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MDGA 2023 Legislative Update – Cannabis, odor searches & police accountability (1/26/2023)

The 2023 Maryland Legislative session has begun! 

Read about our upcoming bills that will help us advocate for our 2023 legislative agenda.

Have questions about our legislative agenda? Email us at info@lbsbaltimore.com. 

Want to stay informed on our upcoming legislation?

Use the LBS Bill Tracker! The page will be updated daily with information on how YOU can take action and support legislation that benefits OUR community!

Removing criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis and possession with the intent to distribute.

With the voters of Maryland voting to legalize recreational cannabis in the November 2022 General Election, people should not have to worry about being incarcerated for cannabis related offenses. But existing criminal penalties for possession above the 2.5oz civil possession amount and for possession with intent to distribute still present Marylanders with the possibility of being exposed to the criminal justice system as a result of cannabis. Given the history of law enforcement disproportionately charging Black people with these offenses, leaving these criminal penalties intact will only extend Black people’s exposure to incarceration.

This bill removes criminal penalties for possession of cannabis, above the civil limit, and removes criminal penalties for possession with intent to distribute.

This bill is being sponsored by Sen. Jill P. Carter

Bill Info

Upcoming Hearings

2/01/2023 at 1pm

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR)

2/7/2023 at 1pm 

House Judiciary Committee

 

Removing the sole use of the odor of cannabis as the basis for stops and searches by law enforcement.

The use of odor searches and cannabis prohibition policies more generally have been used as a tool for law enforcement to justify stops and searches. Black people are overwhelmingly represented among those who are stopped and searched on the basis of the odor of cannabis. This allows for Black people to have more contact with law enforcement, which has often led to Black people experiencing police violence and mistreatment.

This bill says that law enforcement can not use odor searches as the sole basis for a search.

This bill is being sponsored by Sen. Jill P. Carter

Bill Info

Upcoming Hearings

2/02/2023 at 1pm

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR)

Authorizing Police Accountability Boards with independent investigatory powers

The Police Accountability Act of 2021 required each jurisdiction to establish Police Accountability Boards. These boards, ideally, would be comprised of community members that represent the community. While the new accountability framework invites more external involvement in the discipline and oversight of police officers, they are still largely reliant on an investigation conducted by the department. This bill would allow for PAB’s to have an independent, external investigations to ensure transparency.

Will will update our bill tracker with relevant bill sponsors and hearing dates,

Bill Info

No bill number has been assigned yet.

Check our bill tracker for updates.

Upcoming Hearings

No bill hearings have been scheduled yet. 

Check our bill tracker for updates.

 

Black Business Participation in the cannabis industry

The bill that regulates the cannabis industry is still being developed by leadership. As soon as we see a bill, we will provide our analysis regarding meaningful Black participation in the industry.

Bill Info

No bill number has been assigned yet.

Check our bill tracker for updates.

Upcoming Hearings

No bill hearings have been scheduled yet. 

Check our bill tracker for updates.

 

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