State Lawmakers Begin Considering Medical Marijuana Bill

Representative Steve Huffman testifies on a medical marijuana bill. (Jo Ingles / Statehouse Bureau)
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A panel of state lawmakers working on a medical marijuana bill has started hearings. Statehouse Reporter Jo Ingles has more on the first day of the panel’s work.
Republican Steve Huffman is the sponsor of the bill. He's also a doctor. And he says the plan being put together by lawmakers will be better than those proposed by groups wanting to legalize medical marijuana at the ballot box.

But Huffman admits the legislation will take 18 months to two years to put into action.
"I wish we could condense things but I don't want to put the pressure on the control commission to do something then go back and change it. We want to get the rules right." 
However, Aaron Marshall, a spokesman for one of the groups trying to put a medical marijuana on the ballot this fall says if lawmakers want to get it right, they should support his group's plan.
"The ballot issue we are proposing is the one that's put together by people who are experts in this field. Our ballot issue is designed by people who have twenty years of medical marijuana experience." 
Marshall's group and another that also wants to put a ballot issue before voters will need to collect more than 305,000 valid signatures by July 6th to get on the fall ballot.

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