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Maryland legislators consider bill to legalize marijuana

Dozens of supporters and opponents of legalizing marijuana in Maryland clashed during a lengthy hearing on the measure in a Senate committee.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) -- Dozens of supporters and opponents of legalizing marijuana in Maryland clashed during a lengthy hearing on the measure in a Senate committee.

Dozens of people testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday over a bill which, if enacted, would make Maryland the sixth state to legalize pot.

But Aubree Adams, who lives in Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal, traveled to Annapolis to urge legislators in Maryland to reject a similar measure.

Adams says her teenage son became addicted to edible marijuana shortly after it was legalized in Colorado.

She says her son developed psychosis and attempted suicide when he was in high school and spent time in several rehab facilities.

"I had him back in the ER because he was irrational, paranoid, making suicidal comments again," said Adams.

She adds, "What the country needs to realize, what Maryland needs to realize is these are high potency products."

Ragina Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic in Baltimore, says the group is also concerned about the adverse impact legalizing marijuana could have on highway safety.

"Impaired driving is impaired driving whether you're under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substance be it marijuana or heroin," said Averella.

But Rachel Perry-Crook, Executive Director of Maryland NORML, is playing down the potential hazards of recreational marijuana.

"The dangers are very, very few, cannabis is a completely different drug than cocaine, heroin or LSD or any of those other ones," said Perry-Crook.

She also says legalizing pot would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the State of Maryland.

Similar measures to legalize marijuana in Maryland have failed in recent years.

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