A Maryland delegate is seeking to introduce legislation that would legalise marijuana in the state for non-medical adult use.
Baltimore Democrat delegate Luke Clippinger (pic below) wants to put a question on the ballot, effectively a constitutional amendment that if passed would allow voters to decide at the polls whether to legalise marijuana.
The bill was introduced in the House on 12 January and would establish a date for an individual over the age of 21 in the state to use and possess marijuana.
According to the bill, the General Assembly would set laws for the use, distribution, possession, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.
Currently, the state has a legal medical marijuana programme, along with neighbouring states Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware. Washington D, and Virginia have legalised adult-use recreational marijuana.
The bill would propose the ballot question: “Do you favor the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the State of Maryland?”
Local educational institution Goucher College has been conducting polls to gauge the temperature of marijuana legalization dating back to 2013.
One recent poll asked Maryland residents to present their views on the legalisation of marijuana, with two-thirds of respondents supporting marijuana legalisation.
The poll showed that, among Democrats, 77% percent support marijuana legalisation, and 50% of Republicans said they would like to see the measure passed. Among independents, 60% said they supported marijuana legalisation.
According to the college, just 57% of people polled two years ago supported marijuana legalisation.
“The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill to legalize the use of recreational cannabis. This most recent effort comes on the heels of four states voting to legalize recreational cannabis by ballot measure this past November and, most recently, New Jersey and Virginia passing adult-use marijuana legalization laws,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College in a statement on the school’s website.
“We’ve consistently found that a majority of Marylanders support the legalization of recreational cannabis, but this is the first time Republican support has reached 50 percent.”