CannaBuzz: GOP delegates want law to make Maryland Attorney General advertise risks of cannabis use

By Van Smith

Baltimore, Feb. 15, 2019

If Maryland enacts any additional cannabis-law liberalization, then, under a bill introduced this General Assembly session by state Del. Rick Impallaria (R-7th District, Baltimore and Harford counties), the state’s attorney general would be required to undertake an advertising blitz to inform the public of the ongoing risks of using cannabis.

The risks described in House Bill 1307 are:

  • “Arrest for activity relating to marijuana by the Federal government, especially if the activity occurs on federal facilities, such as military bases, federal offices, federal parks, airports, and marine terminals.”
  • “Testing positive for marijuana use can result in job loss, especially if the job requires state licensing such as jobs in the medical and transportation industries.”
  •  “It will still be unlawful for banks and businesses to do business with someone who is receiving proceeds related to marijuana.”
  • “Filing a federal income tax return involving the receipt of proceeds related to marijuana can lead to prosecution for profiting from a federally illegal business, while failure to file an income tax return can also lead to prosecution.”
  • “There are health risks associated with smoking marijuana.”

If the bill becomes law, then the Attorney General, “at least 90 days before the implementation of any law that reduces the penalties for or legalizes the use of marijuana,” the bill states, “shall establish a system to notify the public” of the risks described in the bill. The notification system “shall include the creation of a website and public service announcements for radio, television, newspapers, and billboards.”

Impallaria is a controversial figure in Maryland politics – even fellow Republicans have called for him to resign – due to his long history of entanglements with the criminal-justice system. The bill is co-sponsored by state Del. Joseph Boteler (R-8th District, Baltimore County).

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