Maryland votes to legalize recreational marijuana

Recreational marijuana is set to become legal in Maryland after voters moved in favor of approving a ballot measure to change the state’s constitution to allow for the possession of small amounts of the drug, according to The Associated Press.

With the passage of the ballot measure, adults who are at least 21 years old will be allowed to use and possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana or up to two marijuana plants. The measure will go into effect beginning on July 1, 2023. 

Under current Maryland law, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is only considered a civil offense and is punishable by a fine of up to $100, with fines increasing with repeat offenses. 

Authorization of this constitutional amendment will be subject to requirements set by the Maryland General Assembly regarding the use, distribution, possession, regulation and taxation of cannabis. 

This outcome is not entirely surprising. Neighboring D.C. and Virginia have already legalized recreation marijuana use and recent polling indicated that a majority of voters were in support of legalization. 

In April, the Maryland General Assembly passed companion legislation to the ballot measure. Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan allowed this bill to become law without his signature. 

Several sections of the bill only go into effect if the ballot measure were to be passed by voters. Among the provisions contingent on the passage of the proposition was one that allowed people convicted of marijuana possession to request resentencing or expungement. 

Tags 2022 Ballot Measures Larry Hogan marijuana legalization Maryland

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