Bill to Legalize Marijuana Introduced in Maryland

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 thoughts

  1. Think of all the rural farmland that cam be regenerated through such a “green” plant, and cities like Baltimore Annapolis and salisbury needing this leave way to continue a better life for all ages, plus all the rich waterfront summer home owners that will want to smoke when they come down, and then there is all the beach traffic that wont have to go through the pains of being stopped in easton on their way to the beaches in Maryland for bringing some pot to the shore for vacationing. Woo we wouldn’t have that stigma of being handcuffed on your way to the beach!

  2. “…and apply an excise tax of $50 per ounce on wholesale sales.”

    It is a ~good start.

    To get the most value for our commodity
    we would, therefore, need to maximize its potency and usefulness.

    Still, that price is a helluva lot cheaper than the legal turmoil it casts upon the upstanding citizens who choose to partake…

  3. ~a tax i would love to pay. We could generate a large sum of money through taxation. Also eliminating prosecution, arrest and confinement cost associated with. Go Maryland Bill 1453

  4. This is fantastic news. Maryland has some of the best farmlands that currently grow substantial amounts of corn. I am no botanist, but I could see how the plants grow similarly. That being a marijuana plant comparing to the Corn stock. It’s shocking that there is no medical clause in this bill. Being that Maryland holds some of the nations top hospitals ( Seventy to be precise. This plant can bring great therapeutic and healing properties to many patients as seen current medical states of California.

  5. Well, I hope they do it in Maryland.

    Then Pennsylvanians will bitch, piss and moan about all the money states around us are making like what happened with casino gambling. People were voting with their feet, cars and by motor coach to go to New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia to gamble at their casinos and play slot machines at their race tracks. Finally the Pennsylvania politicians decided to pull their heads out of their asses, and legalized casino gambling in the state to keep Pennsylvania money in Pennsylvania, and the state gets a nice cut off the top.

    Pennsylvania can never be an early adopter of things that make perfect sense. They always have to fuck it up something bad for years before doing the right thing.

  6. I would never be so happy to pay a tax then I would for this. It might even make me break out in song, dance even. >:-D

  7. Actually from what I understand, hemp at least helps restore soils while corn greatly depletes. Rotating between the two crops seems perfect.

  8. I visit Maryland often so I really hope this passes!!! I’m still hopeful that Virginia will get it’s act together but I’m not holding my breath… It’s ironic that the main thing that VA politicians seem to care about is money, and legalization could make plenty for the state if only they could overcome their misplaced bias against it and, for once, do the Will of the People!

  9. I am SO GLAD that there is no medical clause in the bill. Full legalization of adult consumption is the way to go. Limiting cannabis to just a medication is disastrous for personal freedom. This way, everyone can use it however they see fit, so long as they are 21 or older.

    And just think of the tourist dollars MD will enjoy!

  10. Maryland has a huge Transportation budget shortfall right now. It’s a big thing the legislature is working on here this session.

    One prominent idea floating around is to institute a 5 to 15 cent per gallon tax on gas. This is obviously unpopular with voters.

    If they would consider some of the tax from this bill going towards the transportation fund as well, it could be a good sell to the voters and lawmakers.

    It will be interesting to see if Governor O’Malley endorses the bill. It’s almost certain he will run for president in 2016.

    I hope this actually gets debated (and of course passed) and not treated as a joke.

  11. First thing we have to do is discredit O’Malley from veto as he threatened to do last year killing the Medical Bill he wants to be President and doesn’t want this to stop him. He will say he’s going to veto on the baseless uncredible claim that the feds will arrest state employees. This is baseless because in 20 yrs of MMJ no state employee has been bothered. His position is exlusively for personal gain and needs to be exposed so the will of the people and legislature can be carried out.

  12. The more States that get in line the better. This is great news! It can’t come soon enough. I hope other States take note and follow suit.

  13. I love this state. The true land of the free. One of the first to legalize gay marriage and now we may be one of the first to legalize Cannabis for recreational use. Tax dollars will be spent on protecting our cities, reducing overall crime, and making it a better place for my children where everyone, no matter what type of race or sexuality can live like they were meant to…free.

