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Maryland patients still waiting on medical marijuana

An article published by Capital News Service details the frustrations of Maryland patients waiting for the cannabis they need to treat medical conditions.

Journalist Katishi Maake says that the best estimate for the opening of statewide dispensaries is pegged at the summer of 2017 -- but even that date is jeopardized by lawsuits over licensing working their way through the courts.

The rollout is the slowest of any state that has passed provisions for medical marijuana. Governor O'Malley signed the bill into law over 900 days ago.

When treating illness becomes a crime

The problem is that patients who rely on medical marijuana, which has been shown to be effective for a wide swath of conditions, from cancer and glaucoma to Alzheimer's, AIDS and even Tourette's.

Without treatment, the distress in patients only grows. While they wait for the state to get its act together, some have looked to the streets to obtain their medicine. When they do that, they are committing a crime.

People using marijuana to deal with chronic pain problems avoid the fatal possibilities of opioid addiction.

This August the state approved 15 processors and 15 growers, but lawsuits insist that the process was not fair.

Another concern is that demand will outstrip the ability of the limited number of processors and grocers to produce.

Industry observers fear that the legal battles, while valid, mean sick patients will have to wait even longer for relief.

Many advocates are urging that bonafide patients be allowed to cultivate their own marijuana at home.

If you are caught up in this predicament and are concerned about the legal ramifications, talk to criminal defense attorney Andrew MacDonald at MacDonald Law Office in Salisbury.

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