Maryland Votes to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use, According to a Projection by the Associated Press

by MCS Staff

Maryland voted to legalized recreational marijuana use Tuesday night, according to a projection by The Associated Press. The question was “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?” According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, as of 9:35pm there were 481,436 votes (64.94%) for the constitutional amendment and 259,931 votes (35.06%) against it.

Additional explanation, courtesy of BallotPedia: The measure would amend the Maryland Constitution to add a new article, Article XX, which would authorize individuals 21 years of age or older to use and possess marijuana. The added section also authorizes the Maryland General Assembly to “provide for the use, distribution, possession, regulation, and taxation of cannabis within the state.” During the 2022 legislative session, the state legislature also passed the implementing legislation (HB 837) that would take effect once the amendment is adopted. Currently, marijuana is legal for medicinal use in Maryland under a 2013 law. In April 2014, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized.

HB 837 would temporarily expand decriminalization from January 1 to June 30, 2023, if the amendment passes. It would decriminalize the possession and use of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana with a civil fine of up to $100. Currently, the decriminalized amount is 10 grams. It would also reduce the penalty for possession of more than 1.5 ounces but not exceeding 2.5 ounces to a civil fine of up to $250.

Beginning July 1, 2023, HB 837 would legalize the personal use and possession of up to 1.5 ounces or 12 grams of concentrated cannabis for individuals 21 years of age or older. It would also legalize the possession of up to two cannabis plants. It would change the criminal penalties for persons found possessing cannabis under the age of 21. The bill would also automatically expunge convictions for conduct that would be made legal under the law, and individuals serving time for such offenses would be allowed to file for resentencing.

The bill would require specific studies on the use of cannabis, the medical cannabis industry, and the adult-use cannabis industry. It would also establish the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund and the Cannabis Public Health Fund. The bill did not set up a licensing and regulatory framework for marijuana sales.

Maryland State Delegate David Moon tweeted the following in August, “The referendum is primarily about ending criminal penalties for personal use of cannabis. If Question 4 passes, it also triggers a law to automatically expunge & resentence possession, legalize home grow & other reforms. How it’s sold is a debate for January & will be lively.” referencing the debate for how marijuana would be sold by the state of the amendment was voted for in November.


You may also like

Leave a Comment


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy