Maryland lawmakers pass medical marijuana bill

Gov. Martin O'Malley likely to sign

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, said Monday he "probably would" sign the bill.

The measure includes a provision enabling the governor to suspend the program, if the federal government decides to prosecute state employees who administer it, a key part O'Malley said he required.

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.

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