Maryland Legislators To Attempt Cannabis Legalization
Members of the Maryland House of Representatives are considering a bill that would legalize marijuana and eliminate convictions for past cannabis offenses. The bill, House Bill 2, by U.S. Rep. John M. "Mike" Miller, D-Baltimore County, was debated Tuesday by the House Legislative Committee.
Under the bill, possession of up to four ounces of marijuana would be legalized under state law, and the ability to possess or grow marijuana in quantities that would become legal under the measure would be eliminated. The Judiciary Committee also discussed how a regulated cannabis market would affect the state.
Lewis wrote on Twitter that he would testify in favor of HB 32 to end the cannabis ban and pave the way for an industry for the people most damaged by the war on drugs. During Tuesday's committee hearing, the Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican John Lewis, D-Baltimore County, said the bill would help repair the damage caused by a failed marijuana policy.
Lewis said the legalization law would be meaningless without considering statute of limitations and records, but the law was a fair measure. At the House committee hearing, Lewis said clarifying past cannabis convictions was the most important aspect of legislation to reform marijuana policy.
His bill is also supported by several groups pushing for cannabis policy reform, such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Rights (NORML) and the Marijuana Policy Project.
We need to end the perpetual war on drugs, "said Ben Jealous of progressive Maryland, who said HB 32 rights leave no injustice and create a more inclusive economy. Olivia Naugle of the Marijuana Policy Project said cannabis reform must be passed to ensure justice for communities disproportionately affected by prohibition and the legal industry.