Senator says marijuana bills could be combined

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Local,Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Sen. Bobby Zirkin says a Senate committee could combine two marijuana bills.

The Baltimore County Democrat believes a measure decriminalizing small amounts could be added to a medical marijuana bill that already has passed the House of Delegates.

The House has passed the medical marijuana bill, but the Senate's decriminalization bill is lingering in the House committee where it died last year.

Zirkin says lawmakers won't "trade commitments," and he prefers for the bills to remain separate. But he thinks it would be inappropriate to pass one and not the other.

Zirkin also criticized the House's medical marijuana bill for only licensing five growers. He says it could create a monopoly, as he believes state gambling laws have done.

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