Maryland lawmakers passed legislation to refer voters to the issue of state legalization of cannabis for adult use in the November 2022 vote.
the proposal, HB 1, passed the House in a vote of 96-34 and the Senate in a vote of 29-17. As the bill is a voter referendum, it cannot be vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
Separately, HB 837, the accompanying legislation that includes the initial steps for the legalization of cannabis that would be immediately approved by HB 1 voters, passed the House in a 92-37 vote and the Senate in a 30-15 vote . The bill now goes to Governor Hogan’s desk. House and Senate voting margins will be enough to override the governor’s potential veto.
Enabling legislation adopted in anticipation of passage
HB 837 details the initial steps in legalizing cannabis, such as possession limits, limited disposal, funding for minority and women’s businesses, and a community reinvestment and repair fund.
The bill does not create a framework for licensing or regulators, and despite the likelihood that voters will approve the measures by November 2022, simple ownership and limited home culture will remain illegal in Maryland until July 1, 2023.
“Marylanders have long awaited a new approach to cannabis policy and the passage of these bills is a promising step forward.” said Olivia Naugle, senior policy analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project.
“We applaud the legislature for taking decisive action in this session to finally end the era of cannabis ban, a policy that is both expected and supported by a majority of its constituents. We look forward to working with Maryland lawmakers on this. question forward “. said Olivia Naugle, senior policy analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project.
The poll shows strong support
According to a Goucher 2022 survey, 62% of Marylanders support cannabis legalization. If voters approve the referendum in November, Maryland will join the 18 states and Washington, DC that has approved the legalization of cannabis for adults.
Several other states are building a strong moment to legalize adult cannabis in 2022, including Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization in the nation. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and is also working to advance federal reforms. Visit www.mpp.org for more information.