FREDERICK, Md. - Marijuana has been a major discussion in the Maryland General Assembly this session. From the legalization and taxation of it to setting up programs for medical marijuana.
"I never thought I'd be a medical marijuana advocate," said Shannon Moore, Frederick mom pushing for medical marijuana bill HB1321.
Moore and her twin boys, Nicholas and Byron have had a challenging year. The boys are suffering with Miller-Dieker syndrome, a disorder that causes daily seizures and recently, it took away their ability to eat and forced them to use feeding tubes.
"The children's neurologist told us that it's time now for us to choice between quality and quantity of life. And that means that the next round of medicines that are available to control their seizures will also take away their personalities, because they're heavy duty narcotics," said Moore. "And they have really negative effects on the boys and it really motivated me to want something different for them."
Desperate to find a solution, Shannon started doing her own research and found a possible solution to calm her sons seizures: medical marijuana.
Currently, it's legal in Maryland as long as it's dispensed through academic medical centers, but right now, none of those academic medical centers in the state are participating..
That's why Shannon is hoping new legislation gets passed that would create a system where doctors could prescribe marijuana -- patients get it filled at state licensed dispensaries.
"I'm really a patient advocate, I'm trying to make sure the bill that gets passed is one that's best for the patients and that also sets up a model for people who are involved are you know are able to do it legally and make a profit," said Moore.
Another bill other would allow licensed physicians at hospitals and hospice care to recommend medicinal marijuana.
"This is just something that will be another tool in the toolbox for doctors to prescribe that could help some of their patients. And you know there are far more, far stronger drugs that are prescribed everyday by doctors," said Delegate Patrick Hogan, R-District 3A.
For the Moore family, this is more than just a bill.
"This is going to save lives, it's going to save lives. It's going to save a lot of lives," said Moore. "And that is why I have to do what I'm doing."
Both medical marijuana bills are in committee. But the Moore family and Delegate Hogan are confident some form of the two bills will pass this session.
It's important to note, these bills are separate from the legalization of marijuana, another heated topic in Annapolis that's opposed by many including local police officials.
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