Baltimore Sun Assesses Anne Arundel County Medical Cannabis Debate

The Baltimore Sun has opined on Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh’s proposed ban on the growing, processing and dispensing of medical cannabis in the County and what it means for local autonomy.

The editorial reads:

The state has approved medical marijuana, with the latest legislation signed this year by Gov. Larry Hogan. But the state also left it up to local jurisdictions, through zoning codes and planning regulations, to decide how far they will wade into this particular stream.

Other jurisdictions are facing the same decision, and at least some — including generally conservative places that see a chance to help farmers or generate processing-plant jobs — will say yes. And as a deputy county health officer here noted recently, “There are no borders that function as walls between counties.”

The Anne Arundel proposal has attracted attention from state officials as well. A separate article in The Baltimore Sun reports:

[Senator Bobby] Zirkin told The Capital in an interview he intends to draft legislation during next year’s General Assembly that would prohibit local jurisdictions from banning medical marijuana or creating an “undue burden” on making it available under planning and zoning laws.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, said Schuh’s proposal put him in the “unusual position” of disagreeing with his friend and close political ally. Kipke along with the rest of the Anne Arundel County delegation voted in favor of the latest version of the medical marijuana bill that passed the General Assembly this year.

But Kipke said he was unlikely to support Zirkin’s proposal if it made its way to his chambers because planning and zoning laws should be left up to local authorities.

For more information:

Our say: Schuh on medical marijuana: Just say no (The Baltimore Sun)

State senator slams Schuh medical marijuana proposal (The Baltimore Sun)

Anne Arundel County Executive Proposes Bill to Ban Medical Marijuana (Conduit Street)