Democratic lawmakers in Maryland are planning to introduce legislation this week to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, the Washington Post reports. Together, the two bills would set up a regulated market and allow adults to grow cannabis in their homes.
The bills are sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Richard Madaleno, and Delegates Curt Anderson and Mary Washington in the House. Madaleno said the reforms would “effectively end the failed policy of cannabis prohibition in Maryland and replace it with a much more sensible system.”
“It establishes a thoughtful regulatory scheme and tax structure based on best practices and lessons learned from other states,” he said in the report.
Under the tax bill, a $30 per ounce excise tax would be levied and paid by cultivators, and retail sales would be taxed 9 percent. Revenues derived from the program would be allocated to substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, workforce development programs, and community school programs.
Lawmakers also have a “Plan B” if the bicameral plan doesn’t gain traction or is voted down. Another bill sponsored by Del. David Moon would put the issue, as a constitutional amendment, to voters in 2018.
“You can smell the inevitability of this in the air,” Moon, a democrat, said.
To date, no state legislature has passed an adult-use legalization measure.
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