Maryland Lawmakers Officially Put Marijuana Legalization On The Ballot, Also Sending Implementation Bill To Governor

Maryland Lawmakers Officially Put Marijuana Legalization On The Ballot, Also Sending Implementation Bill To Governor
MJ moment

Maryland voters will get the chance to decide on legalizing marijuana following approval of a constitutional amendment in the legislature on Friday that puts the question of reform on the November ballot. Separate legislation to lay out initial rules for the program if voters opt to end cannabis criminalization was also passed by both chamber of the legislature and sent to the governor. This development comes after weeks of back-and-forth debate between the House of Delegates and Senate on three separate cannabis bills, with a number of amendments being adopted along the way. On the House side, there was HB 1 and HB 837 from Del. Luke Clippinger (D). The former bill would simply place legalization on the ballot, though it was amended in the Senate to include language specifying for voters that legalization would not be enacted until July 2023 and clarifying that only those 21 and older could access the market. The House Judiciary Committee concurred with the amended version and sent it back to the floor on Friday. It passed the full chamber in a 94-39 vote. Because it’s a constitutional amendment, the referendum measure does not require the approval of Gov. Larry Hogan (R). HB 837, meanwhile, sets basic rules for the adult-use program if voters approve the ballot referendum. Those rules mostly concern issues such as penalties and expungement. Under the law that would be enacted if voters approve legalization at the ballot, the purchase and possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis would be legal for adults. The legislation also would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces. Adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to two plants for personal use and gift cannabis without remuneration. Past convictions for conduct made legal under the proposed law would…

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Source : Maryland Lawmakers Officially Put Marijuana Legalization On The Ballot, Also Sending Implementation Bill To Governor

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