The Maryland General Assembly wrapped up its 2019 legislative session on Monday, April 8. It was a somber end to the legislative session with the passing of House Speaker Michael Busch, who was Speaker of the House of Delegates for 16 years.
A number of cannabis reform bills were introduced this session, including legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults' use. Unfortunately, neither those bills nor the bill that would legalize cannabis following voter approval in 2020 passed this session.
But, the state is positioned to seriously consider legalizing and regulating cannabis in 2020. A work group will be convening during the interim to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana in Maryland. The work group will report its findings by December 31, 2019, just in time for the 2020 session. Stay tuned for updates from the work group and opportunities to weigh in on meetings!
In the meantime, be sure to keep up the momentum and let your delegate(s) and senator know you want them to support legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older.
In other news, several bills to improve Maryland's medical marijuana program were also introduced this session. A bill that will allow edible cannabis products to be an option for patients was passed on Monday. It will be effective upon signature by Gov. Larry Hogan or 30 days after presentment by the General Assembly.
A bill to add opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition and a bill to ensure medical marijuana patients do not lose their gun rights were also introduced this session. Unfortunately, these bills did not advance.
There is increasing momentum for marijuana policy reform in Maryland. Keep the pressure up by contacting your lawmakers today and sharing this message with your family and friends 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!