A recent Goucher College Poll found that most Marylanders are planning to vote yes on an upcoming adult-use cannabis legalization question on this year’s ballot, CBS News reports.
In the poll of 1,008 Maryland residents, 59% of Marylanders said they would vote yes on the ballot question while 34% said they would vote no and 7% were still undecided.
The legalization question is bound for November ballots after state lawmakers passed House Bill 1 in April, which created the Constitutional Amendment that voters are set to consider. If approved, the amendment would legalize adult-use cannabis starting July 1, 2023, with a transitional period from January 1 to July 1 where possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis would be considered a fineable offense.
Lawmakers also approved companion legislation in HB 837, which would begin implementing the program following the ballot measure’s passage. That bill also includes automatic expungement of any previous simple cannabis possession charges, resentencing for anyone currently held in a jail or state prison on a cannabis-related conviction, and would establish a study to investigate potential public health concerns including patterns of use and impaired driving statistics. The bill also contains a foundation for social equity opportunities in Maryland’s cannabis industry, according to the report.
Medical cannabis is legal in Maryland although legislative efforts to legalize the plant for adults have repeatedly stalled in recent years, which led lawmakers to put the issue to voters. Maryland shares its border with two jurisdictions with legal cannabis, Washington D.C. and Virginia.
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