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Maryland Marijuana News for the New Year

Will marijuana continue to make headline news in Maryland in 2020? Stories about marijuana use, criminalization, and potential adult recreational use legalization cropped up frequently throughout the year.

According to one article posted inU.S. News & World Report early in 2019, for example, Marilyn Mosby, Maryland’s prosecuting attorney in Baltimore, had decided to discontinue prosecution of simple marijuana possession cases, although her office’s prosecution of drug dealing offenses would continue. This past summer,an NPR report focused on a decision reached by Maryland’s highest state court that the smell of marijuana in a man’s a car did not create what is known as “probable cause” to allow police to conduct a search of the car without a search warrant. Still more Maryland marijuana news came in the fall of 2019, when, againaccording to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Maryland enrolled 150 students, for the first time, in its School of Pharmacy’s medical cannabis program. According to the School of Pharmacy’s website, it now offers aMaster of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics, with core requirements that include such classes as “Principles of Drug Action and Cannabinoid Pharmacology” and “Basic Cannabinoid Chemistry and Drug Delivery.”

Will Adult Recreational Marijuana Use Become Legal Under Maryland State Law in 2020?

Although a government task force began studying the issue of potential marijuana adult recreational use legalization in Maryland last June, theBaltimore Sun reported last November that, according to the decision of the group of delegates and senators who had been tasked with studying the issue, the recommendation would not be to offer legislation toward legalization.

According to theBaltimore Sun report, marijuana legalization legislation is not likely to proceed in Maryland this year absent the endorsement of the delegates and senators who have been studying the matter. At least one member of the group who supports adult use legalization is optimistic for movement toward that goal in 2021, however.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Maryland?

Maryland law does allow for medical marijuana use under certain conditions.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is the entity responsible for the oversight of all licensing, registering, inspecting, and testing activities involved in Maryland’s medical cannabis program. Additionally, the commission provides relevant program information to individuals who participate, including patients and their caregivers, doctors, growers, dispensers, and testing labs. According to the commission, the conditions for which medical marijuana usage are allowed in Maryland are chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions that cause the following:

  • Cachexia
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • A chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective

There are restrictions on the use availability of medical marijuana, along with requirements for obtaining medical marijuana certification and an ID card. For more information about these restrictions and requirements, or other questions about the law and marijuana usage in Maryland, contact theexpert criminal defense team at theLaw Office of Robert R. Castro.