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Voters a step closer in getting to decide whether Marijuana becomes legal in Maryland

Recreational Marijuana
Posted at 1:32 PM, Feb 25, 2022

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Marijuana possession is one step closer to being legal in Maryland.

On Friday the state's House of Delegates passed a pair of bills that would pose the question to voters in November.

RELATED: Bill to legalize marijuana for recreational use advances in Maryland House

The proposed legislation called HB 1 would ask voters to approve the legalization of marijuana for adults who are at least 21-years-old.

If approved by voters, HB 837 would kick in and begin the “legal framework” for marijuana use. It would also make it legal for adults to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces and it would end criminal penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces.

But even if the bills become law, simple possession would remain illegal in Maryland until July 2023.

In the meantime, the bills would expunge some marijuana related arrest records and require those currently in prison for marijuana possession to be re-sentenced.

“The simple possession of marijuana it would impact 300,000 cases in the state of Maryland,” said Delegate Luke Clippinger, who introduced both bills. “We need to do this, so that we can truly give people another chance.”

Despite vast support, one Democratic Delegate said the bills weren't progressive enough in addressing equity.

Also, neither house bill specifically addresses licensing and regulations, however Democratic State Senator Brian Feldman's proposed bill, does.

MORE: Legalizing recreational marijuana in Maryland; Bill puts question to voters in November 2022

The Senate still has to sign off on the house bills before it can go to Governor Larry Hogan's desk and then on the ballot. It's unclear if the Governor would sign off, but the house passed both bills with a veto proof majority.