A query on Maryland’s poll will resolve if leisure marijuana use needs to be authorized for adults.
Maryland already legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized small quantities.
Query 4 on the poll asks voters, “Do you prefer the legalization of the usage of hashish by a person who’s at the least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, within the State of Maryland?”
“I am pretty impartial on Query 4,” stated Kevin Becker, who has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and favors hashish warnings and schooling. “My curiosity is in public well being.”
Becker says the state must be extra clear concerning the severe uncomfortable side effects some expertise with hashish and the way it can negatively impression their psychological well being.
“A lot of the oxygen within the room is taken up by fairness, tax income and issues like that – that are positive matters and so they’re related, very related matters – however there’s not a lot dialogue about public well being,” he stated.
Christina Betancourt Johnson, CEO of Customary Wellness Maryland who simply obtained a license to develop hashish in Maryland, agrees schooling is vital if Query 4 passes.
“We now have a destructive connotation of hashish and with hashish, and so I believe that by main legalizing this plant, we have now a pathway for truly treating quite a few circumstances, fairly frankly, that we do not talk about brazenly,” she stated.
If handed, adults 21 and older can have as much as 1.5 ounces of marijuana beginning July 2023. Folks caught with bigger quantities might face civil fines.
Kevin Ford, government director of Uplift Motion Fund, who champions fairness in hashish, says Query 4’s companion invoice doesn’t go far sufficient in legalization.
“That is about our complete group as a complete and legal justice reform as a complete,” he stated.
Ford worries some might not likely perceive what they’re voting for.
“I believe that a whole lot of people after they hear, Oh, you realize, hashish is authorized, that the very first thing that they wish to do is go, you realize, smoke someplace out in public, at a park, however that’s nonetheless a civil offense,” Ford stated.
Query 4 solely solutions if Marylanders are OK with legalizing marijuana.
The taxation, distribution and advertising and marketing of the plant would then have to be taken care of by the legislature. That work has already began in work teams. They hope to have most of that framework prepared by spring.
Polls present a majority of Marylanders help legalizing hashish.
If Query 4 passes, Maryland would be a part of the District and 19 states which have already legalized marijuana. It’s nonetheless underneath federal prohibition.