Maryland is at the forefront of the fight for cannabis. Voters across Maryland will get to decide in 2022 on legalizing recreational marijuana across the state. Lawmakers in April approved House Bill 1 establishing a referendum to legalize use for adults in 2023. Medical marijuana use is the only available kind for adults across Maryland at the moment.
Why ‘Yes’ Matters
A vote for ‘yes’ is important to the fight for cannabis across Maryland. With this vote ‘in favor of legalization’ then bill HB 837 will take effect. An implementation plan would be created under HB 837. Other issues that matter include addressing justice and public health issues surrounding the concept of social equity in cannabis.
A key part of embracing cannabis state-wide is looking deeper at social equity in cannabis from dispensaries to ownership across the spectrum and opening up avenues of conversation around how to make the sector more accessible and equitable. The bill proposed would allow Marylander’s possession of up to 1.5 ounces of recreational cannabis with no penalty. Expungement of convictions for those found guilty of simple marijuana possession previously would be considered as long as it was the only charge. Currently, anyone in state prison or jail for a cannabis conviction could be resentenced to end their term. The more that is done to increase opportunities for black people, especially, to have space opened to them from possession of cannabis legally to ownership in dispensaries, it creates a more equitable space for everyone.
The future of cannabis is moving towards legalization, even if the steps seem small. These incremental shifts are helping open avenues of dialogue and change where previously it seemed doors were closed. Bills and laws that move legislation forward can only increase opportunities economically and socially for Marylanders and across the United States.