  14. There is one quick
    Wake up call
    To the world
    not just the US coorpatate big business machine
    I have an answer….you will not believe

  15. Another state on the list, thank you! After one or two states (CO and WA) set a precedent, it was highly probable to become a trend. The outcome would be for all the rest of states to follow similarly because Nixon’s devious scheme to start the drug war, making a travesty of public policy at exorbitant cost. How much has it cost to fund useless agencies that lie to and terrorize the public, creating more harm than good?

  16. Being Maryland, it would be taxed to the point I will continue to grow my own and I suspect many others will as well. Gambling and excessive taxation of weed is no way to gain prosperity. Doing something with the hemp plant that involves manufacturing and/or production is the answer.
    Maryland is already a sub-par medical state; the legislature could never figure that out so it is a misdemeanor you have to go to court for and prove a doc says it’s OK for you to smoke pot because they can’t prescribe it.

  17. Martin O’Malley want’s to be President, this bill will NEVER get passed, even in such a strongly Democratic state.

  18. not only tax revenues but a boon to tourism to these “green” states. I know where I’ll be spending my vacation money…..

  19. NORML,it looks like it’s all coming down and when the history of all this is told, you guys name will come up again and again. I have been self medicating for almost 50 years and have always been afraid of going to jail for it. That’s what this is all about for me. No more risking my freedom just to be well. You guys have fought a long diligent fight and have never wavered. Thank you for all you do and for all you’ve done.

  20. I got busted for growing my own. Half the local police force went through my underwear drawer. I’m just glad they didn’t bust in with body armor and uzis and kill my pets in self defense. Maryland law assumes growing your own equates to production and distribution. My trial was tediously performed by black-cloak bureaucrats bored by muttering the same lines ad nauseam day after day.

    I’m so upset, I might even ‘click-here-to-urge-your-elected-officials-to-support-this-legislation.”

  21. “The excise tax revenue would go to fund treatment programs to prevent alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.”

    As Bogie would say, Sweeeeet.

  22. My man has his politics all backwards, the weed is smoked in the counties and purchased in the city. Delegates in those counties will be spanked by hordes of soccer moms if they pass this bill. And the gubner signs it. Squash. Dead before this story broke , man. And I want it, for real medical reasons.
    We grow up around Camp David, in that area of the mountains and hills, and truck it straight to 83 right into the city. Distribution points all along the way, man there would be tons of cash. Al Capone would walk again for that money.

  23. Way to go Maryland! From your neighbors in Pennsylvania. We too have introduced a legalization bill. Bet you’ll get it before we do.

  24. O’Malley would be smart to endorse hemp and cannabis. Both are necessary for healthy immune system and healthy ecosystem. our bay is sick and law enforcement has botched this issue arresting peaceful no victim “offenders” stealing millions on raids. this has cost maryland law enforcement and its judicial system to lose all credibility on this issue with the people. the people are done with big business dictating our laws. we need to tell these legisators who wont even discuss the issue to enjoy their last term and vote them out. cannaoil is so scary to the oil industry, and mmj to the cancer and big pharma industy. this will shake up the status quo on who remains the wealthy. our bay is so sick and no one at the cbtrust fund or any other state agency will have a rational discussion or even open it up for debate about hemp’s abilities to “clean up”. I’m done with these so called industry experts. I’m done with these law enforcement agencies. I’m done with these politicians who refuse to discuss an issue many taxpayers/voters feel is lifethreatening. I will never forget the gop candidate that “gladhanded” me and asked what was my voting issue. I said MMJ and if you are against it i aint voting for you. she laughed in my face. of course she didnt win in 2002, but im sure she never forgot our run in. maybe these legislators can get out of their contributors asses and look at the mess the oil, paper, cotton, pharm/hospital (we have 70 teaching hospitals….ugh) etc etc. THESE LAWS ARE RACIST. in a state that claims to be so highly educated and so uniquely diverse…wake up you horrible bigots! you incarcerate 18-24 black men for cannabis consumption at rates that even your kkk bros would applaud. Stop the state police from using our tax dollars to arrest and incarcerate then TAKE PICTURES WITH rap stars….such a statement to the joke of our mmj laws and racism in maryland. vote hemp!

