by Hunter Dublin | September 26, 2022
In a recent Goucher College Poll, the majority of Marylanders intend to vote in favor of this year's ballot initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis, according to CBS News.
1,008 Marylanders were surveyed, and 59% said they would vote yes on the ballot question, 34% said they would vote no, and 7% said they were still unsure.
After state lawmakers enacted House Bill 1 in April, which established the Constitutional Amendment voters would be asked to consider, the legalization question is now destined for November ballots. Should the amendment pass, adult-use cannabis would become legal on July 1, 2023, with a transitional period from January 1 to July 1, during which possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis would be punishable by a fine.
HB 837, a companion piece of legislation that would start putting the program in place when voters pass the ballot initiative, was also approved by lawmakers. The bill would also establish a study to look into potential public health issues, such as usage patterns and statistics regarding impaired driving. It would automatically expunge any prior simple cannabis possession charges.
It would also resent anyone currently held in a jail or state prison due to a cannabis-related conviction. According to the study, the bill also lays the groundwork for social equity opportunities in Maryland's cannabis business.
Although legislation to legalize the plant for adults has often stagnated in previous years, lawmakers decided to put the question to a vote. Medical cannabis is permitted in Maryland.
Maryland and Washington, D.C., two states with legalized marijuana, share a border. Virginia, too.