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Maryland lawmakers pass medical marijuana bill

Monday - 4/8/2013, 5:28pm  ET

By BRIAN WITTE
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland General Assembly has approved a measure to allow medical marijuana programs at academic medical research centers that decide to participate.

The Senate passed a House of Delegates bill 42-4 on Monday with bipartisan support, sending the bill to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

O'Malley, a Democrat, has not personally said whether he will sign the bill. However, the state health secretary, who is a member of O'Malley's cabinet, has expressed support for the measure.

The measure includes a provision enabling the governor to suspend the program, if the federal government decides to prosecute state employees who administer it.

It's not expected patients would be able to get marijuana under the program for several years, but the bill puts Maryland on the path to developing a framework to do so.

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