A Maryland delegate has introduced legislation that seeks to put a question on the ballot in November to legalize adult-use marijuana in the state.
Delegate Luke Clippinger, D-Baltimore City, filed House Bill 1, which is a constitutional amendment that if passed by a super majority of the House of Representatives and Senate would allow voters to decide at the polls during the General Election whether to legalize marijuana.
The bill was introduced in the House on Jan. 12. The bill 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 law for the use, distribution, possession, regulation and taxation of marijuana. Currently, the state has a legal medical marijuana program, along with neighboring states Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware. Washington, D.C. and Virginia have legalized 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?”
Goucher College has been conducting polls to gauge the temperature of marijuana legalization dating back to 2013.
One poll asked Maryland residents to present their views on the legalization of marijuana, with the poll conducted between Feb. 23-28, 2021. Two-thirds of respondents’ support marijuana legalization. That is the highest support on the issue since the college began measuring legalization attitude.
The poll showed that, among Democrats, 77% percent support marijuana legalization, and 50% of Republicans said they would like to see the measure passed. Among Independents, 60% said they supported marijuana legalization.
According to the college, just 57% of people polled two years ago supported marijuana legalization.
“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.”