Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient, and problematic as alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s and 1930s. It has burdened otherwise law-abiding Marylanders with criminal records for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, unfairly targeted people of color, diverted law enforcement resources from tackling real crimes, and handed over tax revenue to an underground — and sometimes dangerous — criminal market. Most Marylanders and Americans agree: It’s time for a smarter, more humane approach. Regulating and taxing cannabis will generate tens of millions of dollars for the state and create legitimate, tax-paying jobs.
These resources will help you make the case that it’s past time for a new approach.
Lessons from Other States
Voters in 15 states have enacted laws to replace marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation for adults 21 and older. We’ve had several years to see how regulating marijuana like alcohol is working. Colorado and Washington — which were the first two states to regulate marijuana in 2012 — have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and created tens of thousands of jobs. And, as a report from the Cato Institute noted, “The absence of significant adverse consequences [from these laws] is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents.”
A September 2018 Goucher poll showed that 62% of Marylanders support “making marijuana legal for recreational use in Maryland.”
An even larger majority of Americans support ending prohibition. An October 2020 Gallup poll found that a supermajority of Americans (68%) supported “making marijuana use legal” — more than double the level of support in 2000.