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Md. health department backs medical marijuana bill

Friday - 3/8/2013, 6:30pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's health secretary is expressing support for a measure to allow medical marijuana in the state.

Joshua Sharfstein told lawmakers on Friday that Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration has changed its position from last year. He says that's because the federal government has not brought charges against any state employees in other states who have been involved with distributing medical marijuana.

Last year, the administration didn't support a similar proposal, due to concerns about potential federal prosecution of state employees.

Sharfstein says the administration is supporting the bill sponsored by Delegate Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, with some amendments.

The bill would create a commission to oversee the program at academic medical centers. Morhaim says it would be "the tightest and most controlled of any state" medical marijuana program.

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