maryland senate

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Maryland: Legislature Votes To Repeal Law Against Marijuana Paraphernalia


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Maryland General Assembly has approved a bill which would repeal the state's law against marijuana paraphernalia.

The House of Delegates on Saturday voted 84-52, sending the bill, already approved by the Senate, to Governor Larry Hogan's desk, reports CBS DC.

Maryland decriminalized possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana last year, making it a civil offense rather than a criminal one.

Lawmakers didn't do the same thing at that time for smoking paraphernalia like pipes and bongs, so the paraphernalia bill was introduced this session of the Assembly.

The same measure also makes smoking marijuana in public a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Photo: DEA Museum

Maryland: Marijuana Policy Project To Honor Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman


Award for dedication to advancing sensible marijuana policy reform to be presented by former Republican Maryland State Delegate Don Murphy

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will honor Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman on Friday at the Maryland GOP Fall Convention Eve Party for his dedication to advancing sensible marijuana policy reform. Former Maryland State Delegate Don Murphy, now a federal policies analyst at MPP, will present the award to the former state senate minority leader.

During his time in the Maryland State Senate, Kittleman co-sponsored a successful medical marijuana bill and served as the lead sponsor of recently implemented legislation that reduces the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil offense.

MPP will also be honoring other members of the Maryland GOP who supported the passage of these bills.

“We are pleased to present this award to Executive Kittleman and the other Republican lawmakers who helped bring about these much-needed reforms,” Murphy said. “Ending our failed marijuana prohibition policies makes sense regardless of what side of the political spectrum you’re on.

"It is refreshing to see that the GOP in Maryland and across the country is beginning to show leadership on this important issue,” Murphy said.

WHAT: Award presentation to Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman during Maryland GOP Fall Convention Eve Party for his dedication to advancing sensible marijuana policy reform

WHEN: Friday, December 5, 8 p.m. ET

Maryland: Senate Approves Effective Medical Marijuana Bill


Legislation would allow patients with certain serious conditions to use medical marijuana; regulations to be established by existing medical marijuana commission

The Maryland Senate on Thursday approved a bill 45-1 after its third reading that would allow seriously ill Marylanders to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. The amended bill will now go to the House for consideration, where a similar bill has already been approved.

SB 923, introduced by Sen. Jamie Raskin and co-sponsored by 12 other senators, would allow seriously ill residents suffering from certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Possession limits and regulations governing cultivation and dispensary facilities would be determined by the state prior to implementation.

A companion bill, HB 881, was co-sponsored by 80 delegates and approved overwhelmingly by the House earlier this year and is waiting for consideration by the Senate.

Maryland: Law Enforcement, Public Square Off On Marijuana Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Seldom has there been a clearer divide between the will of the people and the wishes of law enforcement to hold onto their power. With the Maryland Senate taking a final vote on decriminalizing marijuana on Friday, supporters squared off with police officers in a battle of words, with the cops seemingly unwilling to let go of almost 80 years of war on a plant.

Dozens of uniformed law enforcement officers from around the state showed up at the state capital on Thursday to oppose popular efforts by some legislators to loosen Maryland's marijuana laws, reports Megan Brockett of Capital News Service.

The packed committee room became tense at times, as law enforcement officials attempted to fight back against the rising tide of support for changing the cannabis laws. Many officers voiced passionate opposition to any loosening of the pot laws, darkly warning of "unintended consequences" that supposedly might follow. In a quite revealing admission, some officers argued that changing the laws would hinder the ability of cops to conduct searches on the basis of marijuana odor.

Maryland: Long-Serving Senate President Says He Supports Marijuana Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Longtime Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has thrown his support behind marijuana legalization.

Sen. Miller (D-Calvert), who has presided over the chamber for more than 25 years, said on Friday that he would support a bill allowing the regulated sale of cannabis, similar to what is now taking place in Colorado, reports John Wagner at The Washington Post.

"I favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions," Miller said. "I know where people are going to be a generation or two from now."

Miller said that while a legalization bill would stand a good chance in the Maryland Senate, he thinks the going would be much tougher in the House, and that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who rose to fame as the "tough-on-crime" mayor of Baltimore, "is always slow on issues like this."

"Quite frankly, I don't see it passing," Miller said. The Senator has a conservative record on most social issues, having voted against same-sex marriage and repeal of the death penalty in recent years.

Last year, the Maryland Senate approved a bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana on a 30-16 vote. The bill would have reduced the penalty for possession to a civil fine of up to $100, but the measure died in the House.

Maryland: Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

(Illustration: Splice Today)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Maryland Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill to eventually allow seriously ill patients safe access to medical marijuana. The bill, HB 1101, would allow academic medical research centers to apply for licenses to distribute medicinal cannabis to qualified patients.

The Senate on Monday voted 42-4 to approve the bill, which has already been passed by the Maryland House of Delegates, sending the legislation to the desk of Governor Martin O'Malley, reports The Associated Press.

Unlike 18 other states that have adopted medical marijuana laws that allow patients to obtain medicinal cannabis by growing it themselves or by purchasing it from state-licensed businesses, Maryland's law requires that patients obtain their medicine only from a limited number of research hospitals approved to conduct medical marijuana research.

Maryland: Senate Votes To Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

(Photo of Candace Junkin, Moms For Marijuana, courtesy of Candace Junkin)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Maryland Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would reduce the penalty for up to 10 grams of marijuana from criminal possession to a civil fine. Meanwhile, another bill in the Maryland House goes even farther.

That bill, sponsored by Delegate Curt Anderson, would legalize the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over, reports Pat Warren at CBS Baltimore. It would remove all penalties for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and would allow adults to grow up to three plants.

"Cigarettes are legal," Anderson said. "Alcohol is legal. Both, by far, are more dangerous drugs than marijuana."

Under Anderson's legalization bill, the state would license retail marijuana stores, wholesale facilities, and testing facilities and collect a tax on pot sales.

"We're making out kids criminals," said activist Candace Junkin of Moms For Marijuana, who testified before lawmakers in favor of the bill.

According to Junkin, the legislation is important to Maryland for many reasons.

"The resources we could save in law enforcement and the dismantling of the black market is in the forefront," she told Hemp News on Friday morning. "But most important to this Maryland mom of four and grandmother of three, is our children.

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