The majority of Maryland voters support legalizing recreational cannabis, according to the most recent Goucher Poll.
Conducted in an effort to understand where residents stand on several policy issues that are currently being examined by the Maryland General Assembly, the poll determined that 57 percent of voters support the full legalization of cannabis. This leaves only 37 percent in opposition.
Nearly 70 percent of residents under the age of 35 reported being in favor of legal marijuana, and 66 percent of respondents who identify as political independents also support legalization. Those over the age of 55 and those who identify as conservative or Republican were the least likely to support legalization, according to the poll.
This poll from Goucher College was conducted from February 7th through the 12th. A small sample, it surveyed 808 adults and the reported margin of error is +/- 3.4 percent.
The Road To Legalization
In the past, recreational cannabis is an issue that has not gained much traction in the Maryland General Assembly, but this year may be different as the majority of constituents are in favor. In the first week of February 2019, proposals to legalize marijuana for adults in Maryland were submitted in both the Senate and the House. The House hearing is scheduled for March 6, and the hearing in the Senate is scheduled for February 26,
Medical marijuana has been legal in the Old Line State since 2012. Establishing the framework for the retail market proved to be a challenge, however, as dispensaries were not licensed until 2016, and the program did not become fully operational until December of 2017. A bill to expand the program to allow edible forms of medical marijuana like brownies and tinctures is currently being considered this legislative session.
Possession of 10 or fewer grams of cannabis has been only a civil infraction in Maryland for almost five years. In April of 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law that decriminalized personal possession. Most recently in January 2019, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby declared that marijuana possession arrests will no longer be prosecuted in Baltimore.