Maryland state lawmakers in both chambers have filed legislation that would end cannabis prohibition in the state.
SB0771, sponsored by Sen. William C. Smith, Jr., and HB0656, sponsored by Del. Eric Luedtke, would make cannabis legal for adults 21 and older, and establish a system in which cannabis is regulated and taxed for adult use. Past convictions for cannabis possession and cultivation would be automatically expunged.
Del. David Moon filed a constitutional amendment, HB0632, which would establish a similar system. If enacted, it would be placed on the ballot and decided by Maryland voters in November.
“A strong and steadily growing majority of Marylanders think it is time to end cannabis prohibition,” says Olivia Naugle, legislative coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project. “One way or another, cannabis is going to become legal for adults in Maryland.
“These bills propose a sensible system in which cannabis is regulated, taxed, and treated similarly to alcohol,” Naugle adds. “They would bring cannabis production and sales above ground so that they can be conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses rather than criminal enterprises. Most importantly, this legislation would improve public health and safety, but it would also have the bonus of generating significant new tax revenue for the state.”