Do you know what would make Maryland unequivocally the coolest state in the nation? If we became the first state that both allowed gay marriage and legalized marijuana. Ten years ago, this would’ve sounded completely far-fetched, but now that we’ve gotten the marriage equality part taken care of — and now that Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational adult consumption of marijuana — it doesn’t seem quite so impossible.
House Bill 1453, introduced by Delegate Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore) this week, would regulate the possession, use, and sale of pot for adults over age 21, effectively legalizing recreational users. Five other states have similar bills pending. According to the Maryland bill, people could have up to three marijuana plants at home, and the state would collect a $50 excise tax on every ounce sold. Smoking in public and driving under the influence would still be illegal.
Don’t get too excited, Grateful Dead fans: The odds that the bill will pass aren’t so hot, especially considering that Maryland doesn’t even permit sales of medical marijuana yet. When Rolling Stone predicted the next seven states to legalize it back in December, Maryland didn’t even make the list. But who knows — we might surprise them all.