The Maryland House of Delegates on Wednesday debated a pair of bills to put marijuana legalization on the state’s 2022 ballot and begin setting up details for the program if voters approve it. The chamber also defeated a number of proposed amendments from Republican members. The chamber discussed the measures, both sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger (D), on second reading days after the House Judiciary Committee—which the sponsor chairs—reported them out favorably. The legislation is now cleared for third reading and consideration of final passage to advance to the Senate, which is expected this week. Members of the full House were initially set to take up the bills on Tuesday, but motions to put them on special order for Wednesday were agreed to so that amendments could be drafted. The first of the chairman’s proposals, HB 1, would ask voters to approve an amendment to the state’s constitution to legalize cannabis use and possession by adults at least 21 years old. It would further direct lawmakers to set laws to “provide for the use, distribution, regulation, and taxation of cannabis within the state.” Two amendments to that bill were defeated on the floor. The first from House Minority Leader Jason Buckel (R) would have allowed local governments in counties that vote against the referendum to affirmatively act to continue criminalization even if the state legalizes.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/23/2022 12:25:00

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