Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday named 11 people, including health professionals, lawyers, a police chief and a prosecutor, to a commission to oversee Maryland's new law legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons.

The panel, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting Sept. 24, is to be led by Dr. Paul W. Davies, founder of a medical practice that specializes in helping patients manage pain.

Maryland became the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana when lawmakers enacted legislation this year authorizing its distribution by doctors and nurses through academic medical centers. The law is set to take effect Oct. 1, but the commission must spell out the terms under which marijuana can be grown and distributed before any may be dispensed.

Other health professionals appointed by O'Malley include: William C. Charles, a pharmacist with MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center; Kevin W. Chen, a researcher in substance abuse and alternative medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Dr. Michael A. Horberg, research director with Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group; Dr. Robert A. Lavin, chronic pain management director for the Baltimore Veterans Administration and a member of the Maryland medical school faculty; and Shawn McNamara, nursing program administrator at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Non-medical specialists named to the panel include: Howard County's State's Attorney Dario Broccolino; Deborah R. Miran, head of a consulting firm that advises drug manufacturers; Col. Harry Robshaw III, police chief of Cheverly in Prince George's County; Nancy Rosen-Cohen, executive director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and Eric E. Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and a lawyer with experience in medical marijuana issues.

Del. Dan Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat and physician who sponsored the legislation, called the commission "a diverse and qualified group," and said he trusted they would work "diligently" to carry out the law.

The initial meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 201 W. Preston St., Baltimore.

tim.wheeler@baltsun.com

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