  25. I know I dont live in this state , but it will set a president for the US as a whole.
    SO if there is 16 oz in 1 lb then they are saying they want 800.00 per lb just in tax,
    before sale to the public? this seem to be a sales pitch of the 1937 tax stamp act, only worded a little different. The government knew its value in 1937 just like it does today and i think they are tring to play the game with rules that one could consider to be a legal form of Racketeering. I think that to say the government wants a certain profit before sales is wrong. now a certain % of the profit after sales would go over with the people a lot better then to just say “we want x amount of money before sales” again i say thats “Racketeering”. 50.00 / oz is a little steep taxation. its kinda like saying if you put a new tire on your car it would cost a 100.00 but we need another 50.00 to air it up and were the only ones with the air.

    Come on Senators, put a plan together that works for everyone. you didnt put this plan together for the alcohol, and tobacco Industry. so why try to pull the wool over the eyes of the beast.
    I know you work hard to get things moving , but hey like we have to do to pay all of our bills and survive… a little harder…

    dont set up a plan that is going to fail. read the Pamphlet ” common sense” by Thomas Paine. being over taxed will only cause more problems.
    good luck and i respect your admiration on such a difficult issue.
    history is what we make everyday. but to be in you have to make it……
    enjoy and always
    thanks for reading

  26. It’s about damn time!!!!! I couldn’t believe my ears this morning as I was listening to the radio on my way to work. I was smiling ear-to-ear as if I had just won the lottery. I hope that our politicians have taken note that our neighbors to the north (Canada) are making huge profits from the hemp textile industry. IF this legislation takes a true footing in the US … nation-wide, I can see the US hemp textile industry blowing away all the cash crops that we currently have (i.e. wheat,corn, etc.), let alone using hemp in a recreational sense and earning profits from that taxation. Hemp grows quicker than a tree, so cultivation and rotation of fields will yield profits for whatever the purpose is for usage (textile related). The US has been so back-ass-wards when it comes to the legalization of hemp. Thank god for politicians who grew up in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s and are now in the position to move the US in to the 21st Century by introducing this sort of legislation. Bravo! Not only will this measure alleviate the unnecessary economic burden that has taken a toll on our court systems nation-wide, the over crowding of jails, and the arrests of some really good, responsible, and upstanding citizens, but will also allow for law enforcement funding to be directed towards other, more criminal initiatives, and also to consider all the positive possibilities of economic growth, the stock market, and the creation of jobs. LET’S DO THIS MARYLAND! THIS IS HISTORY! WE CANNOT TURN BACK NOW …

  27. I believe that Maryland will make it because they are a medical marijuana state already and I’m sure that the plant has proved to be safe and effective medicine….and do no harm to their society.

  28. I mailed my delegate, and this is the response I got. The problem is that they refuse to listen to real science and be educated. “Serious medical problems and other issues”? Really? Care to list a few?

    I have supported Medical Marijuana legislation the past two years. During the 2011 Session, after a lot of debate the Medical Marijuana bill (HB 291) was made into a “taskforce” to study the issue and to come back with recommendations. When these issues are presented again in my committee, I will support efforts this year to ensure that people who are ill with chronic pain can access this kind of relief. Hopefully, we can make more progress on this issue this year. However, there are serious medical problems and other issues associates with recreational use. At this time I do not support legalizing.

    Again, thank you for sending me your thoughts about this important issue. Please feel free to contact me anytime. You can reach me at 410.841.3070 or email at


    Justin Ready
    Member, House of Delegates

  29. This house bill will never pass. The Maryland state legislature is a joke. They are wrapped up right now trying to steal our rights to private sales and private gun ownership, clips etc.
    What they will do instead is continue to put speeding cameras all over 95 and 301 because at the end of the day many of our officials are corrupt and don’t give two hoots about civil liberties. It’s all about money, always had been. A $50 tax per ounce says it all!
    This state has a strangle hold on the people. Unless you have a typical democrat hack agenda like welfare for losers in Baltimore and more spy camers, good luck getting anything passed. This bill sadly has ZERO chance.

