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Maryland Becomes 20th State To Legalize Marijuana

Adults will be able to legally possess 1.5 ounces of marijuana, 12 grams of Cannabis concentrates and to grow 2 plants


Maryland voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a measure making the state the 20th the legalize marijuana for adult use. Question 4 directs state lawmakers to write rules governing the production and sale of Cannabis to adults. It was a legislatively-referred ballot measure.

By approving Question 4, voters also triggered the enactment of separate, complementary legislation. HB 837 defines marijuana possession limits and helps automatic review and expungement of low-level Cannabis convictions.

Lawmakers passed that law this spring. Adults can possess 1.5 oz. of weed and 12g of concentrates beginning in July 2023. Also, they can grow up to two marijuana plants in their homes for their own personal use.

Possessing amounts between 1.5 ounces and 2.5 ounces will be subject to civil fines. Possession of greater amounts will remain subject to existing criminal penalties.

“Maryland Voters Have Overwhelmingly Rejected The Failed Policy Of Prohibition”

“Maryland voters have overwhelmingly rejected the failed policy of prohibition and voted for the common sense policy of legalization,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “By voting for legalization, Marylanders have rejected the failed ideas of the past. They have chosen to reform their laws to protect civil liberties and promote racial justice.”

The result of Maryland’s cannabis legalization measure is monumental,” said Toi Hutchinson, President and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project. “With each state that successfully legalizes cannabis, we are one step closer to dismantling the federal prohibition of cannabis.”

“State lawmakers have had many years to prepare for this moment,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Statewide polling had consistently shown that a supermajority of Marylanders support legalizing cannabis, and the outcome of this referendum was never in doubt. Now it is incumbent upon lawmakers to move swiftly to adopt rules to oversee a regulated cannabis marketplace in accordance with voters’ demands.”

“A Huge Victory”

“With Marylanders’ overwhelming support of Question 4, the state will finally end the failed era of cannabis prohibition and take a more just and equitable approach towards cannabis policy,” said Olivia Naugle, senior policy analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. “The passage of Question 4 is a huge victory for criminal justice reform and racial justice in Maryland. It will save thousands of Marylanders from arrests and further criminalization for cannabis possession, and it will begin to repair the decades of harm cannabis prohibition has caused, disproportionately in communities of color, by expunging records and reinvesting back into those communities. We look forward to working closely with Maryland lawmakers to ensure that the implementation of legalization is centered around equity.”

“Maryland voters were loud and clear in their support for legalizing the responsible adult-use of cannabis,” said Maryland NORML Executive Director Losia Nyankale. “Question 4 activates long overdue changes to Maryland’s judicial, social, and economic climates. This is an important first step in the right direction.”

Luke Jones, Maryland NORML Director of Legislative Affairs said, “This is a historic step toward a more just and rational public policy. Maryland NORML has been to Annapolis year-after-year demanding cannabis policy reform, and tonight our voices have been heard.”

MPP led the local coalition that spurred Maryland state lawmakers to refer a legalization question to this year’s ballot. The group then played an instrumental role in assisting the Yes on 4 campaign.

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