Md. health official backs medical marijuana bill

by Brian Witte

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

Secretary Joshua Sharfstein told 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 may have been involved with distributing medical marijuana.

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

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

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

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