Bill to Legalize Marijuana Introduced in Maryland

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director February 21, 2013

    Hot on the heels of the introduction of a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Maine earlier today, Delegate Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore) has filed legislation in Maryland that would end his state’s prohibition on marijuana and regulate its possession, use, and sale for adults over the age of 21.

    House Bill 1453 would create a system to regulate and tax cannabis in a manner similar to how the state handles alcohol. It would instruct the Maryland comptroller to license marijuana retail stores, wholesale facilities and testing facilities and apply an excise tax of $50 per ounce on wholesale sales. The excise tax revenue would go to fund treatment programs to prevent alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. You can read the full text of this proposal here.

    If you live in Maryland, please take a moment and use NORML’s Take Action Center here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support this important legislation.

    MARYLAND: Click here to urge your elected officials to support this legislation

    The winds of reform are blowing strongly at our backs, with Maryland entering the fray, there is currently a total of six states (Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) with pending legislation to legalize marijuana for adult consumption. Check out the full list of pending state legislation here and find out if your state is considering marijuana law reforms in this legislative session.

    97 Responses to “Bill to Legalize Marijuana Introduced in Maryland”

    1. grandma3d says:

      Hello Fellow Tokers
      The only problem I see is the $50 tax on an ounce. Are you kidding me, that is way to high, and the black market will prevail. Maryland legislators definitely have to adjust that, other than that. Looks good Listen to NORML they will help you.
      That brings to mind, How much I love the people at NORML. What would it be like if not for NORML?? I thank you NORML, and the check is in the mail. $100. My norml donations is $25,per month I just raised it, from $20.00,to $25 dollars a month that is only $.83 cents a day.Come on people,don’t just talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. NORML needs Money, they a non-profit organization, So where does their money come from? DONATION’S so do your part to help NORML,help us.Get your checkbook, credit card or debit card. Or you can scrape off the top, and buy a certified check or money order, and send it to NORML. Be generous

      People at NORML are going to all the states to smooth ruffled feathers, and focus on legalization, process. NORML will help them.But that takes money, hotel,food car rental’s the list goes on and on.


    2. TheAntiProhibitionist says:

      I’m so pleased that this bill is getting the attention and support it deserves. A few weeks ago I used the Action Links on NORML’s state page on Maryland to contact our state Senator and Representative as well as the State representative for Montgomery County, and my county’s rep actually sent me a letter back in which he expressed his support for the legalization of cannabis. That action alone shows me that at least some people in our government are willing to do what’s right, instead of continuing to spread lies and contributing to the crimes and life-ruining criminal charges associated with the underground “Black Market” for cannabis that has been caused by the policy of prohibition.

      As many of you have mentioned, the current bill would impose an extremely high tax on a product that can be grown and prepared with very little cost. While this certainly seems unfair to your average user, it’s certainly better to have cannabis legalized and taxed to excess than to be thrown in jail and have your future all but taken away due to a harmless activity. As others have said, we can always smooth over the rough spots after the law has been in effect for a while; that way we can address problems that we may not have prepared for, while allowing people to smoke without fear of arrest and criminal charges while the government does its usual thing and takes forever to come to a simple decision…:)

      But in fairness, in regards to the issue of cannabis legalization, I am very proud of my state (at least, on this issue; I can’t say the same for Maryland’s already excessive taxes and unfair laws that hurt businesses, but that’s another discussion altogether:))

      And remember, if this law ends up dying during this legislative season, at least we can know that more and more people are waking up to the truth about prohibition and cannabis, and each successive season more and more people will be more likely to vote in favor of sane marijuana policy, and step onto the right side of history on the issue of marijuana.

    3. Tom says:

      Cannabis is probably the world’s most popular casual use drug that is illegal in most nations. It has become so widespread that many people wouldn’t think twice about asking to light up at a friend’s or to smoke in public places. It is an ancient drug that has been used throughout history for medical, magical, and pleasurable purposes. Thanks to the scare-tactics of propaganda in the 1960s and 1970s, there are many myths surrounding the drug – this list intends to put things straight once and for all.

      Fat Storage

      Cc Upinsmoke Ms 5

      Myth: Cannabis’ active ingredient THC gets stored in body fat and its effects can last days or even weeks

      Fact: It is true that cannabis (like many other drugs) enters the body’s fat stores, and it is for this reason that it can be detected long after use, but that is the only part of this myth which is true. The fact is, the psychoactive aspects of the stored cannabis are used up quickly and while the residue of the drug remains, it no longer has any effect on the person. Furthermore, the presence of THC in body fat is not harmful to the fat, the brain, or any other part of the body.


      Memory Loss


      Myth: Cannabis use causes memory loss and a general reduction in logic and intelligence

      Fact: This is another myth which has elements of truth to it – no doubt the reason it is believed by so many. Laboratory tests have shown that cannabis diminishes the short term memory – but only when a person is intoxicated with it. A person who has taken cannabis will be able to remember things learned before they took it but may have trouble learning new information during intoxication. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that this can become a long-term or permanent problem when sober.

