The effort to fully legalize marijuana got a boost Friday, with the speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates announcing her support for allowing voters to decide in 2022. House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones issued a statement saying that a referendum should decide whether to legalize the drug, which is currently allowed only for medical use. She also formed a bipartisan workgroup to work out the myriad details that such legalization would entail, from changes to criminal laws to the taxing structure. “While I have personal concerns about encouraging marijuana use, particularly among children and young adults, the disparate criminal justice impact leads me to believe that the voters should have a say in the future of legalization,” the Baltimore County Democrat said in a statement. She added: “The House will pass legislation early next year to put this question before the voters, but we need to start looking at changes needed to state law now.” The workgroup will start meeting in the fall, Jones said. Jones’ counterpart in the state Senate, President Bill Ferguson, previously signaled interest in marijuana legalization and threw his full support Friday behind passing a recreational marijuana law during next spring’s legislative session. The Baltimore Democrat co-chaired an earlier joint House-Senate committee that met before the pandemic to explore the details of legalization.
Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun, 07/27/2021 01:32:00