Maryland is on its way to becoming the 19th state to have a medical marijuana program after the Maryland Senate passed the measure 42-4 today.
The bill heads to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it.
The drug would be administered by doctors and nurses through academic centers that are also charged with studying the effects of the program.
The O'Malley administration has called this a "yellow light" approach toward medical marijuana in contrast to states that have allowed private dispensaries to open.
The bill calls for creating a state panel to oversee the program, which is not expected to be ready to dispense pot until 2016.
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