Is Cannabis Legal in Maryland?

Cannabis is legal in Maryland for both medical and recreational use. However, there are still some restrictions in place. For example, it is illegal to consume cannabis in public or drive while under the influence.

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In November 2014, Maryland became the 21st state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Since then, the use of medical marijuana has been legalized, and legislation has been passed to allow industrial hemp farming. However, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal.

Here is a summary of the current legal status of cannabis in Maryland:

Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100. There is no jail time associated with this offense.

Possession of larger amounts of marijuana is a criminal offense, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The sale or distribution of any amount of marijuana is a criminal offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Cannabis is currently legal for medical use only in Maryland. The state legalized medical cannabis in 2014, but dispensaries did not begin selling product until late 2017. Recreational use of cannabis remains illegal.

What is the history of cannabis legislation in Maryland?

Cannabis was first criminalized in Maryland in 1927 with the passage of the Maryland Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act. However, it was not until 1973 that possession of small amounts of cannabis became a misdemeanor crime. In 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis, making it a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100. This law went into effect on October 1, 2014.

In April 2017, Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation making it legal for qualified patients to possess and use medical cannabis in Maryland. The law went into effect on June 1, 2017. Patients must obtain a written certification from a licensed physician in order to participate in the program.

In November 2018, voters in Maryland approved a ballot measure to legalize the possession and use of recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020.

What are the benefits of legalizing cannabis?

Legalization of cannabis has a number of potential benefits, including:

– generating tax revenue for the state;
– creating jobs in the legal cannabis industry;
– reducing the burden on the state’s criminal justice system;
– making it easier for people with certain medical conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

What are the risks of legalizing cannabis?

There are a number of risks associated with legalizing cannabis, including:

Increased use and abuse of cannabis by young people: Cannabis is harmful to the developing brain, and young people who use cannabis are more likely to experience mental health problems, lower educational achievement and increased welfare dependence later in life.

Cannabis is a gateway drug: Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of using other illegal drugs.

Increased crime: There is evidence that the legal cannabis industry in some US states has been associated with increased crime rates.

Drugged driving: There is evidence that legalizing cannabis results in more drugged driving crashes.

These are just some of the risks associated with legalizing cannabis. It’s important to weigh these risks against the potential benefits before making a decision about whether or not to support legalization.


Yes, cannabis is legal in Maryland. You can possess up to 10 grams of cannabis for personal use. The state has also legalized the use of medical cannabis.

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