Yesterday, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller created a work group to study legalizing marijuana for adult use. The work group, which was announced in December, will be analyzing legalization-related topics such as the impact on the criminal justice system, how to promote participation by small, minority-owed and woman-owned businesses, public health effects, and how the state should license and tax the industry. The group's report is due by December 31, 2019.
In other news, the hearings for the bills to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adult use this session have been scheduled. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear Sen. Will Smith's SB 771 on Tuesday, February 26 at 12:00 p.m. Del. Eric Luedtke's twin bill, HB 656, will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m. You can find a summary of the bills here. The House Judiciary Committee will also hear Del. David Moon's constitutional amendment bill to legalize marijuana for adult use on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m.
Note that many bills are on the committees' agendas, so the cannabis bills may not be heard until several hours later.
You can voice your support by providing written or oral testimony at the hearings! We particularly encourage testimony from supportive law enforcement, clergy, substance abuse and medical professionals, educators, and those who have been harmed by marijuana prohibition.
You can find details on how to provide testimony for the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee here and for the House Judiciary Committee here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful, dress in business or business casual attire, and avoid repeating points that have already been made.
Please show your support at the upcoming bill hearings, contact your lawmakers, and spread the word to your friends and family in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition!
This week, lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older! Earlier this year, House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller announced plans to create a work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana.
Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Will Smith have introduced a pair of bills, HB0656 and SB0771, to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older and automatically expunge convictions for possession and cultivation that would become legal under the bill. You can read a summary of the bill here.
Meanwhile, Delegate David Moon has introduced a constitutional amendment bill, HB0632, to legalize marijuana for adults’ use, which would require voter approval in 2020.
The majority of Marylanders support ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. It is time for Marylanders to pressure the General Assembly to end marijuana prohibition and expunge records for past convictions.
Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition!
The Maryland General Assembly convenes today, and discussion of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana in the state has already begun. Just last week, House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller announced plans to create a work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana.
Prohibition sends an incredible number of people through the criminal justice system, and the collateral consequences can have life-altering effects. Baltimore Fishbowl recently reported that post-decriminalization there is still a huge racial disparity in Baltimoreans being arrested for marijuana.
By legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana with measures to expunge records, the number of marijuana-related arrests will be reduced, and those harmed by prohibition in the past can move on with their lives. It will also free up resources so police can focus on more serious crimes.
It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition in 2019!