  30. My God Marylanders!! Please, please, please click on the link above to support this bill and send a message to your local politicians. It only took 20 seconds!! Let there be no doubt left in their minds how happy we would be if this bill were to pass. Even if you don’t live in Maryland but know someone who does, call them, email them, text them, carrier pigeon them, whatever…. direct them to this site, have them click on the link above and send a message to their representatives. If they return the favor when it comes time for your state than we will have complete national legalization before we know it!! Ring the bigest bells you can find to alert eveyone in Maryland about this bill. I know people are upset about the tax aspect but lets just get it passed first then change that portion that we don’t like. This is finally a great chance for Maryland to make great and historic changes and progress!! Full Legalization!!! Full Legalization!! I lost my wife a year ago to a 25 year battle with Crohn’s disease. It’s one of the most insidious diseases you could possibly imagine if you have a bad case of it, which she did. Think about a 25 year bout with cancer. MMJ never truly existed here, Maryland say’s it’s a MMJ state but it really isn’t, and MJ was a true miracle medicine for her when we could get it. It gave her an appetite, it calmed her nausea and vomiting, it took away pain in places you and I couldn’t begin to imagine! I saw it all first hand. No joke this stuff really worked! We felt like complete criminals for trying to secure small amounts. No doctor would even consider writing a scrip for it for fear of the law. Every doctor we had, and there were many, just dismissed it right out of hand. No way. We were even afraid to ask after awhile. Couldn’t blame them really. The alternative… try toughing it out with these pills that pass right through your system and never take affect or better yet crush them up and try eating them with apple sauce! It was like eating chlorine slurry! Yuck!! Miserable! Luckily we had friends who for the sake of mercy helped us find it. Sorry for the rant. I miss her terribly! Please click the link above and send your message. Thank you Norml for making this so easy!! I want to kiss everyone there who has ever fought for our rights!! You should recieve the Nobel Peace Prize if we could ever get nationwide legalization. I’ll cast the first vote for you! I have checked into this website for years hoping some day to see this very message!!! And today is my lucky day!! Please help others who battle many, many diseases, ailments and life threatening conditions who would find great comfort from this god giving plant. I don’t even partake but I am ecstatic for those who would be able to legally!! Really!! It is sooooo much better than alcohol and cigarettes. Less crime, less ruined lives, less misery. The war on drugs has failed!! Spend even a week much less years in hospital settings and you would be as excited as I am to possibly see legal relief come to those who could truly use it! I know my beautiful wife would have thanked you for it and so will I. Now please go send your message :)! – Thank You!

  31. Have an idea for all currency monies that can be written on… Simply write get wise n legalize on everyone you come across, may it be a 1,5,10,20, or 100 dollar bill… Imagine the whole currency with a message written on it!

  32. medical problems? again ill say this tell your state reps that GMO foods CAUSES CANCER the WATER we drink KILLS BRAIN CELLS beause of FLORIDE the milk we drink has bad chemicals because PAIN KILLERS are given to cows these are REAL HEALTH PROBLEMS these are what keeps us alive and we consume it every day and how is it that marijuana dose NONE OF THE ABOVE and its still illgal when alot of people do it but not everyone state reps have to know people drink and eat everyday right? so what are the medical problems again?also tell them there differnt types of tar that comes from tobacco then marijuana when inhaled and seems to still be harmless other wise why give it people with cancer? and why not give it to the public when theres never been any big problems with it? are they hinting that the states will mess with it to give us health problems? thats unreal if they finally say marijuana causes big health problems and now you can get cancer from it give me a break im not gonna even get in to the hemp part of it and how much could be made and jobs created if done right that is all

  33. HellO Bloggers
    I live in Maryland, and I am very thankful to Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore), for making a brave stand. Finally, someone with common sense.
    Who is the fore-front leading us to our freedom to smoke, NORML that’s who.
    NORML has been fighting for us for over 40 years. Now, NORML needs our financial help. The states are following through having a domino effect. Also, the states are starting to realize how much money they can make off of hemp and marijuana. and all the states will fall into place. Thank God for NORML! the war is not over yet. These are crucial times now. In order for NORML to continue slamming the prohibitionist’s. Help NORML help us. Pledge today to donate $20 dollars a month. That is only $.66, come on now, I know you can afford that. NORML really needs are support. Where would we be without NORML. So get out your check book or credit card and show NORML how much you appreciate all the hard work they have done for us. They continually fight for the cause on the front-line. Thank you all who will donate tonight. All NORML’s hard work is finally paying off.

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