May 08, 2020
cannabis possession, Conner and Raina’s Law, Free State, Gov. Larry Hogan, HB 617, HB 83, marijuana possession, Maryland, Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition, MD, medical cannabis, past cannabis possession charges, pediatric patients, record shielding, SB 604, veto, veto override
Yesterday, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) acted on hundreds of bills that the legislature approved during its shortened session.
Sadly, the governor vetoed HB 83 — a modest bill that would automatically shield past cannabis charges occurring before October 1, 2014 in which possession was the only charge in the case. This is not a full record expungement. If enacted, it would simply shield nearly 200,000 past cannabis possession charges from public view on the Judiciary’s “Case Search” website.
While the governor’s veto is disappointing, the legislature can override it if three-fifths of both chambers agree. Contact your lawmakers and ask them to override the governor’s veto on HB 83!
Unless a special session is called, the legislature will take up vetoes when they reconvene for the 2021 session in January.
You can also let Gov. Hogan know how disappointed you are in his action on Twitter or by phone (410-974-3901) or email. It makes no sense to continue stigmatizing and embarrassing Marylanders for being cited for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. This is all the more true given that cannabis has been decriminalized since 2014, and most Marylanders support legalizing it.
In some encouraging news, the governor allowed HB 617/ SB 604, “Conner and Raina’s Law,” to become law without his signature. This legislation will provide for the administration of medical cannabis to qualifying pediatric patients during school hours and events.
Don’t miss the opportunity to voice your support for commonsense cannabis policy reform by asking your lawmakers to override the governor’s veto of HB 83! Please also help us keep up the pressure to end prohibition in the Free State by asking your lawmakers to support legalizing cannabis for adult use.