After decades of arresting people for smoking cannabis, as a part of a “certain training program,” Maryland police officers could soon have free access to the herb.
On January 31, Maryland Senator Cheryl Kagan proposed MD SB383, a bill that would give police officers access to free cannabis from dispensaries in the state. Details as to what the cannabis is used for is not specified. However, the text of the bill did mention that it would be both for personal and training use. It offers few details on the specifics of the so-called training program or what it would be training officers for.
The text of the bill reads:
Establishing the Law Enforcement Purchases Account within the Compassionate Use Fund; authorizing a law enforcement representative to obtain a certain amount of medical cannabis and medical cannabis concentrate from a licensed dispensary at no cost for use during a certain training program; requiring a dispensary or dispensary agent to ensure that all medical cannabis and products containing medical cannabis have a label affixed to the product that warns against the operation of an automobile or machinery while using the product; etc.
The bill would give police officers access to the Compassionate Use Fund, a unique fund set up in Maryland to help low-income residents battling serious health issues afford medical cannabis.
Since cannabis is categorized as a Schedule I drug and is not recognized as a medicine by the government, insurance companies refuse to pay for it. This leaves many patients paying for medical cannabis out of pocket despite the fact that addictive opioids are covered by those very same insurance plans. Since not everyone can afford the luxury of seeking care and treatment outside of the limited options provided by most insurance plans, the Compassionate Use Fund was set up. Think of it as a sort of Medicaid for marijuana.
Proposed bill MD SB383 would qualify police for this very same subsidy regardless of their economic and health statuses.
The bill stipulates that officers would be able to get up to 120 grams of medical cannabis or 36 grams of concentrate each month, for no charge. The fine print says police will only have access to this fund “during a law enforcement officer training program on detection of cannabis intoxication as it results to impaired driving,” but there is no time specification or limits, aside from the monthly weight cap. The monthly cap itself seems high for the potential “educational purposes” of one individual.
With the reputation that cops have for violence and aggression, maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to keep them stocked with bud and concentrates. Perhaps it is time for a training program in which police are given psychedelics for educational purposes. After all, psychedelic mushrooms have been shown to reduce authoritarian tendencies.
The bill will be up for vote on February 26th and has had zero press coverage since it was introduced last month. After finding the bill among a long list of medical marijuana laws due to be voted on in Maryland this year, a reader alerted The Mind Unleashed of its existence.
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