State lawmakers in Maryland’s House of Delegates are considering a bill that would legalize marijuana and expunge convictions for some past cannabis offenses. The measure, House Bill 32 (HB 32), went before the House Judiciary Committee at a legislative hearing on Tuesday.
Under the bill, possession of up to four ounces of marijuana would be legalized under state law, and convictions for possession or cultivation of marijuana in amounts made legal by the measure would be expunged. The judiciary committee also discussed how a regulated cannabis market would affect the state.
Before Tuesday’s committee hearing, Del. Jazz Lewis, a Democrat from St. George’s County, said that the bill would help address the harms caused by failed marijuana policy.
“I’m about to testify on HB 32 to end the prohibition on cannabis and create pathways into the industry for those most harmed by the war on drugs,” Lewis said on Twitter. “This bill is equity in action.”
During the House committee hearing, Lewis said that clearing past cannabis convictions is a necessary part of legislation addressing marijuana policy reform.
“Any legalization bill is meaningless if it does not address record expungement,” said Lewis.
Lewis’ bill also has the support of several