A new marijuana poll was released this week in Maryland which showed some very encouraging support for marijuana reform in Maryland. A majority of poll participants supported legalizing marijuana in Maryland. Also, more than 80% of participants supported decriminalizing marijuana possession. But my favorite part of the poll found that 9 out of 10 participants support medical marijuana in Maryland.
During Maryland's legislative session this year, Maryland passed a bill authorized academic centers to distribute medical marijuana for research purposes. Some people in states that don't have medical marijuana saw this as the legalization of medical marijuana, but it's actually far from it. There's no guarantee that any academic center will distribute anything. What Maryland really needs is a real medical marijuana program, which needs to include the right to home cultivation, and safe access points.
According to the Washington Post:
Based on the poll findings, decriminalization of marijuana "will be an issue to watch" in the upcoming legislative session, said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher University.
I find it troubling that over 80% of those polled supported marijuana decriminalization, yet the Maryland legislature failed to recognize this when they let a bill die during the last session. The bill would have reduced penalties for simple marijuana possession to a civil fine of $100. Yet another example of just how out of touch some politicians are I suppose.