Brian J. Feldman, Deputy chair of the Senate Finance Commission has submitted a proposal to authorize recreational marijuana and inject funds into communities worst hit by the failed Drug war..
The legislation is seconded by high-ranking cosponsors such as Nancy J. King the Senate Majority leader, Guy J. Guzzone the Taxation and Budget Chair, William C. Smith and Jeffery D. Waldstreicher the chair and vice-chair of Judicial Proceedings Commission respectively.
During a phone interview, Brian described the reform simply as a cannabis decriminalization measure that would regulate and tax marijuana sales.
Apart from decriminalizing, multiple provisions in the reform seek to tackle criminal and socio-economic justice inequities exhibited in Black and Brown societies.
According to Feldman’s proposal, businesses within the state’s present medicinal marijuana sector would incur charges for a social equity finance program to be utilized for low-interest loans for minor-level business proprietors to enter the sector.
Also, part of the tax proceeds from the recently authorized industry would be injected into CRRF (Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund). This fund system will provide housing aid, re-entry programs, scholarship aid and other services in societies that were severely impacted by mass racism and incarceration related to the state’s existing criminalization regulations.
The CRRF would also help folks who were previously incarcerated for minor marijuana charges to apply for expungements.
The Senate Chair, Bill Ferguson, said that authorization of recreational marijuana is a complicated matter and the chamber needs to ensure that economic perks are disseminated equally and criminal justice regulation is featured.
Feldman noted that marijuana is already decriminalized for recreational purposes in fifteen states. He also pointed out that four more federal jurisdictions passed ballot measures to legalize it on 3rd November.
He said that his proposal will place Maryland among the top list of states with social equity measures. He also warned that his bill will be amended.