Legislators Consider Merits of Legalizing Marijuana

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State lawmakers are considering a plan to legalize smoking marijuana as a medical benefit for severely ill patients, but law enforcement, anti-drug groups and the federal government hope the proposal goes up in smoke.

The measure would allow doctors to recommend patients for an identification card that would let them possess up to six marijuana plants and one ounce of the illicit drug to treat their illnesses.

Supporters including AIDS patients argue smoking the herb is the only way to curb nausea and other woes that come from medicines to treat severe diseases, but opponents say there are other drugs that will provide the same benefit and legalizing marijuana smoking will lead to more crime and abuse especially among children.