The bill, which has passed a Senate committee, purports to have the most rigid medical marijuana program in the nation. It sets up a four-year pilot program under which patients with certain illnesses would qualify; evidence of a standing doctor-patient relationship would be required; and only 22 growers and sixty dispensaries would be allowed to participate.
The Senate executive committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to send the measure to the full Senate. The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions. The measure creates a pilot program that limits the frequency and amount of marijuana patients can buy.
Medical marijuana consumers automatically consent to submit themselves to a sobriety field test should a police officer suspect they were driving under the influence of the drug. Some opponents say the test works for alcohol but not marijuana.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without causing the harmful side effects of some prescription drugs.