Wednesday was the first meeting of a legislative panel tasked with sorting out issues related to legalizing recreational marijuana use in Maryland. State House Speaker Adrienne Jones has said to expect a referendum on whether to legalize the drug in the 2022 election.
WYPR’s Rachel Baye watched the meeting and joins Nathan Sterner with some details.
What was the meeting designed to accomplish?
The meeting laid some of the groundwork. The group learned about issues 18 other states and the District of Columbia have faced when they legalized recreational marijuana use over the last decade or so.
Jones has made it clear that Maryland will do this with an eye toward racial justice and equity — making sure that the communities of color who have been most affected by marijuana-related policies and the war on drugs are compensated for past wrongs and have a stake in this new market. So that was a major focus of the meeting.