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Maryland Voters Approve Legalizing Recreational Marijuana For Adults

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Maryland Voters Approve legalize Recreational Marijuana For Adults

(CTN News) – In a constitutional amendment passed by Maryland voters on Tuesday, marijuana became legal for recreational use.

Cannabis law reform measures were previously adopted by parliamentarians this year, but the General Assembly deferred decisions on licencing and taxation until the next year.

According to the constitutional change, cannabis distribution, regulation, and taxes will not be lawful until July 2023 for adults 21 and older, subject to the General Assembly passing legislation in its following session.

Some supporters said they thought the state would profit from the taxes that cannabis sales would bring, while others claimed that marijuana was less harmful than alcohol.

Mary Magnotti of Annapolis said, “I don’t believe it will do any damage, and I think it could benefit. It has helped me with my medical issues.”

The impact on marijuana dispensaries in Maryland

Although Maryland has legalized medicinal marijuana for many years, opponents felt that allowing recreational marijuana went too far.

George Pozgar, 79, of Annapolis, observed, “These youngsters start at one thing and then proceed to the next and the next.”

A statute passed earlier this year specifies a transitional period between January 1 and July 1. For instance, it is a civil infraction to possess the personal use quantity, defined as up to 1.5 ounces, beginning January 1 and lasting through June 30. A $100 fee would be the maximum penalty for violators.

On July 1, those over 21 can possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana.

With effect from July 1, having a personal use amount in your possession while under 21 is a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine.

Possession of any marijuana weighing more than 1.5 ounces but less than 2.5 ounces, regardless of age, is now a civil infraction punishable by a $250 fine.

More than 2.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanour punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 maximum fine.

The measure also modifies the criminal code. For instance, as of January 1, a person serving time for a cannabis-related conviction may seek the court for a resentencing, which the court must allow and resentence to time served.

The inmate must be freed from custody if they are not already serving a term.

Additionally, as of January 1, a person convicted of cannabis possession may submit a petition for the expungement of the record after the successful fulfilment of the term, including probation.

Instead of the existing waiting time, which expires four years after the conviction or after the sentence has been satisfactorily served, it would be this.

Three years following the completion of the sentence or sentences for any convictions for which expungement is sought, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision, a person convicted of cannabis possession with the intent to distribute may file a petition for the expungement of the conviction.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is required to seal all cases where marijuana possession is the sole offence, and the charge was brought before July 1, 2023, by July 1, 2024.

Currently, the District of Columbia and 19 other states have made marijuana completely legal. Maryland is one of the 37 states that have authorized medicinal marijuana.

In Maryland, voters also supported additional ballot proposals.

One modifies the appellate courts’ names in the state. The Court of Appeals, the top court in Maryland, will henceforth be known as the Supreme Court of Maryland.

The Maryland Appellate Court will replace the state’s Court of Special Appeals as the intermediate appellate court.

The state legislative residency requirement will now require candidates to make their “primary place of abode” in the district they are running for six months. The voters passed this. This will make it impossible to qualify to rent a house in the district as a second home.

Additionally, voters agreed to increase the minimum amount required to qualify for a circuit court jury trial in civil cases from $15,000 to at least $25,000.

Related CTN News:

Thailand Ease its Prohibitions on the Import Of hemp or Cannabis seeds

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