      Scientific Proof


      Myth: Cannabis has been scientifically proven to be harmful

      Fact: Let us start with a quote: “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.” This quote comes from the peer-reviewed British medical journal The Lancet (founded in 1823). There is certainly no scientific consensus on cannabis use, and certainly no scientific proof that casual use is dangerous to health.

      Loss of Motivation


      Myth: Cannabis use causes apathy and a lack of motivation

      Fact: In fact, studies done on test subjects in which they were given a high dose of cannabis regularly over a period of days or weeks found that there was no loss in motivation or ability to perform. Of course, abuse of any intoxicating substance over long periods will reduce a person’s ability to function normally, but cannabis is no better or worse. Furthermore, studies indicate that cannabis users tend to have higher paid jobs than non-users.

      Crime Statistics


      Myth: Cannabis causes crime

      Fact: Some people believe that cannabis use leads to violence and aggression, and that this, in turn, leads to crime. But the facts just don’t stack up. Serious research into this area has found that cannabis users are often less likely to commit crimes because of its effect in reducing aggression. Having said that, because of the number of nations that have outlawed cannabis, most users in the world are technically classified as criminals merely for possessing the drug.


      Picture 1-67

      Myth: Cannabis kills brain cells

      Fact: Cannabis does not cause any profound changes in a person’s mental ability. It is true that after taking the drug some people can experience panic, paranoia, and fright, these effects pass and certainly don’t become permanent. It is possible for a person to consume so much of the drug that they suffer from toxic psychosis, but again this is not unique to cannabis and is very rare.

      Gateway to Other Drugs

      Picture 2-45

      Myth: Cannabis is a gateway drug – in other words, it leads to abuse of more potent drugs

      Fact: For most people, cannabis is a terminus drug, not a gateway drug. Users of high strength drugs such as heroin or LSD are also statistically more likely to have used cannabis in the past, but this is just toying with statistics; when comparing the number of cannabis users with hard-drug users, the numbers are extremely small – suggesting that there is no link at all.

      Modern Potency


      Myth: Cannabis is more potent now than in the past

      Fact: The reason that this myth has come about is that samples taken by drug enforcement agencies are used to test for potency but they are a tiny sample of the cannabis on the market. The vast majority of cannabis taken today is the same potency as it has been for decades. In fact, even if the potency were greatly higher, it would make little difference to the user as cannabis of varying potency produces very similar effects. Furthermore, there is statistical data on cannabis potency dating back to the 1980s which is more reliable than present methods of detection, and that shows little or no increase.

      Lung Damage


      Myth: Cannabis is more damaging to the lungs than cigarettes

      Fact: First of all, people who smoke cannabis but not cigarettes tend to smoke far less frequently – thereby limiting their exposure to the dangers in the smoke. Furthermore, smokers of cannabis are not inhaling the many additives that go into commercial cigarettes to make them burn down faster or to stay alight. There has even been some evidence that marijuana smoke does not have the same effect on the bronchial tubes as cigarette smoke, so even heavy use may not lead to emphysema.

      Cannabis and Addiction

      Picture 3-18

      Myth: Cannabis is highly addictive

      Fact: Less than one percent of Americans smoke cannabis more than once per day. Of the heavy users, a tiny minority develop what appears to be a dependence and rely on the assistance of drug rehabilitation services to stop smoking but there is nothing in cannabis which causes physical dependence and the most likely explanation for those who need assistance is that they are having difficulty breaking the habit – not the “addiction”.

      This list was inspired by the excellent work of the .

      1. Mellinger, G.D. et al. “Drug Use, Academic Performance, and Career Indecision: Longitudinal Data in Search of a Model.” Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Ed. D.B. Kandel. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1978. 157-177.
      2. Johnson, L.D., et al. “Drugs and Delinquency: A Search for Causal Connections.” Ed. D.B. Kandel. Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1978. 137-156.
      3. Schreiber, W.; A. M. Pauls and J. C. Kreig (February 5, 1988). “[Toxic psychosis as an acute manifestation of diphenhydramine poisoning]“. Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift 113 (5): 180–183. PMID 3338401.
      4. Degenhardt, Louisa, Wayne Hall and Michael Lynskey. “Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 71 (2003): 42-4.
      5. King LA, Carpentier C, Griffiths P. “Cannabis potency in Europe.” Addiction. 2005 Jul; 100(7):884-6
      6. Turner, Carlton E. The Marijuana Controversy. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1981.
      7. Stephens, R.S., et al. “Adult marijuana users seeking treatment.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61 (1993): 1100-1104.

    4. Chris says:

      “God made the birds, the bees, the flowers, and weed trees.”

    5. Chris says:

      As a wise man once told me, Just smoke it yo!!

    6. Tommy Quach says:

      can never get sick of any kind of strain, all weed is beautiful and? deserves love!

    7. jaspreet says:

      You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write

      All those looking for the reliable and natural legal budsmust be aware of a few features that they should consider while makingthe selection. Potency, natural make, and quality are a few that must be sought for.

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