New privacy rules for medicinal pot face US scrutiny

May 14th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

May 14

New privacy rules for medicinal pot face U.S. scrutiny

An amended Maine bill has bipartisan support, but federal officials have yet to weigh in.

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

Mainers who use marijuana to ease symptoms of chronic medical conditions would no longer have to register with the state under a proposal that appears likely to be approved by the Legislature.

The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously this week in favor of an amended version of L.D. 1296, which sought to deregulate Maine’s medical marijuana program and protect the privacy of patients.

No vote has been scheduled in the House or Senate, but the bipartisan support — and the blessing of the LePage administration — means the bill is almost certain to pass.

There is one potential hitch. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is reviewing the bill, and the state’s existing rules, and is expected to add its input before a final vote.

Marijuana use, whether medicinal or not, remains a federal crime. While the U.S. Department of Justice has historically not interfered with state-sanctioned medical uses of the drug, U.S. attorneys have recently objected

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