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Maryland lawmakers pass medical marijuana bill

BRIAN WITTE

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - 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 the bill on Monday by a vote of 42-4, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O'Malley. It had already been approved by the House of Delegates.

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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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