Maryland Marijuana Legalization Bill Announced

Marijuana would be legalized, regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol under legislation Maryland lawmakers plan to introduce this week.

“Now is the time to join other states and move toward a sensible system of regulation and taxation,” said Senator Richard Madaleno (D) at a Monday press conference. Madaleno announced two forthcoming Senate bills; one would legalize and regulate cannabis, and one would tax it.

Under the proposed laws, which will be officially filed later this week, those 21 and older would be allowed to possess and grow cannabis for personal use. The measures would also establish a system of licensed cannabis retail outlets, supplied by licensed cultivation centers. Cannabis would be taxed at $30 an ounce, plus a 9% sales tax.

Delegate David Moon (D) is sponsoring separate legislation that would send a constitutional amendment to make cannabis legal to a vote of the people.

Under current Maryland law the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis is a civil infraction; however, possessing over 10 grams (and under 50 pounds) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The newly announced measured would legalize possession of up to an ounce (28 grams).

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