Recreational Marijuana Use Legalized in Maryland


Graphic by Ashley Nguyen

Maryland voted to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

On Nov. 8, 2022, Maryland voted to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, joining the growing list of many other states that have already legalized marijuana or are in the process of doing so. The legalization of marijuana has been a considerable debate for years now. Different factors come into play with the issue, such as the reasoning behind legalizing it, whether it would be beneficial or not, and both the physical and psychological impact of marijuana. 

Earlier in 2022, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to place a question on the ballot that, if passed, would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. On the most recent Maryland ballot, question four surveyed the legalization of adult use and possession of marijuana. They asked voters, “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the state of Maryland?”

By the end of the election, it was reported that more than 65% of Maryland voters answered “Yes,” that recreational marijuana should be legal for adults. 

Maryland was one out of the five states that had questions involving cannabis legalization on their ballots. Three of the states, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas, all voted “no.” Other than Maryland, Missouri voters also approved of the measure. 

In addition to allowing the possession of marijuana, this law will also allow adults to grow up to two cannabis plants in their home, as long as it is out of view, in July. Products may not be sold by the growers and users without a license, and these products must be bought legally instead through recreational sales once they are available. 

This legalization law being approved doesn’t instantly set things into place right away. Starting July 1, 2023, the ballot initiative will legalize personal possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for adults 21 and older. Any amount over 1.5 ounces will result in jail time or high fines.