Maryland Legalized Cannabis
In the early 1970s, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, a physician and cannabis researcher, published a now-famous article in the Journal of Psychedelic Drugs entitled “Cannabis as an Anti-depressant”. In his research, Mikuriya discovered the potential of cannabis in treating various psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. Other researchers quickly confirmed his findings. By the mid-1970s, several states had already legalized medical cannabis. Maryland was one of those states.
The first bill to legalize medical cannabis in Maryland was introduced in 1971 by Delegate Stanley Sauerbrey (R). The bill would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions to possess up to an ounce of cannabis. For personal use. However, the bill did not make it out of committee and died in 1972.
In 1973, another bill was introduced by Delegate Curtis Anderson (D). This bill proposed expanding the list of qualifying medical conditions. Including cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Crohn’s disease. The bill also increased the amount of cannabis that could be possessed to two ounces. Unfortunately, this bill also failed to make it out of committee and died in 1974.
It wasn’t until 2003 that another serious attempt at legalizing medical cannabis was made in Maryland. In that year Senator David Brinkley (R) introduced Senate Bill 439 which would have created a task force to study the feasibility of creating a state-regulated program for distributing medical cannabis to patients with certain qualifying conditions such as cancer or HIV/AIDS. However, the bill never made it out of committee and died in 2004 without ever receiving a vote from lawmakers.
Maryland Legalized Medical Cannabis
Finally, in 2013 Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law House Bill 1101 which established Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission and laid out plans for creating a regulated system for dispensing medical cannabis to qualified patients with specific debilitating illnesses or chronic pain conditions who receive written recommendations from their doctor stating that they might benefit from using marijuana therapy. After years of failed attempts , medical marijuana became legal in Maryland!
Maryland Legalized Recreation Cannabis
In November of 2022, Maryland made history by becoming the first state in the U.S. to legalize cannabis through its legislature. This monumental event was a direct result of years of hard work and dedication from pro-cannabis activists and lawmakers who have been fighting for this reform.
So what does adult-use legalization actually mean? For starters, it means that adults 21 and over are now able to possess up to one ounce and a half of cannabis without fear of arrest or imprisonment. Authorities still prohibit public consumption.
As more states progress towards legalization, we will likely iron out these details over time. In summary, Maryland’s choice to legalize cannabis signifies a significant milestone in American history, despite the remaining work.