By Daniela Altimari
While a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana appears to be losing steam, a bill to legalize the use of pot for medicinal purposes is moving ahead.
The medical marijuana bill cleared another key committee, the finance committee, in a 32-14 vote Tuesday afternoon. It has already received the endorsements of the public health and judiciary committees.
Unlike the decriminalization bill, the medical marijuana measure has bipartisan support. In the finance committee, Republican Reps. Bill Aman, Clark Chapin, Livvy Floren and John Piscopo and Sen. Tony Guglielmo joined a majority of Democrats in voting for the bill.
The measure, which now goes to the Senate for a vote, would prevent the state from prosecuting people for possession of marijuana if they had written certification from their physician allowing them to use it. A patient would need to be certified as having a debilitating condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.
The bill would allow the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana, and up to four marijuana plants, provided they were no more than 4 feet high.
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