, supports the bill and agrees that the rules now in place are too restrictive.

Sanderson's bill, he said, "would put a check on the administrative end of this thing that has caused all sorts of problems, with rules, red tape and burdens," Leavitt said.


News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: pressherald.com
Author: Edward D. Murphy
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: MaineToday Media, Inc.
Website: Lawmaker's aim: Simplify medical pot law
 
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