Demonstrating awareness of the shifting tides in public sentiment toward cannabis, the Maryland legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill to decriminalize marijuana paraphernalia last Thursday. The overriding votes were 86-55 in the House and 29-17 in the Senate.
Maryland decriminalized the possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis in 2013 under former Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The more recently passed paraphernalia bill was reportedly designed to offer consistency across cannabis laws, but ultimately faced opposition when it became clear that the changes — at least when it comes to public consumption — would make the law tougher on alcohol than cannabis.
The legislation will take effect 30 days after the ruling.
Meanwhile, the Marijuana Policy Project recently commissioned a poll from Gonzalez Research & Marketing Strategies Inc. to determine whether or not Maryland voters support ending the prohibition of cannabis. The poll’s results indicate that 53% of Maryland voters believe that cannabis should be legalized and regulated like alcohol. Only 43 percent opposed such a move. The poll was conducted from January 11-16, and questioned 819 registered voters via telephone. According to the pollster, the results should have a 3.5 percent margin of error.
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