Monday, December 5, 2022


A Louisiana Public Service Commission runoff could affect energy policy, LGBTQ advocates await final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, and democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.


An election law theory critics say could cause chaos is before the Supreme Court, lawmakers condemn former President Trump's idea to suspend the Constitution, and Democrats switch up the presidential primary calendar.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Marijuana Legalization in MD Up to Voters This November


Thursday, April 7, 2022   

Groups are raising awareness about a ballot initiative in Maryland to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis.

The state House and Senate voted last week to pass House Bill 1, which put a constitutional amendment for adult-use cannabis on the November ballot.

They also passed House Bill 837, outlining policies if voters approve the measure, including legalizing possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and up to two marijuana plants for personal use.

Olivia Naugle, senior policy analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, noted it also would expunge marijuana convictions and allow those in prison for it to file for resentencing.

"Cannabis prohibition is a failed policy, and I think voters recognize that," Naugle asserted. "Polling has consistently shown that a majority of Marylanders support legalizing cannabis for adults. So I'm really happy that they're going to finally have their voices heard on the ballot in November."

Opponents argued marijuana is a dangerous drug which should not be encouraged, although studies have shown it can be regulated safely, and the latest polling from Goucher College showed more than 60% of Marylanders support legalization.

Naugle pointed out House Bill 837 does not set up a regulatory framework for an adult-use cannabis industry in the state. She explained it would have to be taken up in the next legislative session.

Naugle emphasized under Maryland's current cannabis laws, every year thousands of residents -- disproportionately Black residents -- are arrested and receive a criminal conviction for cannabis possession.

She added the expungement process is key as well for people who have previous convictions.

"We know a criminal record can make it difficult to obtain housing, employment and other public benefits," Naugle observed. "So cannabis policy reform, it'll begin to reduce criminalization for cannabis, and all of these collateral consequences that come with a criminal conviction."

If the ballot initiative passes in November, Maryland will join 18 states plus Washington D.C. with recreationally legal cannabis. In 2020, voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana, although South Dakota's policy has been challenged in court.

get more stories like this via email
Small cell facilities are often attached to utility poles within the public right-of-way. (Oxford Science/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Thousands of wireless transmitters could pop up across unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the next few years if the Board of Supervisors ap…

Health and Wellness

As winter looms in Missouri, health officials are expressing concern over the potential for three viruses to impact facilities. This season has …

Social Issues

Research says 80% of community-college students intend to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree, but only 14% do so within six years. …

Around 21 million American children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but only half of them receive free breakfast despite being eligible, according to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Advocates for children say up to 7,000 students in New Hampshire public schools are going hungry following the rejection of a federal program for low-…

Social Issues

By Carrie Baker for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Roz Brown for Texas News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service …

A caucus is not an election; it's a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for an election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For the first time in almost 50 years, Iowa will not hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for Democrats. The national party has ousted …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska is one of a dozen states experiencing "very high" levels of influenza, and the highest percentage of cases has been in children and young …


Tribal representatives from across the Northwest are flying into Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how mine waste in British Columbia is …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021