The Moore Report: Legal marijuana in Maryland: what will it mean for convicted users, sellers and future consumers?
By Ralph E. Moore Jr.,
Especially for the AFRO
Change has been coming to Maryland for some time. Maryland voters approved the legalization of marijuana in last fall’s election. The result: 1,302,161 “yes” votes to 635,572 “no” votes.
It was a landslide victory, with 67.20 percent in favor of joining the many states in America where recreational marijuana is legal: Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, DC, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Guam, Illinois, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Missouri and now Maryland.
But now the state government must implement a system for growing, selling, and collecting taxes on the marijuana by July 1, 2023, when it actually becomes legal for those old enough to buy it -Set up sale.
Medical marijuana (cannabis) has actually been legal in our state for some time. At the time of the election, marijuana was legal for medical use in Maryland under a 2013 law. In April 2014, the General Assembly decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. Decriminalized and legal are not the same thing.
In advance of developing the state program, the Office of Equity and Civil Rights has announced that it will host a panel discussion on February 16th about Maryland’s cannabis industry and the disparities that exist between what is now a legal trade and the many Blacks and Browns consist of people who are disabled by previous criminal records for using and selling marijuana.
The office invites a representative from the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union to present and dissect the legal implications of the new legislation for this burgeoning industry.
The panel will be held at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and will begin at 6:00 p.m. with refreshments, followed by discussion at 6:30 p.m.
According to Dana P. Moore, director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights (and my wife), “The public is invited to listen to the presentations and have any questions answered.”
Moore says that “one of the goals of the forum, in addition to educating the public, is to help those previously imprisoned for possessing and selling marijuana in exchange for having their records of marijuana charges erased, and the.” Helping people learn how to apply for a license to legally sell marijuana. We hope that some priority can be given to those who have paid off their debt to society for something that is no longer illegal and has actually proven very profitable in other states.”
A knowledgeable panel will be assembled including: Dayvon Love, political organizer and co-founder of the grassroots think tank “advancing the public interest of black people,” and Yanet Amanuel, the director of public policy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU -MD). dr Octavia Simkins-Wiseman and her daughter Hope Wiseman, who along with Dr. Larry Bryant Mary and Main, who own a medical marijuana dispensary in North Capitol Heights, Maryland, will also be panelists.
The hope is that people will come to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, learn about their rights and educate themselves about opportunities in the cannabis industry. For more information, call John Milton Wesley at [email protected] and 410-396-8858.
Smoking marijuana is an old vice, but it’s still a growing American pastime that one will hopefully participate in responsibly, much like the expectations of drinking and gambling. “Responsibility” and “everything in moderation”, “don’t drive drunk” and “don’t drive when you’re high” are buzzwords.
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