- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Maryland could join Colorado in legalizing marijuana if lawmakers pass a proposal to tax and regulate pot, similar to alcohol, in the Free State.
Lawmakers backed by the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland — which includes Maryland chapters of the ACLU and the League of Women Voters — intend to introduce legislation soon that would make the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults ages 21 and older.
Sen. Jamie B. Raskin, Del. Sheila Ellis Hixson and Del. Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore) are three lawmakers behind the proposal.
In a statement provided by the policy coalition, Raskin (D-Montgomery) said the public experiment with marijuana prohibition has failed.
“We got ourselves out of alcohol prohibition by regulating and taxing the product, and we should employ the same exit strategy with marijuana,” Raskin said in the statement. “If we can regulate alcohol, we can regulate marijuana.”
Regulating and taxing marijuana makes economic sense, Hixson (D-Montgomery) said in as similar statement.
“Why prop up drug cartels and gangs instead of licensed businesses that pay taxes and create jobs?” she said in the statement.
Legalizing marijuana is expected to be an uphill battle.
Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) said on the first day of session that while there will be a push for legalization, she thinks the state will at least be able to decriminalize possession of a small amount of pot.