Maryland Legislative Panel Begins Work On Cannabis Legalization

High Times

A legislative panel assembled to study the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland began work last Wednesday, laying out plans to draft a referendum ballot measure for next year’s general election. The working group of 10 members of the Maryland House of Delegates is tasked with creating a plan to legalize cannabis for use by adults while addressing the harms created and perpetuated by the failed War on Drugs. “This work group will establish the legal framework necessary to fully implement the legalization of marijuana and learn from the mistakes that other states have made before us,” Delegate Luke H. Clippinger, the chair of the  House Cannabis Workgroup, said at Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the panel. The bipartisan legislative group was appointed by House Speaker Adrienne Jones in July. She said then that she would like to see a cannabis legalization referendum on the ballot for the November 2022 election. “While I have personal concerns about encouraging marijuana use, particularly among children and young adults, the disparate criminal justice impact leads me to believe that the voters should have a say in the future of legalization,” Jones said at the time. “The House will pass legislation early next year to put this question before the voters, but we need to start looking at changes needed to State law now.” The group will study issues related to cannabis legalization including the licensing and oversight of businesses cultivating, processing and retailing recreational marijuana. The panel also plans to discuss the expungement of previous marijuana convictions, social equity measures to address the harms caused by prohibition and ways to encourage equitable representation in the cannabis industry. “The speaker has been clear with me that we will do this with an eye towards equity and in consideration to Black and Brown neighborhoods and businesses…

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Source : Maryland Legislative Panel Begins Work On Cannabis Legalization

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