Maryland Bill Would Regulate Pot Like Booze

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marijuana-dbc04668ba596d1d11bbfdcab899d5bdcf6b293a-s6-c30Delegate Curt Anderson is passing around his latest proposal that would make marijuana legal in Maryland. Instead of putting it in his pipe, the Baltimore-based pol turned to booze for inspiration.

Anderson filed HB 911 – the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015. The measure would allow Marylanders over 21 to possess up to an ounce of weed, and grow six plants in their house. The bill also proposes a tax structure for marijuana that’s similar to the framework used for alcohol. Under the bill, it would still be illegal to puff in public, and drive under the influence.

The Delegate argues that the bill could help the state generate new revenue. A similar bill proposed last year estimated the state could make about $135 million from the taxes.

“Not only is taxing and regulating marijuana the best way to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids, this sensible bill will allow police to focus on violent criminals rather than nonviolent drug offenders,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Marijuana was effectively decriminalized as a result of legislation passed last year, and medical marijuana is already allowed in Maryland. Anne Arundel County is even teaching a class about the marijuana business.

Besides, legal pot is already reaching the state. Over the weekend, a Westminster man was arrested after getting caught having two pounds of pot mailed to his house. Police told the Carroll County Times it’s a growing trend.

Still, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has said he doesn’t see the legislature taking up full-on legalization yet. Time for a joint session?

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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