Marijuana work group does not recommend legalization in 2020
Last update: January 9, 2020
The General Assembly kicked off its 2020 legislative session on Wednesday, January 8.
Early in the 2019 legislative session, leaders of the General Assembly, former Senate President Mike Miller and the late House Speaker Michael Busch, created a legislative work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana. The work group met during the interim, but ultimately came to the consensus they would not recommend legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2020. However, the legislature could now be on track to seriously consider legalization in 2021.
Poll after poll has shown that Marylanders support legalization and regulation for adults’ use. Let your lawmakers know it’s past time to take cannabis off the illicit market and to stop the trauma caused by prohibition.
In addition to laying the groundwork for legalization in 2021, we’ll be working with our allies to advance other reforms — including expanding decriminalization. Make sure you’re signed up for our email alerts to keep up with the latest developments. You can also plug into the the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop.
Medical cannabis program expands to allow edibles
In 2019, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill that will allow edible cannabis products to be an option for patients. The bill will also allow research institutions to study the effects of medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, there were also bills that were not enacted, including a bill that would have ensured medical cannabis patients do not lose their gun rights and a bill that would have added opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition to the state’s program. We expect to be working for medical cannabis improvements in 2020, too.
Make sure you’re signed up for our email alerts so you don’t miss out on the chance to raise your voice at key moments in the process.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession
In late January 2019, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that her office would no longer prosecute marijuana possession, regardless of the amount or criminal history. In Baltimore City, arrests for marijuana possession — almost entirely and disproportionately African American Baltimoreans — have continued even post-decriminalization in 2014.
MPP’s Olivia Naugle (left) joins State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby as she announces the non-prosecution policy. Photo credit: Image from video posted to The Baltimore Sun.
Law makes expunging past marijuana possession offenses easier
Thanks in part to MPP’s advocacy, marijuana policy in Maryland took a step forward during the 2017 session with the passage of SB 949, which reduced the waiting period for expungement of a marijuana possession offense from 10 years to four years. This law helps people suffering from the many collateral consequences of a prior conviction, which can make it harder to find a job, travel, or obtain housing or an education. If you can’t afford an attorney to help you with your expungement, you can either file the paperwork yourself (this website has more information) or look for an upcoming expungement clinic where you can get free legal help here. (Unfortunately, MPP is not able to provide legal advice to individuals.)
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