State Roundup, July 14, 2016

MORHAIM SEEKS REMOVAL OF RX POT BARRIERS: A leading architect of the state’s medical marijuana program urged representatives of the fledgling industry Wednesday to pressure health care providers and hospital administrators remove obstacles to making the drug available to patients writes Michael Dresser in the Sun. Del. Dan Morhaim, the longest-serving physician in the General Assembly, told about 200 people at the first statewide conference of the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association that they need to be aggressive advocates as their business approaches its first legal sales — probably next year.

UNION TARGETS PAROLE & PROBATION VACANCIES: Officials of  Maryland’s largest state employees union are expected to highlight what they say is a concerning number of vacancies within the state Division of Parole and Probation. Bryan Sears of the Daily Record. The union has scheduled a news conference for today in Baltimore to discuss what it calls a “severe staff shortages of  parole and probation agents and support staff and the lack of hiring” at the agency at a time when it is preparing for expected larger caseloads as the state implements changes spurred by the new Justice Reinvestment Act.

COURT FINDS NO VIOLATION: Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports that a Salisbury martial-arts instructor who engaged in sexually explicit telephone calls and emails with a 15-year-old female student outside of class did not violate a Maryland law prohibiting sexual exploitation of a minor by someone with temporary care, custody or supervision of the child, a divided Maryland top court ruled Tuesday.