Support for marijuana legalization in Maryland is currently strong, possibly due to the fact that the state has a history with the drug that dates back to 1619. In 1619, the Virginia Assembly passed legislation requiring every farmer to grow hemp, which was exchanged as currency in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The laws eventually changed though, as Maryland became less kind to cannabis and its consumers. In 2010, Maryland was listed among the states with the most marijuana possession arrests, with one of the highest fiscal expenditures enforcing possession laws.
After arresting such high numbers for marijuana possession, the state finally decriminalized the drug in 2014. That same year, the state also legalized medical marijuana, allowing Maryland patients to obtain legal medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. In order to qualify for the program, patients must have a condition listed by Maryland’s department of health services, then they must receive a medical marijuana card from a licensed physician. Once these qualifications are met, patients are able to purchase up to 120 grams of medical marijuana. Though a step forward for legalization, this process is one of the slowest medical marijuana rollouts of any state.