Sorry Kids, it’s Just for Adults
You read that right.
What do I mean by “Maryland is considering?” Well, my hopeful friend, what I mean is:
1: A Bill to Legalize Marijuana for Adults has been Introduced
Oh yeah. That’s right. It’s this bill and this bill.
Oh, and Delegate David Moon has also written this bill, which is kind of different because he’s writing it as an amendment to the constitution of Maryland. But those first two might matter more because they are the subject of serious investigation and inquiry.
What would these three bills mean for Marylanders specifically?
2: A Bipartisan Group of Legislators are Studying it Right Now
The group is supposed to focus on a few specific things, like the best way for licensing and taxing to work and how to ensure participation by small businesses and enterprises owned by women and minorities.
To people like us, the lady and gentleman tokers of the world, it might seem obvious: just legalize it now and let the chips fall where they may; nobody is going to get hurt, right?
Well, they aren’t going to let it be that easy. Lawmakers need to review what happened in other states that have legalized cannabis, like Colorado and Washington, so we can copy what worked and cut what didn’t.
Don’t worry though. Just medical marijuana brought in $95.4 million in sales last year -- do you think lawmakers are just going to walk away from that kind of cash?
This bipartisan working group will be reporting their findings on Dec 31st, 2019, BUT if Delegate Moon’s bill is passed then the issue will be offered up to the people of Maryland to vote on in 2020.
What Are They Considering Exactly?
Like I said, part of the delay is figuring out how to avoid a faceless corporate takeover of the industry. That means making sure the money from this stays in Maryland, among Marylanders who will add to the local economy, rather than letting the revenue seep into the hands of California-based conglomerates or something.
So most likely they are reviewing different proposals and ways that this could go down.
Also likely on the agenda: how to rearrange the current law code and put together a good new set of policies. Like, should they change the laws about juveniles and possession? What about how much people can grow in their own homes?
I say it’s actually a good thing that they are taking their time. No need to rush into something and do it badly. Assuming they actually care about these important things...
Some Still Feel Cynical About It
One commenter on mjbizdaily thinks that “legislators want to understand how to protect their lobbyists and best exploit legalization is more like it. This is all about who gets rich.”
And you know what, a lot of news outlets probably won’t delve into that. But I think it’s a useful thought. Who exactly will be profiting from this? What will the outcomes be, who will be affected economically? We won’t know until the new laws go into effect but until then….
I’ll be keeping my eye on the situation.