Md. lawmaker moves to decriminalize drugs like heroin

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 5, 2016 2:45 PM
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(Annapolis, MD) -- A Maryland lawmaker is proposing to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Del. Dan Morhaim, a physician who has treated patients in emergency rooms, outlined four measures he is sponsoring Friday that he believes could alleviate the ravages of drug addiction.

One would require acute care hospitals to have an addiction treatment counselor available or on call. The hospitals would need to have arrangements to transfer patients to appropriate detoxification or rehabilitation services.

Another bill would allow for safe-consumption programs to provide people who use drugs a safe place to use them.

The Baltimore County Democrat also is backing legislation to create a pilot program providing pharmaceutical-grade heroin to a small group of chronic heroin users who did not respond to earlier treatment.

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