Question 4 would amend the Maryland Constitution to add a new article, Article XX, which would authorize individuals 21 years of age or older to use and possess marijuana. The added section also authorizes the Maryland General Assembly to “provide for the use, distribution, possession, regulation, and taxation of cannabis within the state.” During the 2022 legislative session, the state legislature also passed the implementing legislation that would take effect once the amendment is adopted.[2]

Currently, marijuana is legal for medicinal use in Maryland under a 2013 law. In April 2014, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized.[3][4]

How did Question 4 get on the ballot?

Question 4 was introduced as House Bill 1 (HB 1) on January 12, 2022, by Delegate Luke Clippinger (D). It was approved in the state House in a vote of 96-34 on February 25, 2022. All but one Republican voted against the measure. On April 1, 2022, the state Senate voted to pass the measure with amendments by a vote of 29-17. Two Democrats, Sens. Joanne Benson and Jill Carter, voted with the Republican minority against the bill. On the same day, the state House voted to concur with the amendment by a vote of 94-39. Two Democrats, Delegates Debra Davis and Geraldine Valentino-Smith, joined the Republican minority in voting against the bill. One Republican, Delegate Carl Anderton Jr., voted in favor of the bill.[1]

This is the second time a state legislature has referred a constitutional amendment proposing marijuana legalization to voters. In 2020, the New Jersey State Legislature voted to refer an amendment to voters that was approved.

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